How Education—and Faith—Has Helped Me Deal with Uncertainty
March 2023

Digital Only: Young Adults

How Education—and Faith—Has Helped Me Deal with Uncertainty

After tearing my ACL, I wasn’t sure what the future looked like, but that experience led me to more than I could’ve imagined.

fingers holding a circular polarizer filter in front of a winter landscape

I remember coming home from the hospital that day. My parents helped me out of the car, through the house, and onto my bed. I remember lying there, feeling helpless for the first time in my life.

I grew up playing sports. I even hoped to run track in college someday. But toward the end of high school, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in my knee—for the second time. This required several surgeries and over a year of rehab to fix. My first surgery was right before I graduated, and I had to stay home while my friends started the next chapter of their lives studying at new colleges, serving missions, and moving to exciting cities. My future, once secure, was now full of uncertainty.

Admittedly, I knew these challenges were not unique or extraordinary, but they were my challenges—and they were hard! My immediate reaction was to reach out for any sense of certainty and create plans for my future. But in that process of striving for personal assurance or security, a process that is still continuing today, I’ve learned a few things.

Opportunity in Uncertainty

A wise bishop once told me, “One of the purposes of the gospel is not to remove our challenges but to help us overcome them.”

If we seek to learn from uncertainty, rather than avoid it, our experiences can help us draw closer to the Savior. Psychologists have even suggested that living with moderate uncertainty is the best place to be for personal growth.1 But ultimately, we deal with uncertainty by embracing it with faith.

BYU–Pathway Worldwide President Brian K. Ashton once said: “Move forward in faith. If you can’t see the solution to your problems now, believe that those solutions will come as you move forward if you are doing what God wants you to do.”2 Uncertainty is best handled when we confidently act, learning as we go, while trusting that God will assist us as we rely on Him.

Education Can Make Our Futures More Certain

Education has played an important role in helping me understand uncertainty. While I was recovering from surgery, I began taking Brigham Young University–Idaho courses online. I initially wasn’t sure if online learning was right for me, but the incredible experiences I had quickly changed my opinion.

I learned a lot from my classmates who were in different circumstances. My education helped me to think differently about myself and the world around me, and my priorities started changing. I began to enjoy learning rather than passively going through the motions, and the gospel of Jesus Christ had more significance in my life.

Without my education, I would not be who I am today. I believe that my decision to serve a full-time mission was because of those courses. I believe God was guiding me and will continue to work with me as I have faith in Him.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

While the future is still filled with uncertainty, it isn’t as uncomfortable for me anymore. My experiences have strengthened my relationship with God and have helped me change my approach to life. Rather than overthinking everything (something I’m a master of), I’ve realized that sometimes I just need to act. This is not a carefree attitude, but confidence that I now know Heavenly Father will help me, inspire me, and open doors of opportunity for me as I step forward in faith.

President Russell M. Nelson recently said, “Positive spiritual momentum will keep us moving forward amid … fear and uncertainty.”3 With the momentum I’ve gained, the cloud of uncertainty has been replaced with a bright hope for the future. Looking back, I’ve realized that God has been with me—maybe not in the ways I’d expected, but He’s always been there in the way I needed Him most.


  1. See Ronald A. Beghetto and Garrett J. Jaeger, Uncertainty: A Catalyst for Creativity, Learning and Development (Springer International Publishing AG, 2022), 3.

  2. Brian K. Ashton, “Learning is a Spiritual Endeavor” (Brigham Young University–Pathway Worldwide, April 30, 2019), 2, byupathway.org.

  3. Russell M. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum,” Liahona, May 2022, 98.