Back in December, someone from the UVU institute spoke in my ward, and that day, I felt that the Savior was telling me the parable Himself. So, this is his parable from my memory and notes.
You’ve dreamt of going to Italy your entire life. You’ve researched everything you’ve wanted to see there–the colosseum, Cathedral of Santa Maria, Venice and it’s boats. Finally, you’ve saved enough money, booked the hotels and the tours. You’re on that plane just dreaming about Italy and your dreams about to come true.
The plane begins to descend. The captain announces there’s been an emergency and the flight is now going to Holland. You now have to book a new hotel, new tours, and find other attractions. This wasn’t your plan.
As time passes, though, you notice that Holland has windmills. You start to become friends with the new tour group and realize you would never have met them if you were in Italy. You find new foods to enjoy and think that maybe Holland isn’t so bad after all.
After another beautiful day in Holland, you jump onto Instagram, and everyone you know is talking about how beautiful Italy is. You see their pictures in the Colosseum and their descriptions of the fabulous meal they just had, and you begin to feel sad. Maybe even wonder what if would’ve been like if you had gone to Italy.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t love Holland and the experiences you’ve had there, but Italy was your dream. You loved that dream, and having it taken away was heartbreaking, and you need to mourn it.
If know me, my Italy is quite apparent, it was to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for eighteen months, and my Holland was having eighteen months turn into three months.
First off, I would like to say, I LOVE my Holland, but there are days I cannot help but wonder where I would be if I had not come home early. I wonder about the people I would have met and the experiences I could have had. Every time I had one of those days, I felt guilty that I wasn’t just counting the blessings of my Holland and that I was not “cheerfully submitting.”
This parable changed my perspective on what humility is and what it means to “cheerfully submit.” I used to think that humility wasn’t just accepting the Lord’s will, but wanting it 100%. The Holland parable showed me that humility is merely accepting, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be our original desire. To cheerfully submit doesn’t mean that we slap on a smile, but perhaps try to make the most out of our circumstances as we slowly come to love them.
Humility nor cheerful submission require us to pretend we never had expectations of our “Italy.” Christ did not suffer the pains and afflictions of people who would always be pumped for life’s curveballs; He took upon Himself the heartbreak and disappointment of our broken dreams. He did this because He loves us and wants to be able to comfort us in the days we cannot see the good in our Holland, or we desperately wish for Italy. He, more than anyone, knows that it is hard to accept the Father’s will as He once plead, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
So, how do we, when our dreams are dashed, and our spirits broken, learn to submit cheerfully? We do so by relying on Jesus Christ and His atonement; having hope that He has better things in store and having faith that He will make us whole again.
I can honestly say that through Him, my Holland became one of the greatest blessings in my life. I’ve felt His love and empathy for me as I’ve mourned not living out my Italy. I’m grateful for the broken dream I’ve had because it brought me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives and cares about every aspect of our lives. If you trust in Him, He will lead you down the paths of joy.