When I was 30, my friend asked me some questions that changed my life. He asked, “If you had all the money in the world, what would you do?” I gave some simple answers, like buy a house, look after my family, be self-reliant, etc.
Then he dug deeper and asked, “What if you had all those things and all the money in the world, then what would you do?” That’s when I realized that regardless of my marital status, I had a lot to give to the world. I thought about the things I could learn and share and the difference and impact I could make.
My dream as a young adult was to find a spouse and marry in the temple and start a family. I thought this was my only purpose. So when that wasn’t happening, I wondered, “If getting married is the most important thing in life, then why haven’t I had that opportunity?”
After my friend asked me those questions, I finally understood what the true purpose of life is. I still believe that getting married and having children is central to Heavenly Father’s eternal plan for each of us, but I’ve realized it’s not the whole plan.
We’re here on this earth to grow, share truth, follow Jesus Christ, and ultimately return to Heavenly Father (see Alma 34:32).
So, with that in mind, I started to pray and ask God to help me find my purpose and my strengths. Prayer and my own efforts to try new hobbies and increase my faith revealed my purpose over time. I realized I had great faith in Jesus Christ. And part of my purpose and plan on earth is helping others develop and strengthen their faith in Him too. This truth has brought me great direction in my life and helped me focus on becoming who He wants me to be.
When I was in my 20s, many of my conversations revolved around being single. I only focused on my “sad” circumstances. Now I’ve learned that it’s good to aim toward marriage, but I can simultaneously pursue other purposes and opportunities.
If you aren’t sure what you should be doing right now, President Russell M. Nelson has offered some advice on where to start:
“Ask your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ how He feels about you and your mission here on earth. If you ask with real intent, over time the Spirit will whisper the life-changing truth to you. …
“I promise you that when you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what He is counting on you to do for Him, your life will never be the same!” (“Stand as True Millennials,” Ensign, Oct. 2016, 27).
Those words are so profound.
While I have ideas of what I want in life (which are awesome, in my opinion!) God knows more than I do. And His plan will take me down greater paths than I had imagined for myself.
Aligning myself with Heavenly Father’s plan for me was hard at first. I had to be open to new ideas, new visions, and new hopes. It hurt sometimes when life wasn’t turning out how I had planned. My patriarchal blessing made specific promises that weren’t coming to fruition. But I stopped worrying when I finally let go of my own ideas and decided to trust that all my promised blessings will be fulfilled—because I know they will in His timing.
If we trust and focus on Heavenly Father’s whole plan for us, we will have the everlasting joy He promises us (see 2 Nephi 2:25). We will find our personal missions. We will become who He wants us to become. And at the same time, we will be preparing ourselves for all of our eternal blessings—including marriage.
Because of this change in perspective, I’ve found true joy in my life. I don’t know all the answers, but He continues to shed light on my life little by little.