26 March 2013

"That is why they need you."

 Detail of a painting by my brother Jason Benkenstein

It was the morning after one of my breakdowns.
I had spent the previous night crying and worrying and contemplating quitting school. Jeff spent the night trying to calm me down. I didn't really want to go to American Lit that morning because I was short on sleep and pleasant emotions, but I did.

Once class officially began, my teacher started off with a story. He usually started off with stories, but this one was different. He told us how he had insomnia and when he couldn't sleep, his thoughts usually wandered to ways he could help his students. He said that he thought about how he became a professor at BYU-Idaho. Then he said that he didn't know why, but he felt strongly impressed that he needed to share the story of how he got to Rexburg with us.
My professor was teaching at a university in Egypt, but was really wanting to come back to the States. He was sitting at his computer one night looking at a job position at BYU-Idaho. He kept feeling prompted by the Spirit to apply but kept arguing it. He didn't think BYU-Idaho would fly someone all the way from Egypt to Rexburg for an interview. The Spirit kept on urging him to apply. He kept on with his rebuttals. Finally my professor admitted, "I just wouldn't fit in there." The Spirit replied, "That is why they need you."
Almost immediately I heard that still, small voice whisper, "Do it for Jason." My heart and my tear ducts became so full. My prayers, verbal and silent, that questioned if and why I should remain enrolled in school were undoubtedly answered.
My wise teacher concluded with saying again that he didn't know why, but he knew he needed to share that story. He told us that there were probably many of us who felt like they didn't fit the BYU-Idaho stereotype. He said that maybe that is why we were meant to come here. He encouraged us to be true to ourselves and to do all we could to improve upon who we already were as individuals. Then he started that day's lesson plan.

After that any of the many times I thought about quitting school, I kept going. I knew that I had to keep going so I could show my BFA. For Jason.

I'm sure there were others that greatly benefited from my professor candidly telling us about a very spiritual moment in his life, but I mostly felt like he was inspired to tell it just for me. I know that it was not coincidence that he decided to tell that story that day. I do not think that it was by any sort of chance that the night I was literally crying to the Lord about my school situation was the same night my professor thought to share his story of why he is at BYU-Idaho.

I am so grateful for Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayers. I am so grateful for people who are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit and are not afraid to yield to those promptings. I am grateful that I have been prepared through so many ways and by so many people for this phase of my life.

"The Lord does notice us and he watches 
over us. But it is usually through another 
person that he meets our needs. Therefore 
it is vital that we serve each other." 
--Spencer W. Kimball via this devotional

I had written this a couple years ago, but never posted it. I guess I thought it was too personal or too much to share. I know, right. It's easy for me to be open about some things at certain times, but not others.
I'm still learning from this experience. Like how great it is that we are all unique.

Adjacent thought:
"The Lord did not people the earth with a 
vibrant orchestra of personalities only to 
value the piccolos of the world. Every 
instrument is precious and adds to the 
complex beauty of the symphony. All of 
Heavenly Father’s children are different in 
some degree, yet each has his own beautiful 
sound that adds depth and richness to 
the whole."
--Joseph B. Wirthlin

(Sorry if you don't understand the Mormon jargon. We believe the Holy Ghost aka the Spirit, the third member of the godhead, can give us personal revelation and inspiration from God. If you have more questions, you can ask them.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad this happened. God loves you and He knows how many people need you in their loves, including me. Love you forever.