I was finishing high school. That is the age group of girls that I work with as Young Women's president. I thought it would be a good idea to read my junior high and high school journals. I figured it would help me remember what it was like to be that age.
Oh, my, did I ever relive my life. It was fun to become reacquainted with friends and relive experiences. But, I learned a lot. One thing I learned was about perspective.
In 1 Nephi 1:1, Nephi wrote that "having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days...yea, having a knowledge of the goodness of God...." he wrote the record. I love how he emphasizes that he was highly favored and knew the goodness of God. When we read the record, we often see the trials that he faced. Yet, he talked about a good life. The thing that is really important about this, though, is that he was writing the record a full 30 years after he left Jerusalem (see 2 Nephi 5:28-31).
Wow! 30 years! I graduated from high school 30 years ago. Thirty years makes a huge difference in perspective. The things that were important upon graduation were very important in that how I handled them shaped the rest of my life. At the same time they are not that critical. For example, now I can honestly say who cares that the there were contentions among the yearbook staff that were referenced in the final "swan song" article at the end of the yearbook. At the time it made me furious, because those who knew, knew that it was talking about me. Through the years I had remembered that it happened, but didn't remember the details until I read about them. Moreover, I had no emotion wrapped up in the event as I read it. It is over.
To cite another example, in February 1983 I was so discouraged about my homemaking skills, especially sewing, cooking, etc. Finally, I thought I had found a true homemaking skill at which I could excel--crocheting. However at this particular time, the afghan I was working on was not going
Although I can still be insecure about my "homemaking" skills, and I have had more than one melt-down over the lack of these skills (even when I have been married), I can honestly say that I am a good homemaker. I can cook, which I do, and I can sew, embroider, and crochet if I need to. But that is not what makes me a good HOME maker.
The things that really mattered, I learned 30+ years ago, too. I learned that God loves me. I learned I can pray to Him and he will answer my prayers. I learned I to love. Each day I try to show my husband and children how much I love them. I try to teach them the Gospel and show them through my actions how much I love the Lord and how much He loves them. Crocheting won't get them "home" to our Heavenly Father, but loving God will!
A 30-year perspective. That's what I need. As I face my trials and challenges in life now, I need to remember that 30, 20, or even 10 years down the road, life will be different. The attitude I take now will shape the future, but the event will be over.