I realized that I’ve never really officially taken the opportunity to record my side of the story about Alex’s and my experience with building PreparetoServe.com. So here we go.
It’s been an interesting, unexpected, spiritual journey–and a long process of receiving personal revelation.
How it all began:
Rewind 7 years. Way back in 2007, Alex was really struggling trying to figure out what to do with his life and what to major in. Long story short, through a series of spiritual impressions and promptings, Alex felt led to major in Broadcast Journalism at BYU. The interesting thing about it was that he hadn’t even really heard of that major before, and he had no interest in it at all, but nevertheless he went forward with faith and applied to the major, not really knowing why. Only recently has it become strikingly clear just how perfectly that specific major prepared him for what he is doing now. It was through the Broadcast Journalism program that he discovered how much he enjoys interviewing people. He also became very familiar with video editing. As he went through the program, he produced several inspiring news stories, which got him excited and sparked lots of ideas for different video interview projects to maybe create someday.
One of those ideas was to create video resources for pre-missionaries where they could learn about where they had been called to serve from returned missionaries who had served there. This idea kind of got put on the backburner for a while as he focused on other things. But in the fall of 2012, Alex felt a strong impression that he should quit his job in order to start devote his time to working on this idea. We both agreed to give it a go, and he talked to his boss the next day. It was a huge leap of faith. Just two days later, we received an unexpected opportunity & blessing in our housing situation, making up for Alex’s lack of income. Once we had made the commitment to go for it, things started happening, and from then on, it just seemed like Heavenly Father kept lining up all our ducks in a row. Everything started working out to make the project possible. Eventually, we were able to get sponsors for the website- another huge blessing that enabled us to continue working on it. And so many more unexpected blessings I couldn’t enumerate them all here without making this into a monster-long post. Here’s a post that Alex wrote a while back that has a few more examples.
I was always very gung-ho about the PreparetoServe project. However, it took me a while to feel totally gung-ho about the idea of devoting ourselves full-time to it, with no outside income to support us for a while. I’ve definitely had to gain my own spiritual confirmation that this is really what we are supposed to be doing.
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Through all this, I’ve come to realize that Heavenly Father is trying to build my faith.
It has taken faith to walk down this path. And a willingness to embrace uncertainty. It’s been hard for me, at times, to not know for certain what the future holds. I’ve always been a planner. I like to have my entire life and future clearly mapped out so I can see the end from the beginning. Sometimes I think life would be so much more smooth and predictable if Alex just got a normal job. But you know what? That wouldn’t require nearly as big of a leap of faith. And so I think it’s been good for me. It has helped me to overcome doubt/fear and learn how to trust more in the Lord.
It reminds me of that one quote by Harold B. Lee,
“You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness; then the light will appear and show the way before you.”
As well as a similar quote by Elder Uchtdorf:
“There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do.
And He has. Over and over. He has proved that He will, sooner or later, prepare and light the way, if we but first take that leap of faith into the dark.
The words to one of my favorite hymns has also taken on new meaning for me – I feel like it describes how my perspectives have changed since we embarked on this adventure:
“I was not ever thus nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now, lead Thou me on!
Lead Thou my feet, I do not ask to see the distant scene.
One step enough for me.” – Lead Kindly Light, Hymn #97
I think that verse beautifully sums up what has been for me, a journey of faith.
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I’m just in awe when I think about how much Heavenly Father has guided this whole process. I feel like “Going Forward with Faith” has been our theme as a family these past couple years. When I have doubts, nervousness, or fears, I just remember how much the Lord has taken care of us so far – so many unexpected opportunities and tender mercies! I would be blind not to acknowledge His hand in our lives. He has lined up our life circumstances perfectly to make it work with what we’re doing.
There’s a lot of things I don’t know. All I know right now is that we are supposed to essentially drop everything and work on this. We don’t know exactly all the reasons why. I don’t know if this will end up being the ultimate thing Alex does ‘for a living’ or if it is simply going to be the springboard/preparation ground for something else down the road. I don’t necessarily know the specifics of how it’s all going to work out financially or even what Heavenly Father’s ultimate purpose is in having us work on this project. Who knows–it may even be accomplishing something completely different from what we currently think its ultimate objective is. Whatever the end result, we just trust that it will somehow be a blessing for others and, in some small way, help to build up the kingdom of God on the Earth, which is our main goal in whatever we do.