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YA Weekly

Letting the Lord Write My Story

Alison Wood
11/29/21 | 4 min read
When my own plans fell to pieces, I realized I needed to let the Savior into my life.

I have always been a planner. I like making schedules, fussing over details, and seeing things turn out just the way I want them to.

This is a useful skill a lot of the time. I’m good at getting enough sleep, turning homework assignments in on time, and feeling prepared for big events. But it’s also a bad thing sometimes—the world is messy and imperfect, and I’m not always great at adapting to inconveniences or changes in my carefully laid plans.

General conference was a wake-up call for me. Up to that point, I hadn’t considered that my planning process didn’t involve my Heavenly Father very much. I was picking out the life that I wanted, and I’d forgotten to include Him in the process.

When Plans Didn’t Go Right

When I was engaged to my now husband, I had a detailed plan for how our lives would look after we got married. He was going to take a gap year while I finished my undergraduate degree, and then we would both apply to graduate schools, get in somewhere together, and continue pursuing our goals.

The first couple of months started off perfectly. I was enjoying my classes, he was preparing for graduation, and we were loving married life. But things quickly strayed from the script in my head; COVID-19 hit just two months after we were married, and I also started having frequent, unexplained migraines.

All the extracurriculars that I had planned for my senior year of college were canceled, and even the things I could still do, like my classes and job, were extremely difficult with my migraines. My husband graduated and got a job that took him out of the house, so on top of everything else, I was lonely as I lived and worked alone in my basement apartment all day. I ended up pushing off grad school for a year because I was too sick to put together applications.

Our plan was completely turned on its head. Our lives looked nothing like I’d hoped they would when I first got married. I was angry and frustrated about all the big things I couldn’t control, and I became obsessed with the little things that I could control. I was determined to get our lives back on track through sheer force of will.

And our lives did get better, slowly. After receiving a priesthood blessing during one of my worst migraine episodes, I found a lot of ways to reduce the frequency and severity of my migraines. Things slowly started to open up as vaccines became more available, and I wasn’t so lonely.

Wanting to Write My Own Story

But I was still hoping to get my life back to its old predictability. Even if things had been delayed for a year, I wanted the plans to fall back into place and keep going the way I’d intended them to. I still approached the October 2021 general conference hoping that I would leave it with a solid plan for how to keep our lives from getting so chaotic again. In my mind, the messages I would hear and the inspiration I would receive would help me outline a plan that I could then tweak, perfect, and carry out myself.

Instead, I felt compelled to ask myself the question that Sister Camille N. Johnson, Primary General President, asked all of us: “Will you invite [the Savior] to be the author and finisher of your story?”1

I was, as Sister Johnson explained, comfortable with my own version of my story. It was true that I wanted good things, and the story I was trying to write heavily involved what I’d learned from the gospel, but I still wanted to do it myself. At best, I wanted Jesus Christ to be my copy editor, someone who perfected the product that I created on my own.

But, as I’ve learned in the year leading up to this conference, life can throw some pretty major plot twists at us, and the short-sighted author with a mortal perspective is inevitably left confused and disillusioned. No matter how hard we try, we can’t account for everything.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

A big step toward letting the Lord write my future story has been reflecting on the last year and seeing what He did with my ruined plans in the past. Though my husband and I aren’t in grad school like we thought we’d be, we’re really enjoying this one year where neither of us has any homework and we have time to strengthen our relationship with each other and with the Lord. As the worst of my migraines have subsided, I’ve found increased joy in things I used to rarely think about—working at a computer for a few hours at a time or planning trips without worrying that I’ll have to cancel at the last minute.

I’m still a planner. I still like to make schedules and feel prepared. But I also feel ready to give up some of my control to my Savior and let Him write a story that might be different from what I’d imagined. Being prayerful in the planning process and embracing divine revisions is a lot easier when I remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ already know the ending. My hope is that as we listen to the Spirit, “we will feel the Master’s hand writing our stories with us.”2

Discover More

You can find more articles from young adults on general conference in this month’s YA Weekly, located in the Gospel Library under Magazines or Adults > Young Adults.

You can submit your own article, ideas, or feedback at liahona.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!


1. Camille N. Johnson, “Invite Christ to Author Your Story,” Liahona, Nov. 2021, 80.
2. Camille N. Johnson, “Invite Christ to Author Your Story,” 81.

Alison Wood
Church MagazinesAlison Wood is an editorial intern for the Church magazines. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s often practicing the violin or playing pickleball with her husband. She loves attending the temple and serving as the ward Primary pianist.