Nearly seven years ago in Burlington, Iowa, I spent a day knocking on strangers’ doors and asked those who answered if they wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness for His children. At that time, I was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission.
This particular day in Iowa sticks out in my mind because it wasn’t a normal day for me. You see, as a missionary in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission, I was stationed full-time at the church historic sites in Nauvoo. There I gave tours in the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center and other nearby sites. The purpose of my day trip to Iowa was to help sisters newer in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission prepare for their upcoming “outbound assignments,” where they would spend a few months in another state serving as proselyting missionaries. I had previously completed my outbound assignment in the Colorado Denver South Mission.
On this day in Iowa, I was nearing the end of my missionary service. During the drive to Iowa, I silently prayed to God and asked Him to accept my missionary service as an offering of my desire to use my hands and heart to always serve Him.
As I knocked on the very last door that day in Iowa, my heart filled with love, anticipation, and joy in regards to my future. No one answered the door, but as I stood on the doorstep, I felt in my heart that I was standing on the doorstep of motherhood. I felt deep down in my soul that my service as a missionary was acceptable before God and that my next major role in life would be to be a mother.
This was a tender and sacred experience, which I kept close to my heart. After I returned home from my mission, I graduated from BYU and moved to the Washington D.C. area where I had grown up. Months went by and then years went by without ever finding that “special someone” to marry. Sometimes I would think back on my experience in Iowa and wonder if I had conjured up those feelings I had on that doorstep. However, I still felt that the experience I had on that doorstep was a personal witness from God that His divine plan for my life included motherhood.
About five years after my mission concluded, I fell in love and married my husband in the Washington DC LDS Temple. Ironically, he was born and raised in Iowa. And now, nearly seven years since concluding my missionary service, I am pregnant with a baby boy.
If someone would have told me after my experience in Iowa that it would be seven years until I became a mother, I would have been very surprised. I would have thought based upon my experience that marriage and motherhood would come more quickly. However, I have learned that God’s timing is not our timing. Spiritual witnesses come to us in His time and in His way, and the actual manifestations of those witnesses also come in His time and in His way.
Last night, as my husband and I were reading in the scriptures, we read this verse from the Doctrine and Covenants, “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers,” (Doctrine and Covenants 112:10).
Being humble means that we trust in the spiritual witnesses we receive. And even when we don’t see the physical manifestations of those spiritual witnesses, we still continue to believe and allow God to guide our path. I am not perfect at this, and I am certain that it is something I’ll need to work on for the rest of my life.
As I look back on the last seven years, I am so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had, and I know that they were requisite experiences meant to mold and shape me into the person and mother God wants me to become.
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