Pretend like it's a hot day, and so you decide to go swimming at the lake. So you get there, and you see this sign and it says: "DANGER: WHIRLPOOL. DO NOT SWIM."
Well, now you have a few options. If you DON'T go swimming, then you can play on the shore. Or go hiking. Or climb a tree. Heck, you can go hang-gliding! Fly an airplane! :D Or you can go back home, work on a craft, listen to music, or go hand out with friends. You can go out to lunch. You can play lazer tag. You could even go swimming in an indoor pool! You can do anything your heart desires. You have options.
But what if you decided to go swimming anyway? Well, then you wouldn't have quite so many options. You could try to swim your way out of the whirlpool. You could cry for help. Either way, it's going to be hard.
Well, God's commandments are like that sign. They warn us of danger so we don't go swimming in a whirlpool. Consequently, we are free to do other things. Safe things. Happy things. :) But the choice is entirely ours. God gave us our agency to choose. Do with that what you will. :)
Guess what? I am getting transferred. We got the calls last night. I had a mini freak-out moment, because I was so sure that I was staying. I still feel very attached to my area and the people here. I've bonded. I love them. I thought I would stay to take care of them for longer, but clearly God has somewhere else for me to be.
Transfers are a strange things. Well, mission life in general is strange, but transfers are strange. :) They require a lot of trust in God. If it was up to me, I would have chosen to stay here because of the bond I've formed with some of the people in this area. I knew when I met them that God had placed me here so that I could meet them. They've influenced me, and I hope I've influenced them for the better. If it was up to me, I would stay here and continue to serve them.
But Heavenly Father knows all His children. And somewhere in this Arizona Gilbert Mission is a new area, with new people for me to meet. God has this all figured out, and I just have to trust Him. It's strange to know thatI'll be going somewhere, but I don't know where yet. It's strange to think that that somewhere will become my new home, with new challenges and new blessings.
Strange, but in a good way. I know I'll be going where I'm needed. And I'm excited. I'm going to try my hardest to be a blessing to my new area and new companion. :)
I just want you people to know that I know that Jesus Christ lives and He loves you. I spent a good amount of time reflecting on that this week. Christ endured some very unendurable things. Why? He had the power to stop it. But if He didn't suffer the pain of our sins, then we would all be lost. And He loved us. Losing us would have been too high a cost. That love is what gave Him the strength to endure.
He loves you. Don't forget that. Even when things are unimaginable hard, and it feels like you are being attacked on every side, your Savior loves you.
And I love you too. :)
Sincerely, Sister Ball