Growing up I had one education dream; to attend BYU. I'm sure that's the dream a lot of LDS kids had growing up in Utah. I carried that dream with me until high school, senior year to be exact. It was time to start applying for college and BYU didn't even make my list. I applied to the U of U, UVU, Snow, SUU, and Dixie State. BYU was no longer on my list because reality hit, it was expensive and I didn't have the grades I thought I needed. My cousin convinced me to at least apply; so...I sat down with my seminary teacher and began the process. That's all I did...began the process. I stopped before I got halfway through. So...I went to Snow, then SLCC, and finally UVU. I graduated from UVU in December of 2014 with my associates degree. An Associate's of Science with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, and a One Year Teaching certificate. I told myself I was done for awhile. School was draining and no longer fun. Then, I found out about the BYU-Idaho Pathway program. It is essentially a program for people who hadn't had the opportunity to attend school, needed to return, or other such circumstances. I saw some pluses in it, the price was right, it would give me a break without an actual break, and I'd be able to eventually get that bachelor's degree I wanted.
I started the Pathway program in January, I found myself falling in love with the way the classes went. I liked the constant comparison between secular and temporal knowledge. I started to have the thought in my mind that maybe now would be a good time to attempt my dream. Although, my dream was slightly different now. Instead of BYU, it was BYU-I. Enter my trip to Rexburg in February. It felt right, it felt so right, every part of it. The Monday after I got home I was talking to my neighbor, who I also work with and I said "I'm going to apply to BYU-I." I hadn't told my parents, and I kind of surprised myself that I was so willing to share the info. She told me "Good for you, that's my dream for you." I eventually talked to my mom and told her my plans. She was happy, and encouraged me to go for it. So I did, I took that leap, a leap that was frightening and exhilarating all at the same time. I applied for BYU-Idaho, I looked for a place to live, I started saving every penny of my paycheck. My bishop was excited for me, he told me it would be a good experience, my stake president and the 1st counselor in the stake presidency agreed. All signs were pointing north. I was waiting for a letter in the mail, I was hoping one would come, and I was obviously hoping for the BIG envelope. Well, I got tired of waiting so I checked online. I saw the six letter word that I didn't want to see. D-E-N-I-E-D right next to "application status". Then I saw the letter. I read it, 5 minutes before I was supposed to be at work on Monday. I cried, for two seconds. I told my mom, feeling like a failure that "my application was denied." I said it as fast as I could, hoping that maybe she wouldn't hear and I wouldn't have to deal. She heard, I had to deal. I tried to look for the positive in this situation. I put all of my eggs into this one basket. I had my life pointing in the direction of BYU-Idaho and suddenly it wasn't pointing anywhere specific. Everyone has told me that "the Lord has something better in store for you." and words of advice like that. I didn't like hearing that, and I still don't; because I'm stuck in that phase of saying "If something felt so right, and everyone was on the same page, why was it not the right thing?" A dear woman, who I love like a second mother, well...she basically is my second mom (she took care of me when I was "sick" in 3rd grade just about everyday...and she is one of my best friends' moms.) commented on a picture I had posted on facebook; this is what she said.. "Jana good for you for taking the leap. You never know what is around the corner and what doors may open just because you were ready and willing to take that leap. Keep pressing forward and you will see what the Lord has in store for you!" It really opened my eyes to a new perspective. Maybe it wasn't BYU-I that felt right, maybe it was me; trusting in my Heavenly Father, and making a leap that I otherwise wouldn't have done. As hard as it is for me to now tell people whom I've told that I was going to be moving, that I'm in fact, not moving, and how much my heart is broken that I'm not moving. I'm relying on my faith that the Lord does have something better in store for me and maybe all I needed to do was show Him that I could make a leap.