I recently listened to a devotional given by Clayton M. Christensen titled “Decisions For Which I’ve Been Grateful.” He describes the five best decisions he’s made, and how they have affected his life. As I listened to the devotional, my mind wandered to what my five best decisions have been—you know, aside from the married-my-husband-had-kids kind of decisions. Those are obviously some of my greatest decisions, accomplishments, and blessings. But what others have changed my life? What decisions have changed yours? How have they affected your life?
For me, not only have they changed the course of my life, but they have changed me personally. As I reflected on my decisions, my eyes were opened to a common theme: every one of the decisions I made had God’s hand in it one way or another. All those decisions, lessons, and experiences have ultimately led me to where I am now, living my best life. Hmm… Fancy that! It’s funny because some of the decisions weren’t ones I even wanted. However, as I have learned, God’s plan for me is ten times better than my plan for myself—so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that most, if not all, of those decisions were spiritually led.
Over the course of the next few months, I’d like to share with you my five best decisions. I hope by sharing with you my experiences, they can strengthen your testimony. Perhaps it will inspire you to reflect on your best decisions and then maybe you can see how God has had His hand in them—because His hand is always there, no matter how hard your decisions may have been. For it is in the tough, the hard, the I-can’t-do-this-anymore moments when we witness the most tender of mercies. We need only look.
The first of my decisions I’d like to talk about was my decision to move to Utah. It is what set me up for the rest of my life—the backbone, you could say, of all the decisions following. I am very grateful for this experience because without making that major decision, my other ones wouldn’t have been possible.
Quick backstory: I am originally from Houston, TX, but we had relatives in Utah. My parents met in Provo, got hitched, had me (surprise!), and eight months later, moved to Texas. Texas is home. If you are from Texas or know anyone from Texas, then you know we have immense state pride. Since my mom had Utah ties, we visited often, mostly in the summers, and spent them with cousins, aunts and uncles, and breathing in that mountain air which we called the “Utah smell.”
One year, my cousin was getting married in Cache Valley, UT, which, surprisingly, I had not heard of. I made the trip up and on one particular day, we went sightseeing. I was walking along Main Street in a quaint little town when I was suddenly overfilled with the Spirit. I felt like everything around me was spinning. It was so tangible. I remember looking up at the cute shops that lined Main and feeling like I was looking up at skyscrapers. Then the Spirit said to me, “You should move here.” I looked around thinking someone must be playing a trick on me, but no one was around. The message was loud and clear. I returned to Texas, saved money, and searched online for a job and a house. Then, one year later, with nothing but a small suitcase and a little savings, I left everything I had ever known.
I must tell you that this was not as easy as it sounds. During that year of preparing, I had many moments of doubt. I am extremely close to my family and when I envisioned myself grown and married with my own family, I saw myself down the street from my parents. I wanted my kids to be able to run to Grandma’s house, to have Sunday dinners together, and enjoy those hot Texas summers by the pool together. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to move out of state. I wondered every day if leaving was the right decision. I felt trapped between wanting to spread my wings and wanting to stay where my roots were. So I prayed, hoping to receive a confirmation that moving was the right decision. But I never received an answer. No yes or no—nothing. In my true stubborn fashion, I got down on my knees and said, “Fine! If you won’t tell me yes or no, then I am making the decision myself! I am going to Utah and if it’s not right, let something get in the way!” (I do not recommend speaking to God this way, by the way!)
Well, this year marks twelve years that I have lived in Utah—but it didn’t come without its hardships. After I moved, I missed my family something fierce. I had many nights of loneliness. I was in a house full of strangers in a town I had only been to once. But a few months later, I met my husband. I eventually finished school, got married, and had three beautiful babies. To this day, of all the decisions I’ve made my life, this one was by far the best. I am so grateful for it because Utah has given me more than I could dream of. It’s given me a new place to call home (though Texas will always have my heart), it’s given me stability, new roots, a family, independence, and growth. It’s been a place of becoming and unbecoming. But the most important principle and truth I learned was that when you change your questions, you can change your life. Okay, I more demanded than asked, but either way, I asked—and I asked in faith. Instead of asking if A or B was better, I made a decision and then moved into action.
Marcus B. Nash said, “Faith is both a principle of action and of power” (emphasis added).
Now, when I need help knowing which decision is right or wrong, I still pray for discernment, but I am much more quick to ask in faith. In active faith. I ask, then I act! Sometimes we hear of these amazing stories where people get clear cut answers to their biggest life’s questions, but God speaks to us all differently. Sometimes it comes in a whisper, sometimes a burning in our hearts, and sometimes we feel like we don’t get answers at all. I’ve had my fair share of those! Nonetheless, if you’re having trouble receiving answers, try changing your question. Don’t just ask and expect the answers to just come—ask, then act. Put that faith into action. When you do, I can testify that the answers will come. They may not be what we want, but they will come.
I have a testimony that when you change your questions just a tad and practice active faith, you can change your life.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!