Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Courage, Ramen, Wizards, and Me

One of my goals for 2015 is to have more courage. With all the changes coming up in my life (school, career choices, running out of ice cream...), it is easy to become bogged down with fears about the future. Will I manage to graduate without pulling out all of my hair or dying during finals week? Will I learn to make food or will I have to survive off of cereal and burnt Ramen? (Yes, I have managed to burn Ramen before. The reality of potential starvation is becoming quite apparent.) Will I go on a mission? Will I get in to my dream school? Will I be okay away from home or will I revert back to my thumb-sucking, sippy-cup drinking days?

The whole graduation struggle is real, folks.

This year, I want to stop being such a scaredy cat. In years past, I've spent a lot of time feeling guilty for being afraid. If I am to be a brave ninja warrior, I have to be courageous all the time and never be scared, right?

Wrong.

Remember this scripture from  2 Nephi 2:11?
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad . . . (neither tasty food, nor burnt Ramen, neither cowarding, nor courage).
Ok, so I might have added a few lines in there, but the point is if there weren't things to be afraid of, we could never have real courage.

I love this quote from Mark Twain:



Courage isn't about never being scared. It's about being afraid, looking your fears straight in the face, and going "nah-nah you can't get me" with your tongue sticking out anyway. It's knowing that things might go wrong, but trying your best regardless. It's being afraid, but pushing on.

But wait, there's more! Want to know how to make your courage stronger?

I'll tell you. Just follow a yellow brick road, meet a girl with a cute little dog and a blue gingham dress, go on a trek to Oz, and beg the wizard to make you brave.

I kid. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides us with something a bajillion times cooler than a wizard, a towering emerald city, or even sparkly red shoes.

Faith.

God has a plan for each and every one of us. As President Monson once said, He "is in the details of our lives". With this knowledge, we can take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, He will guide our paths and help us become who He wants to be. 

Faith is knowing that ice cream will melt, Ramen will burn, struggles will come, and times may be hard, but trusting in God and doing his will anyway. It's being scared, but knowing that God is more powerful than any struggle you might face and choosing faith over fear. It's believing that Heavenly Father is aware of your needs and will not require anything of you unless he ". . . prepare[s] a way for [you] that [you] may accomplish the thing which he commandeth. . .". In short, it's trusting God.

You know how super heroes can get an energy boost and then their powers are insanely strong? Faith is the energy boost of the courage-seeker's world. 

This year, I'm on a journey down a yellow brick road of sorts, but instead of a wizard I'm seeking counsel from my Father in Heaven. I'm learning how to trust Him and let Him shape my life. I'm discovering how to more fully utilize the atonement and find comfort through my Savior. And through all that, I'm learning how to have real courage. (And also, I'm on the hunt for some cute red sparkly shoes like Dorothy's, but that's another story.)

Here's to a 2015 full of fear-facing, courage-finding, faith-laden awesomeness (and unburnt Ramen).


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