Ahhh... Today, as I get ready to go I feel a little... terrified. I think it has all of the sudden hit me that this is real. I still can't believe I'm here, and it is especially weird because I feel like I'm never the one moving my own feet. At least I am repeatedly reassured by that. I can't really explain the contradictions I have felt within my own little self, and the inner-battles I've had, but this week I was reminded of one of my favorite discourses ever given, and I think it puts into perspective what the Lord intends for each of us.
Our teacher, Hermana Vidrio (she's amazing), showed us the Mormon Message Video (look it up on Youtube) made to follow the address given by Elder Christofferson about the gardener that prunes his bush.
Sometime in life we feel cut-down, or left to struggle alone. I can admit that I have said before in prayers, words similar to those that Elder Christofferson uses: "How could you do this to me, Lord? How could you bring me so low? Why do you keep cutting me down?"
But most often, it is not until after those kind of hard things in our life that we can realize and appreciate those experiences for what they are.
At Christ's tomb, Mary thought she had seen the Gardner. Contrary to what many may glean from that scripture, I don't think she was mistaken in whom she saw.
She saw the same who created the Garden of Eden, overcame the Garden of Gethsemane, and condemned the barren fig tree. The Same Gardner who has planted this seed of faith in me, which, for me, is growing into the Tree of Life. The Master of the Vineyard.
He is the Gardner who loves us enough to cut us down, always in the most precise and calculated ways, so that we are able to grow in the way He intends for us to grow. And I love Him for it.
It's kind of like when Bilbo Baggins (yes, we're using Lord of the Rings this week) is reading the long list of everything that could go wrong.
I'm excited to go on this adventure.