How can I want revelation when revelation led me here?

I’ve always tried to follow revelation as best as I could. When I recognized I should do something, I did it with the expectation good would come of it.

While talking with my bishop yesterday, he said I should seek revelation about dating. That set me off and contributed nastily to the spiral I was already in.

How I can I want to seek revelation when following revelation is what landed me in the situation I’m in now? How can it possibly be a good thing to specifically seek revelation about dating when the last time I did that I was in a relationship for 16 months that I was expecting never to end? How can I seek for revelation when I was told in words as clear as “if you both work hard at it, you’ll have a very good marriage” and then not have that ever happen–God knowing full well that the girl is/was not in a place where she trusts herself enough to be in a relationship of that level of commitment?

How can I trust God not to put me through the ringer again when He knew the outcome of that revelation that started this entire experience more than two years ago? How can I want to seek divine guidance when I followed it to become a teacher and then had to leave for my sanity’s sake?

How can I want to do that to myself again? How can I want to seek for something that theoretically makes my life better when for the last year doing what I felt inspired to do has left me a humiliated shell of who I was?

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Given a choice, I would never go back and change the decisions I made. Starting to date the girl based on revelation was the best decision I made to that point in my life. God knew how strongly I’d fall for her. He knew that giving me clear revelation about our potential future would cause me to do certain things. I wouldn’t trade those 16 months for anything.

Revelation gave me the best things I have in life. Revelation also caused me to end the relationship when she didn’t have the strength to. Revelation encouraged me to leave my job and protect what little of me there was left. Revelation helps me rebuild myself each day.

Trusting Father is difficult. I don’t expect He’s enjoyed watching me suffer. I don’t expect He will stop my suffering, either. I have some expectation that, no matter what, He is in charge, and because He is good, the things He gives me can only be for good.

The things I’ve been asked to do, and the consequences of my actions have been more difficult than I ever expected I would deal with. I daily ask for strength to deal with the difficulties of that day. Asking for more is thinking too far ahead.

But I don’t want to again go through what I’ve been through. I don’t want to have my heart and my being torn out and shredded into pieces. Thinking of that and considering it as a possibility causes me to spiral out of control. But if I must go through it, I will. Jesus drank His bitter cup. Mine is not the bitter cup of the world’s sin, pain, illness, and struggle. Mine is specific to me. I may ask for its removal, as He did, but when faced with it, I will not shrink.

Writing for a purpose

One of my players had me review a paper she wrote recently. It was for school and discussed the hardest event of her life. 

As I looked it over, I contemplated the reasons I write. First and foremost, I write for me. I write because it calms me by providing me perspective. It’s something I was taught to do at a young age. I rarely read what I’ve written, but I write anyway. 

While talking with her, I realized I have other reasons I write as well. 

For many years we are forced to write for a grade. We do it because we are forced. That should not stop us from writing when we leave school. While we talked, I told her,

I didn’t understand there were reasons to write beyond The Grade when I was in high school. Now I realize I can write to create art, to tell a Truth, to tell a story, to inspire, and to heal myself. 

While at church this week, I talked to another friend about writing. I write to communicate better. I write to understand myself. I write for me. But I hope I write for you, too. 

I can make choices, but I can’t see all the consequences of the choices

A few weeks ago I started dating a girl. It was a really positive experience for me and we complemented each other in many ways.

As time passed, I saw more and more that I was regressing into some traits I wasn’t comfortable with and realized that continuing the relationship would not continue to be positive for me.

I was faced with a pretty ugly decision. It has been many months since I felt as needed and as valued as I did with her. And I knew I would be giving that up to return to the dating world of talking with random (sometimes really odd) people at church, online dating, and tinder.

How do you even make a decision like that?

How do you balance the fact you feel valued and needed more than you have in a long time against the strong likelihood it will become more and more unhealthy for you over time? How do you balance the need you fill for the other person and the desire you have to fill that need against the need you have to stay mentally healthy? How do you deal with the knowledge that you’re going to drastically hurt someone?

Making hard decisions sucks.

And you never know what will come from them. At what point will God stop opening doors? Will He ever? Will He be here for the person you hurt? Will He be there to comfort you in all the pain you pull onto yourself in that moment and for the days and weeks afterward?

Will He trust you to meet and become friends with or date someone else after doing what you did?

Probably.

I tried to follow inspiration. I had some ideas what were most important in my life and what Father wanted me to do. But most of it was based on what I felt I needed, on what I wanted to do.

I made a choice. I knew some consequences. I haven’t seen them all yet.

I’ve made a lot of choices recently. I quit my dream job. I don’t know what will come of that. But I relied on what I felt was right and the inspiration I received.

I can’t see what comes from my choices, but I can trust they are good and Father will make something positive out of them.

Dear sister in the parking lot

I saw a sister walking at the front of the building as I drove into the church parking lot today. When I walked to the back door, she passed me again and I saw her face. I glimpsed it for only second, but there was anguish laced across it and she was on the verge of tears.

I did the normal smile-just-before-you-pass-and-then-put-your-head-down. However, before I started that process, though I saw her face and realized my smile would have little effect. I felt as though I should ask, “Can I do anything for you?”

But I didn’t. I let the moment pass.

It would have been weird to ask a complete stranger what I could do for her. She could have taken it wrong. I might have been embarrassed. She might have ignored me and passed by still sobbing.

All that might have happened. And all of it has happened in my mind many times since passing her by. But more importantly I’ve realized something more embarrassing occurred: I chose not to follow a prompting.

It was small. It was quick. It required immediate response. I didn’t jump at the chance, and I should have.

Although I regret not following the prompting, I take major comfort in one thing: I recognized it. For a lot of months, I was so embattled within my own head that I couldn’t recognize pain in others’ faces. I wasn’t receiving promptings to help others because I wasn’t in a good place myself.

So I rejoice that I saw another’s pain and received a prompting to do something about it, and I recognize the next step: acting on it and doing something about the prompting.

My dear sister whom I saw in the parking lot,

I’m sorry I saw your pain and felt prompted to ask whether I could do anything for you and did nothing. There are a lot of things that went through my head in that split second, and none of them are adequate excuses for not acting.

I’ve thought about you during every moment of the meeting, I’ve prayed for you that my missed chance will not negatively affect you, and you’ve been the muse for a blog post. So maybe two people beside me will pray for you also (my blog doesn’t have a consistent readership), but that’s two more than you had, so maybe that’s not nothing.

I don’t know why you are pained. I hope Father wrapped his arms around you since I passed you by, and I hope you’ve been courageous enough to reach out to friends.

It isn’t as meaningful now, and it doesn’t help you now, but I pledge to be stronger in the future and to follow promptings in the moment they come.

You likely hold no grudge or ill will against me, but I hope you forgive me for passing you by and not reflecting you Father’s love with anything more than a smile.

I wish you the best, Anonymous Sister.

Lee J Hinkle