His Light Brings Peace
HIS LIGHT BRINGS PEACE
By Lauren Wardle
What is my story? My first thought was I don’t have a story. I can’t think of anything that makes me stand out. But that is okay. The world is full of ordinary people. I am special because I am me. I wonder how many people have that same first thought: I don’t have a story.
But we all have a story. I do have a story. My story is made up of many small moments that make it mine and nobody else’s. Those small moments, along with the people around me, both in heaven and on earth, have helped my faith grow and make me who I am.
It would be impossible to list all those little details and simple experiences, so I will share just this one. It is simple, but it means so much to me.
I was about to leave my family for 18 months to teach people about Christ and Faith. It was something I had planned on doing for my whole life, but it seemed so weird when the time actually came. In fact, I had actually started to second guess my decision. Was it the right thing to do at this time? Should I focus on school? Would I actually be able to help people in the way I wanted? Reflecting back on it now, 18 months does not seem like a long time. However, at the time it seemed like I was giving up a lot.
Was it all going to be worth it? I was assigned to go to Santiago, Chile and would have to learn Spanish. Once I was given my assignment, I still had plenty of time to wait before I could leave. This waiting period made me a little anxious and allowed time for doubts to weigh in.
I remember a day sometime in April (I think it was a Sunday). It was a bit of a lazy day and I was just hanging around the house. I was feeling eager and restless to go to Chile, so I went up to my room. I loved my room. It is painted a peaceful shade of blue and has a window seat with a beautiful view of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I liked to leave the windows open because when I did, it would get this scent that was fresh, and I loved it. That day, I sat there in my room and I just felt peace and warmth. I’m not talking about the kind of warmth you feel when it’s hot outside. I’m talking about the warmth you feel when you see someone show an act of love and kindness — when you know that everything is right in the world.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13, KJV)
As I sat there and looked out the window, there were some beautiful clouds blocking the sun. They had that beautiful silver lining they get sometimes with the sun behind them, and you could see the light seeping through. It was such a beautiful thing to see. I could see millions of individual sun rays shining down.
“Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:” (Eccl. 11:7, KJV)
In that moment – I felt like the sun was shining just for me. I was at peace and I knew that what I was doing was right. I don’t feel like God tells us everything we need to do, sometimes he leaves the decisions up to us. I sometimes feel like I don’t always recognize when he guides me, but at this moment, I knew that he was guiding me and he was happy with my decision. Though I still felt a little nervous to leave my family and everything behind for 18 months, I knew I was going to be okay. It was more than just a peace. It was a feeling of surety. I felt like everything was just as it should be. The best thing about it was feeling how much God loved me. I knew I was important to Him and I was doing the right thing. I felt like He was sending me His approval. But at the same time, I felt as if it didn’t matter what I was doing, He would always love me.
I decided to write in my journal because I never wanted to forget how I was feeling. To this day, I never have forgotten that moment. I don’t even need to go back and read my journal!
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9, KJV)
It was a simple moment, but I can always think back to that experience. I can always remember the way I felt. That moment got me through the 18 months I spent in Chile. That moment, although almost ten years ago, gets me through hard times now. If He loved me that much then, He loves me that much now. Even if I am not always doing my best, He will always love me. He will always send sun rays to shine down and remind me of the love He feels for me. Those sun rays remind me to be strong and to have courage. They remind me to keep going because He is always with me.
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)