By Nicole Marie Hilton, January 25, 2020
Three types of voices compete for our thoughts: promptings from the Light, confusion and deception from the opposition, and our own voice. Promptings from the Light gently lead us toward greater freedom, peace, and joy. The dark side will play into our ego, urges, and worldly wants to lead us to a loss of freedom, distraction, and unhappiness. Learning to discern between these voices is the most critical tool in overcoming our captivity. Seeking for and heeding promptings from the Light is the quickest path to knowing God and discovering how much he loves us. By following my spiritual promptings, Heavenly Father was able to effortlessly upgrade my joy and my ability to serve.
This morning I had to choose between two activities—a funeral of someone I barely knew, but whom I wanted to support, and a fascinator class I desperately needed. Later in the day, I had plans to attend a Single Adult church get-together at the bowling alley with dinner afterwards at 4 pm.
Suddenly, my morning options were sidelined by a text from Sarah—an invite to come hiking in Zion National Park! So I dropped everything and ended up switching cars with my mom, taking my dogs, and driving three girls and a guy up to Zion, where we hiked three different trails and had a lot of fun.
The whole morning, Sarah had been talking about Sushi Burrito—a food place I had introduced to this same group a couple months before when we took a temple trip up to Cedar City. She said, “I swear, I want Sushi Burrito so bad, I’m going to go all the way to Cedar City after this, and I’m going to get one! Or, how about we go right now?”
I thought about it, weighing the risk of burning up too much of my mom’s gas, spending the last of my money, and missing the bowling against the yummy goodness of sushi burrito. I didn’t have to think too long before I felt something in my gut firmly say NO, thus helping me decide against driving everyone up to Cedar City.
So then Sarah came up with plan B—maybe I could go bowling, but then meet up with them and go to Cedar instead of doing dinner with the Single Adult group. I felt this was definitely an option.
So we finished hiking in time for me to get back with just barely enough time to drop everyone off back at their cars, race home to drop off the dogs, and then race to the bowling alley where…I proceeded to find no one there.
Well, there were people. Just not my people. I sat on one of the swiveling chairs, thinking…what the crap? Why was there this gut feeling, that I just HAD to get to this bowling activity—against all odds? Why didn’t I go to Sushi Burrito?
Nevertheless, I kept sitting there; I just had this feeling that I needed to.
Then, in walks *Bethany, fifteen minutes late—to the activity she organized, mind you. She looked stressed. She and I discussed our options and considered who else might be coming, but no one came.
We figured, since the whole activity was paid for, including dinner, and we were both famished, why not go out to eat?
I called Sarah and her group, and told them not to wait up for me and to go to Cedar City and Sushi Burrito without me.
Then Bethany recommended we go to Sakura, on of my favorite sushi places and a rare (and expensive) treat. I ordered my favorite things off the menu, we saw a great Habachi show, and I was able to comfort Bethany who told me she had experienced one of the worst weeks of her life. She had broken up with her boyfriend of two and a half years that week and had been really torn about it. I was able to commiserate with her and offer her consolation and advice. I told her that this was her last “red-flag relationship” before she found the one, and that I’m nearly always right when I have a strong feeling about these things—which I did right then.
We had a great talk while eating great food, and it was all paid for by the ward activity fund. We hugged in the parking lot, and she had a relieved look on her face. She said, “I really needed this.” I replied that I did, too.
As I drove away, I marveled that God had not only answered my hankering for sushi—for free, and with such class—but that he had prevented the following scene, which came into my mind: I pictured Bethany, at the end of the hardest week ever, walking into the bowling place, looking around, and finding no one at the activity she planned—me having ignored the spirit and gone off in a different direction to spend money I did not have for second class sushi I didn’t know I didn’t want.
I gripped the steering wheel and prayed as I drove: “Father, I don’t know how you make use of someone as disobedient and lost as I am, but despite all my stumbling through the fog of this world, somehow you still do. And I love you for it.”
*name has been changed