I hadn't planned on writing tonight, but my heart is full and my mind is racing. School has been in session now about 3 weeks (it's bad...I've already lost track of time). I am SO grateful that I didn't finish my degree when I started school as an 18 year old. Waiting almost 10 years certainly isn't the right path for everyone, but then again neither is finishing in four years. I don't regret starting, or attending a couple of semesters. I learned SOOO much! Also, if I hadn't started when I had, I wouldn't be able to be online now! It's truly remarkable how that worked out. Another testimony to me of just how much Heavenly Father loves me! Also a reminder that He is always in charge, even though I think I'm driving. :)
One of the courses I'm taking is called Family Foundations. For the basis of this class, we are using The Family: A Proclamation to the World. If you've not read it before, I invite you to do so now. Family has always been important to me, but I'm learning so quickly just how important it is in the eternal scheme of things. Heavenly Father didn't just throw together some plan and decide that this unit we call a family might work. This is an eternal pattern. We are all part of God's family. He wants us to create our families and his ultimate goal is for each of us to live ETERNALLY in our families! That's sort of a HUGE deal! Like I said, I always knew it was important, but I didn't really get it. I would imagine that I'm just now scratching the surface of understanding.
Though I've always wanted to be married and to have a family, in recent months I've found myself wondering if that was really what I wanted. I think its safe to say that ultimately I knew I did, but I was scared. I see so many unhappy marriages, so many broken homes, so many bad relationships between spouses and between parents and children. But as I've studied and prayed, and now as I study for this class, there is NOTHING more that I want in my life. I may not have those blessings now, but I can live for it, and I can stand for it, I can teach the importance of it to the children I'm with in Primary, and hopefully live as an example of it.
I had a stake president (the leader of many local congregations, called wards) tell us once that each individual is a family in embryo. Satan's goal is to destroy the family and to make a mockery of the law of chastity. Sure, he is attacking families and trying to tear them apart. But he is also trying to influence those of us who are single into staying that way, to convince us that being a part of a marriage/family isn't what we want, and that marriage isn't actually essential.
I KNOW that families are central to God's plan for His children. I may be single, but I am a family in embryo. That means that I'm living for my family right now. The person I spent years thinking I wanted to be as a wife and mother, well, I should be that person NOW! And I'm happy to report that I'm well on my way. I've spent the better part of a year focusing on that goal specifically and I'm so glad. I'm still unfinished, but I'm moving in the right direction. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the importance of families!!