There have only been a few times in my life I had the distinct impression that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. One was sitting in the celestial room with my husband waiting to be sealed for eternity. A few others were moving back to Alaska after a difficult two years in Montana, buying my house, and writing my book, Restoring Virtue. Over the past weeks, those feelings have stirred in me again—that I am exactly where God wants me to be.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. So much has happened since January to pull my mind, time, and energy away from the work I do here.
In March I was invited to lead a group therapy session at an inpatient center. I shared my story and some thoughts on hope and healing. When I left the center that day I tried to focus on what went well and not think too hard about what I could have done better. But I had the recurring thought that, “I’d be much better at this if I were trained.” I took all the appropriate steps and now I’m set up to begin my first college classes this month.
In sequence with moving towards college, I’ve encountered opposition with each step. I’ve made two trips to the emergency room, had ten doctor appointments, plus iron infusions, and multiple blood draws. With more to come. On top of that there’s been daily personal and family stresses that are harder to manage with underlying health problems.
I have a rare bleeding disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). It’s a genetic mutation that affects the development of blood vessels. These blood vessels are called telangiectasias or arteriovenous malformations. They occur anywhere in the body and can rupture easily.
I’ve been navigating this disease for a while, but it’s proven to be a more serious problem this year. Some of my symptoms are difficult to manage and have caused me to seek help from doctors. Mainly nosebleeds, anemia, and chronic infections interfere with my daily life.
My emergency room visits were due to inflammation in my chest and excessive bleeding. God’s presence had been with me for weeks leading up to my first hospital visit. I felt completely at peace. I told my husband, “Everything will be okay. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is happening for a reason.” He was obviously shaken. Especially since we initially suspected I was having a heart attack.
I wish I could share more. There are so many little details that God worked out for me from finding good doctors, getting the right tests, having friends step in and help, to timing, timing, timing! This quote from Elder Neal A. Maxwell sums up my life this year and the details of my health concerns that I can’t share, “Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone… Divine correlations function not only in the cosmos but on this planet too. God who oversees the interlacings of galaxies, stars, and worlds, asks us to confess His hand in our personal lives, too. God is in the details! Just as the Lord knows all of His vast creations, He also knows and loves each in any crowd–indeed, He knows and loves each and all of mankind!” (Maxwell, Neal A. Encircled in the Arms of His Love. lds.org. General Conference, October 2002. 1 July, 2017)
There was a day when I’d fall apart at the smallest problem. These new challenges are a testimony to myself and of myself of how much my trust in God has grown. It’s strengthened my confidence that I can still feel God’s love during difficult times.
I’ve struggled with the timing of returning to school. I’ve wondered if I’m healthy enough, if I’m smart enough, if I can really do it. I don’t know. But I do know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. This is the next step in accomplishing the plan God has for me.