That One Time I Decided Not to Go On a Mission...

Once upon a time in a city far, far away lived a girl who could not stick to her commitments and decisions. It seemed she would make a decision, feel confident in the decision, then immediately proceed to make a completely different decision. The more she tried to decide what to do, the more deciding overwhelmed her and she was sick of deciding the wrong decisions.

Okay enough with the closed captioning. This girl was obviously me and this wasn't once upon a time. In fact, it was last week.

People always told me getting ready for a mission would be difficult but I didn't realize it was going to be THIS difficult. I mean if someone would have mentioned to me that mission prep. included major breakdowns mixed with feelings of inadequacy, depression, doubt, frustration and about everything in between, maybe I wouldn't have signed up for this gig? I'd be lying if I told you I haven't been extremely struggling with these feelings of self-doubt over the past couple months.

One night in particular these feelings became extra difficult to deal with while staying in a hotel in the middle of Paris, France. These feelings became so difficult to bear, in fact, that I decided, ya know what. This is too much! I can't do this. I can't serve a mission. I am a depressed, emotional human being and I am not good enough to serve a mission. It's just not going to happen at this point in my life. Maybe I could have handled it before but now I can't anymore and the Lord will understand.

I have never felt so far away from the Lord. My prayers became something like, "Oh hey. It's me. You forgot me and I'm trying to figure this out by myself. Thanks for nothing. Amen." (Harsh. I know.) I was just so utterly frustrated and confused. Why was preparing to do something so great with my life proving to be so incredibly difficult?

After spending a week panicking about what I was going to do with my life for the next year and half if I wasn't going to serve a mission, I felt very strongly that I needed to have a long discussion with my parents about what the heck was going on. Finally I followed the prompting and picked up the phone for a chat with my favorite humans, Dave and Nance. And of course, like they always so wisely do, they counseled me, "Hannah, we support whatever you want to do. But we just want to be sure that you're making a decision based on faith and not fear."

Then it hit me. I was so afraid of having depression while being on a mission that I had decided distancing myself from the Lord would somehow be beneficial for me. At this point I knew what I had to do. I knew who the enemy was and I knew exactly how to conquer him.

Immediately I started looking up talks, scriptures, and General Conference addresses about faith conquering fear and trusting in the Lord. I knew that conquering Satan would only work if I were to enlist the help of the Lord.

It was only after all this reading and praying that I came to some insightful conclusions. First and foremost, that I was more than adequate to serve a mission and that things were going to be okay; I could do this! Secondly and perhaps most profoundly I came to the conclusion that Satan was using fear to convince me that I was incapable of serving a mission and moving forward with a decision I knew to be true.

Although my story is not always a "happily ever after," and I'm sure I will have many more battles with Satan, as will you, there is something I know this time around that I forgot last time and that is this: we have a Heavenly Father who will be there for us during the "happily"s and the "not so happily." No matter what. We can always enlist His heavenly help and power through our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a comfort that is to me and to you!
So let your faith conquer your fear! You can do hard things.
Here's to spending the next 18 months of my life serving the Lord and being confident in my decision!

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