Today’s Wednesday story is so wonderful! Have you ever struggled with remembering who you are as a child of a loving God? Emily LeMoine can relate. She shares her personal journey about being rescued and finding the sure knowledge that God is real, and that He loves and knows her personally. Just as He knows each one of us and loves us completely. Here’s a little about Emily. I would encourage you to follow her on IG and follow her blog. She is a light that shines in this world and uses her voice to uplift!
Emily LeMoine (@emilylemoine22) is a Communication Specialist from Phoenix, AZ – although she still claims Idaho as home! She loves to keep things fun and silly, but she has made it her mission to remind women who they are and what they are capable of becoming with God’s help.
Emily created Light the Way Project (@lightthewayproject) in 2016 as a senior project at BYU-Idaho. She’s used this platform to uplift, edify and spread light online. She talks about faith, hope, trials, infertility and finding strength in Christ. Her testimony means the world to her, and she welcomes any opportunity to share it. She enjoys public speaking, writing, diet beverages of any kind and Harry Potter.
Emily recently started her own blog, which you can find here: https://emilylemoine.wordpress.com/
Here’s her story:
“Joseph Smith once said, “It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me?” (Joseph Smith—History 1:20).
I have always related to that sentiment.
Growing up, I was the happy-go-lucky girl that loved making people laugh. I had an enthusiasm for life and was full of energy.
But from a young age, the adversary worked on me. I’d make a mistake or poor decision, and I let him convince me that I was a bad person. Year after year, this pattern continued and seeped into my identity.
But I had a little warrior spirit, and I was determined not to let it keep me down.
I had a thirst for excelling, and I became involved to the max. Cheerleading, track, softball, gymnastics, student government, national honors society, newspaper … you name it.
From the outside, I looked like I had it all together – lots of friends, accomplishments, boyfriends, a supportive family, a positive attitude. Little did anyone know that, on the inside, I was struggling to the very core of my being.
I grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and my faith had always been a central part of who I was. But after years of destructive thoughts and behavior, I gave in to the idea that I was too far gone, incapable of change.
My parents would often tell me that I was amazing and destined for great things. Oh, how this made me cringe! I knew what they were saying wasn’t true, and it hurt to know that I’d never measure up to their perception of me.
I believed the adversary’s lies, and in time, forgot who I truly was.
I felt utterly alone, totally broken, completely trapped, and downright depressed. I hid behind the mask of achievement, smiles and laughter, when in reality, I often cried myself to sleep.
That is, until six years ago.
“The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
It started with a simple desire – a desire to triumph over the adversary and change for good. A desire to tap into my warrior roots, bury my weapons of war and come closer to God. But this time around, I was determined to do whatever it took
It was at this time that I felt prompted to transfer from Utah State University to Brigham Young University – Idaho (a decision I would later thank myself a thousand times over for!!!)
My desire to come closer to God started to work in me and grow. It swelled within my soul. The gospel began to shift from a mere desire to a need. It started to become essential to my well-being.
During this time, I prayed harder than I ever had, followed the commandments closer than I ever had, and relied on God more than I ever had. And you know what? It felt oh so good.
That is, until I started noticing some drastic changes in my life.
I soon realized that I was on a splitting pathway that would eventually divide me from many of my loved ones.
I had to pause and question, “Wait, is this what I really want?”
In due time, the pathway emerged into a clearly marked fork in the road. I alone was left to decide which way to go.
I could no longer sit on the fence; I had to choose. And yet, the decision seemed impossible to make on my own.
Being clouded with confusion, uncertainty and doubt, I had no idea how to proceed forward. I prayed and prayed to know what to do, but I felt like God wasn’t answering my prayers.
It left me to wonder, “Has he left me alone?”
The words of Joseph Smith rang true, yet again. I knew that “…if any person needed wisdom from God, I did; for how to act I did not know, and unless I could get more wisdom than I then had, I would never know…” (Joseph Smith—History 1:12).
I was truly in the pit of despair, frozen with indecision and pleading to God with all my heart to give me an answer.
It was at this time, a miracle happened. Heavenly Father sent my warrior rescue squad.
Angels – literal angels – came from both sides of the veil to rally around me, to bear me up and help me find the clarity I desperately needed.
Had I done anything special to deserve this rescue? Most certainly not. But I had desired it, and for Him, that was enough. Not to mention, I had a pretty incredible mother who was praying for my rescue. I like to think that her Alma-like faith had something to do with it, too.
“The sheep is worthy of divine rescue simply because it is loved by the Good Shepherd.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
With time, I knew exactly what path I needed to pursue. It would prove to be the hardest decision I had ever made, and I’d have to leave behind people I dearly loved. But I knew it to be right.
As soon as I made my decision, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace. True, lasting peace. Before this moment, I had never known what that felt like. It lasted the entire day.
While the future remained unknown, I knew this was the confirmation I needed to finally take action and move forward with faith.
And so, I leaped forward…
There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This step forward proved to be the greatest decision I ever made. I trusted in Heavenly Father, and He has continued to light my path ever since.
I feel forever grateful that, in my hour of need, my Savior reached out His hand and grasped onto mine. He painstakingly pulled me up out of the abyss with His own strength.
I could not have done this alone.
He patiently waited for me to reach outward, and there He was with arms wide open.
As the Savior held me in His arms and carried me home, I was encircled by His love and strength. The farther we journeyed, the more clarity I felt. Little by little, I gained understanding, light and healing.
“Line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30).
It didn’t come all at once. In fact, the process is still ongoing. But in time, I could stand on my own two feet and labor alongside my Savior loving and lifting the wounded souls.
To those going through darkness of any kind, I repeat the words of Elder Uchtdorf:
“Because He loves you, He will find you. He will place you upon His shoulders, rejoicing. And when He brings you home, He will say to one and all, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.’”
There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope and happiness ahead. I’m living proof.
The hardest trial in my life turned into one of my greatest blessings, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I grew closer than ever to my family, I felt closer to God than I had in my entire life, and I can say that I have even started to love myself again.
Remember when I said that I would thank myself a thousand times over for transferring to BYU-Idaho? It’s because this beautiful university allowed me to meet the man of my dreams. He showed me what a man of God is – not a perfect man, but a man truly striving to do good and be good. In 2014, we were married. He has been my greatest happiness.
After trying to have kids for 3.5 years and two rounds of IVF this past year, I can officially say that we are expecting our first baby in June! I could not be more excited to meet her.
I’m so glad that God doesn’t always give us what we want – He tells us to wait, be patient and ends up giving us something far greater than we could ever imagine. I’m grateful that He knows the beginning from the end. He is in charge, and He does have a plan for our lives.
He can and will transform us into happier, more loving people. He will turn our sorrows into joys. I can happily declare that I have never felt more joy in my life than I do in this moment.
From this experience, I have gained an unshakable testimony that:
- God knows each one of us, individually, and He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
- He hears the silent pleadings of our heart, and He will answer our prayers.
- He will work miracles on our behalf; He will send angels to help us on our journey.
- He is always there for us. Always.
- We are never too far gone; we are never too far from God’s love and forgiveness.
- We are choice sons and daughters of God saved for this time to do an incredible work.
“So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow and forever.” – Jeffrey R. Holland“
As you can gather, Emily is amazing! I’m so thankful for her words of encouragement. I think many of us can understand the sorrow of feeling alone and the joy of feeling found. And if you are feeling alone, I hope that you will gain strength from Emily’s words. Just reach out. He is waiting to take your hand. Sometimes, even the best warriors need rescuing.
Life is Good. Share the Good.