During high school, I had the hopes of going on to study art at a prestigious art school. I knew my family couldn’t afford it and so my only chance was to receive a full ride scholarship at the state art competition my senior year. For four years I had been preparing for that competition. There would first be a preliminary judging within our school to determine who would compete on the state level.
I found out right before the preliminary competition that the big senior trip to the temple for the youth of my church was scheduled for the same dates as the state art competition. I was so bummed. I had been looking forward to having this faith building experience with my friends and classmates. I did not want to have to choose between the two.
I thought I could decide after the preliminary judging to see if I even qualified for the state competition. When my art teacher informed me that I had to make a decision before the preliminary competition I was furious.
I remember going home mad, frustrated, and discouraged. I wanted each of the trips so badly and knew I couldn’t have them both. I had to choose. Although I had been working toward the state competition for four years, internally I knew I should put God first in my life. As stayed up crying that night, I read my scriptures and prayed, hoping for some answers. How will I pay for school if I don’t have a scholarship? How will I be able to pursue art? I know I should put God first. Isn’t this an exception where He’ll understand? It was then that some particular verses of scripture jumped out at me.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink... Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet, I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more cloth you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself...
It hit me. I felt Him telling me this personally. “Shalae, do not worry about it. Do not worry about how you will pay for school, do not worry about your art. I am in control. I know that you need these things. Seek Me first, do My will and I will take care of you.” I have never forgotten that moment and I’ve never forgotten how I felt. I felt peace. It would be OK.
I returned the next day and told my teacher I would not be competing. I went on my youth trip and had a wonderful experience.
Now did it work out? Did He take care of me? Yes, in more ways than I could have ever dreamed of. I went through five years of college with school paid for in art scholarships and other means that I never had considered or anticipated. I have seen His hand numerous times. Since I have been married, we have seen these same blessings when we have had trying times and tried to do His will, instead of worrying about the money. We have had checks just arrive in the mail from anonymous sources. We have had opportunities here and there to earn a little money on the side. We’ve been able to sell vehicles or land that we owned when money was tight. We found Scrap Girls. We’ve made it through another five years of school, four kids and have had all of our needs taken care of.
He keeps His promises. In this world of competition, of financial stresses, and of overworking, all for the money to “take care of our needs and wants,” He promises us the same. Do not worry. I’m in control. I know what you need. Seek Me instead and you’ll be taken care of.
Those scriptures and the song “Consider the Lilies” always reassure me when life and money get tight, when things get stressful and we aren’t sure how we are going to make it another semester or have another child. He comes along and brings us miracles. I know He can bring you miracles too, if you let Him.
Supplies Used: Fall Watercolors Collection Mini, ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Artistic Edges, Bursting Collection, ScrapSimple Paper Templates: Watercolors.