The June 2016 Ensign contains a fascinating article entitled “Taking the Bus to Kolob.” In it, the author John Barney relates his experience of finding his eternal companion at age 42. If you haven’t read it yet, you really need to do that. I’ll wait right here until you get back.
John’s article is great on so many levels. There’s so much I can discuss in depth — maybe two months worth of programs in this one article. I hardly know where to begin.
First: My Heavenly Father loves me. I can’t deny there were times during my lonely sojourn that I felt some bitterness toward God. I felt that I must have missed my opportunity to have a family due to some sin on my part, or maybe just because I was too shy at the wrong moment. It frustrated me to think there might have been some point along the way that the person I was to marry was there, but for lack of being able to hear the whisperings of the Spirit, I missed her because I was somewhere between sin and repentance. I tried not to believe this was the case, but those unhealthy and unholy thoughts would sometimes creep into my mind and lead to self-pity.
Did you catch that big clue in the third sentence? “... I must have missed my opportunity....” And just as revealing is the next clue in the next sentence: “... there might have been some point along the way that the person I was to marry was there, but for lack of [perfection in me], I missed her....”
My opportunity. The person. I blew my one real chance of having the one match for me because I’m just not good enough.
How many of us LDS singles think this way? The author points out how “unhealthy and unholy” these thoughts are. Now I want to point out how that thinking perpetuates singleness.
Start believing truth
There’s not just one opportunity for you to secure the blessings God eagerly wants to give you. God loves you so much He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for you. Love that strong, and you get only one real chance at happiness? Please!
And then there’s the whole one-and-only-one-person-you’re-meant-to-be-with idea. Sounds a lot like a soulmate to me, something President Kimball denounced as fiction. There’s actually a group of individuals each of whom could make an excellent companion for you. You just need to make the right agreements with someone in that group.
God loves you and me so much He eagerly provides multiple opportunities for us to secure our righteous blessings. If Plan A fails, He goes right to work on Plan B. If Plan B fails, He starts Plan C. And down the alphabet He goes.
But that’s not all. Because there are multiple people who could make excellent partners for you, there are multiple opportunities for you to secure your eternal blessings. So stop believing your ship has sailed. Start believing another ship will make port in your harbor and look forward to that opportunity so you can seize it!
Don't look back
Only when John “really and truly gave up” did he situate himself for success. That’s because in “giving up” he let go of all the thinking holding him back. He was now ready to receive what God always wanted Him to have.
Notice in that earlier quoted paragraph how much the author was looking backwards. “I must have missed my opportunity . . . some sin on my part . . . I was too shy . . . wrong moment . . . there might have been some point . . . for lack of being able . . . I missed her.” No wonder John felt self-pity and bitterness. There’s no way he could move forward while he kept looking back.
You can’t drive a car very well if you’re in reverse and constantly looking in the rear view mirror. Your life won’t progress very well either with that approach. Only when you accept the past for whatever it is and face forward will you begin to move forward.
That’s what “giving up” did for John. It turned his focus away from the past, and that positioned him for the next opportunity God created for him. How did John get to be friends with his future wife’s sister in the first place? And who brought that snowstorm? Don’t tell me God didn’t have a hand in creating opportunity.
Align with truth
I don’t care who you are or what you’ve been through. You have every reason for hope in a bright and glorious future in this life. And you have every reason to be optimistic about that future. You can focus less on the failures of the past when you believe in that bright future and focus on it. After all, your focus determines your reality. And you must believe before you receive.
God loves you. He loves you so much He’s constantly working on the next opportunity that can deliver you your righteous blessings. He’s even providing many tender mercies for you in the interim. So get your head screwed on straight. Align your thinking with truth so you can see that opportunity when it comes and seize the blessings God wants you to have today.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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