Lissa & Nate - Our Fairytale

Lissa & Nate ~ Our Fairytale
marriage brings greater possibilities for happiness than does any other relationship. ~Russell M. Nelson

Monday, September 10, 2012

About Following the Right Path

I just received a text from Nate and I have to write it down.

    "Just finished a meeting with the museum art admin group.  I can remember the night we talked about this program as a possibility and how I felt.  I really think that we were led here."

Let me just start off by saying, I also remember the night we talked about this program and my feelings did not echo his in the initial moment AND any wife who has stood by her husband while he worked his way through school, changing programs, and career desires all the while can understand why.

When I met Nate he was a sculpture major working to complete his associates at UVSC (now UVU)  When we married it was the same story.  After one year of marriage he transferred to the U of U and finished his associates there.  Right about the time he was ready to enter the sculpting program (it may have even been a year into it, can't quite remember) he chose to change his major from Art Sculpting to Art Education.  I was surprised because sculpture was his dream and had been for so long.  I knew he wasn't giving up on it, but still I cried a little when he made that decision.  At the same time though I felt really good about it.  Maybe for selfish reasons but I felt more safe and secure with this new major so I didn't argue it.

Because Nate didn't start out as an art ed major he missed a whole year worth of classes that would have ended his bachelors with a teaching license, which meant in order to become a teacher we needed grad school.  Not a bad idea regardless.  At this point Nate was pretty set on becoming a teacher.  His high school art teacher made a very big impression on him and he wanted to be an influence for good for others.  Nate would have been a great teacher BUT....

When the time came for him to actually start applying for programs he started looking into other programs.  Now he thought it would be really great to do art therapy.  Nate would be very good at that. He researched all the best schools, their application fees and started applying over Christmas break.

So just for the sake of recounting...  in a matter of 3 years.

  • Art Sculptor
  • Art Education
  • Art Therapy (along the same line of work as teaching)
Like I said.  I felt good about his change in major.  Nate would have made both a great teacher and therapist.  And I felt like from the time he changed majors the options for his masters seemed to go hand in hand and I understood the progression.  Plus, I realize that the above is not a large amount of change where schooling and careers are concerned. It was what came next that made everything above feel hard and unstable.

Now back to my feelings on Nate's choice of masters program~ Just as he was winding up applications Nate decided to go on yet another hunt for a school and program.  This is when he found SUU's program "Masters in Art Administration".  What threw me for a loop is that it didn't seem to be in line with any of his other choices.  Art?  Yes.  Teaching?  No.  It felt like it came out of no where and I wasn't very thrilled.  I was supportive, because I had to be.  Not because of him, but because I love him too much to not allow him to follow his path.  My hesitation was that it was new and just as soon as he found it he was applying for it.  At this point the game change started to feel more like wishy washiness than a firm plan for our future and right at crunch time. It seemed to me that we really hadn't talked about it much beyond me kind of flipping a lid then relenting and saying that if thats really what he wanted to do he should do it because it's so important for our family that he be happy in his career decision.

I don't want this to sound like it was Nate's communication issue.  He has always been very good at communication, specifically on the most important things in life.  Also, it didn't take too long after the initial shock for me to fully accept it and be equally hopeful that we would end up at SUU.

In the end I think he only completely finished applications for 2 schools.  West Minster for a Masters in Art Education which would have taken us down the teaching path, and SUU for a Masters in Art Administration which path is yet to be determined, but we have a ballpark of what we might end up doing (a BIG ball park).  He got accepted to West Minster and wait-listed with SUU. (They only accepted 4 people to the program.)  We were assured that at least one person always declined acceptance to the program by the end of the summer and he was in a "prominent" spot on the wait list.  Apparently last year was the first year no one dropped out.  SO West Minster it was for us.  We were both bummed but going to move on with it.

At the end of the summer a full time job opportunity came up for Nate.  He deferred West Minster for 2 semesters and took the job in hopes that if he applied again to SUU he would get in.  It was an amazing year for us with a lot of struggle, but a lot of opportunity as well.  During the waiting period he recieved a priesthood blessing from his dad.  The one thing that I remember about the blessing is that he was blessed that he would be able to attend his school of choice.  That was a relief in a sense, but at the same time I wasn't sure if that meant this time he would get into SUU or that his school of choice would have to change to be in line with what Heavenly Father had in mind for us.

I think it was when we came to Cedar City for his interview that I started to truly have faith.  While he interviewed I drove around and I felt really good about being here.  It felt a little like home. And our faith and prayers were answered  eventually with an acceptance phone call, followed by the written word.  Until we actually got here it seemed surreal, but now it's just a dream come true.

I don't usually feel the need to justify a blog post, but I feel like people might be wondering why I wrote this.  Well here it is.

I know my Redeemer Lives and loves us.  I know our Heavenly Father loves us and knows us individually.  I know that as we strive to live according to his plan he will direct our paths and if we are doing our best, it's hard to stray from his plan.  I know that through prayer and scripture study we open ourselves to receive personal revelation through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Nate knew that his previous choices didn't quite hit the mark.  He would have been good at them and we could have been happy living those other lives BUT, we can live an even better life because Nate followed a prompting to keep looking. (There's that good, better, best theme again!) I am grateful for him.  I'm grateful for his faith and his testimony of his Savior.  I'm grateful for his humility to trust that the Lord will never leave us or lead us astray.  He  leads our family in the best way because he leads us in light.

I'm also grateful for the confirmation through the Holy Ghost when we are on the right path.  It's yet another witness that we are not left alone on this journey through life.

So~ happy in life I will leave you with this... GO THUNDERBIRDS!


  1. Melissa you are such a wonderful faithful wife!

  2. Oh, I'm so happy for you guys! I remember talking with you and feeling your pain, for I was there too in a way. Look at us now! Way to be!

  3. Great life story. I know that many people do not like to share challenges in their lives. It is a fact that many people go through similar difficulties. I appreciate that you shared yours. It allows people to know that there is hope and faith and happy endings. When we are in difficult spot we don't always know that we are in the middle or towards the end of the challenge, so keeping the faith is important. If is like starting all over again daily. Again thank you.

  4. Congrats...and good luck on you lifes journey. Keep the faith and stay strong.


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