Have you ever been in the grocery store checkout line and suddenly your mom says the dreaded words, “I forgot something,” and walks away? She leaves you in the line alone to search for the forgotten item. You eye the cashier nervously as he reaches for items you put on the conveyor belt and begins to ring them up. Your heart begins to race and panic ensues as he reaches for the last item, and your mom is still not back yet. It seems like you can feel the stares of the other customers in line behind you waiting to check out. You shuffle nervously towards the card reader, making it seem like you have the money to pay for these items. Then, finally after what seemed like hours of intense, painful waiting your mom rushes in and saves the day. You let out a sigh of relief. All is right in the world again. You know this feeling? The panicky, lost, desperate feeling? Once upon a time, this feeling crept slowly into my life.
At this point you’re probably thinking, okay cool so what does going grocery shopping have to do with Jesus Christ and the gospel? This analogy is exactly how my life felt. I felt separated from my Heavenly Father and what he wanted me to do. I still believed in him and his plan for me with all my heart and knew he was there but it just felt like someone pulled the rug out from under me. The fire that burned within me seemed to be waning. I was still attending church, reading my scriptures, and praying but it all felt foreign and useless. I had no idea what I was doing. Although I was not doing anything wrong, it still did not seem right. I began to panic. I desperately wanted to feel my Heavenly Father and Savior’s presence in my life but I was not sure how. I decided to write a friend of mine who is serving a mission. This is his advice.
“First, don’t stress. That’s a normal part of life, I’ve felt that too and it doesn’t mean we are doing anything wrong. It’s just a learning experience. The best way to get closer to God is to serve Him! I love the scripture in the Book of Mormon when it says ‘How knoweth a man his master if he has not served him?’ One cool thing you could do is pray in the morning for someone to help. And then at night pray for someone you could send a text of encouragement or love. I promise that you will feel closer to God!”
I can testify that his advice truly works. After I got his letter I knelt in sincere prayer everyday and asked God what he would have me do and who he would have me serve. I looked outside of myself and my personal desires and tried to solely accomplish the will of my Heavenly Father. Throughout the week when I began including this petition in my prayers, I noticed more than once a prompting that I should check up on some of my friends. I became more willing to help others around me. My overall mood improved and the smile on my face was pure and real. The panic that had consumed my heart faded away and was replaced with confidence and warmth. I had known all along that my Savior and Heavenly Father were there, just like you know your mom is still in the store, I just needed a simple reminder. If you are ever feeling lost or disconnected from the will of the Lord, do not panic. Step back, kneel down, and pour out your heart to the Lord. He is right there waiting for you with a marvelous work to do. And he needs you to do it. Remember the scripture in Mosiah 5:13 which says, “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?”