Before the semester started, I prayed for the opportunity to serve in the church and to help the members in my ward. With my crazy difficult class schedule, I wasn't sure what I was going to be called to do. I was called to be the first counselor of my Relief Society.
I mean, it could have been worse. I could have been called to be president, but both Relief Societies in my student ward already had a president from last semester. Dodged that bullet. Honestly, I can't be more grateful to get to serve. I love my role as a Latter-day Saint woman. I love knowing the divine potential I have as a daughter of God. I love reading Sheri Dew books and rambling to Ben about how strongly I feel as a woman of science and faith.
More importantly than any service I could do, I am grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to grow and stretch myself. I've been crazy stressed, and it's only been one week of the semester. I have more homework than I have hours in the day. I don't even have time to socialize or have fun or do anything related to the word "leisure" if I want to get all of my homework done.
I know that the Lord is aware of this. I know He knows I can hardly handle what I have already on my plate. He is aware of my every struggle and my every prayer and my every weak moment. And I know that He trusts that I can handle this calling.
In my Physics II class, we learned about fluids and elasticity. The interesting thing about solids is that they change under pressure. The main equation we learned for elasticity was Young's modulus:
F/A = Y (ΔL/L)
This looks a lot like pressure = Y (% increase in length). However, since we are talking about the elasticity of solid materials, "pressure" is referred to instead as "tensile stress" and the fractional increase in length is called "strain".
The interesting part comes in when considering how objects (steel, concrete, copper, wood) react to tensile stress.
The slope of the graph reflects how stiff the material is, like pure gold compared to titanium. From the beginning up until the yield point, the material will compress or stretch but when the tensile stress is removed it will return to its original length. Past the yield point and before the failure point, the tensile stress will permanently alter the object so that it is forever longer or shorter than it started. Finally, at the failure point, the object breaks.
This is a perfect parable. Living life in the elastic region, we are never changed. We experience stress sometimes, but it doesn't shape us or change us. Heavenly Father takes us and puts enough stress on us to shape us and make us into who He knows we can be. He will never push us past our failure point; He will never give us more than we can take with the Lord on our side. We only need trust in Him and in the Atonement (which can fix us when we break ourselves) and He will shape us into who we need to be.
I know that by putting the Lord's kingdom first this semester, He will guide my paths. He will provide a way for me to learn all that I need to when I put His will first. I have no need to fear. When my burden is more than I can bear, the Savior is there to help me carry it. All I have to do is be humble, teachable, charitable, and patient with myself, and allow the tensile stress of God to shape me into a better person.
"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." -1 Nephi 3:7