Guest Post: "The Why"

Note:  I am honored to run this guest post on my blog. Please read it with an open heart  I will follow-up with some comments.  -MMM-


The Why

Almost two years ago, I began praying about serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A mission was some thing that had never appealed to me before, but I was coming up on my 21st birthday and I was confused about what I wanted for my life at the time.  But I knew I loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I knew I wanted to tell other people about the “good news!”  I spent a couple months praying and thinking about it.  I got my schedule in line for the next semester so that I could get my associates and work to save money to go. I would worry about all my nursing aspirations later, I was going to be a Missionary!
I pondered this for a few months.  I got no real answer which I mostly took to mean I needed to proceed. Than, as I began driving back to what I thought would be my last semester, I felt, very strongly, “Ryanne, you need to get going on this nurse thing.”  I recognized this as the Holy Ghost, so I dropped my guitar class (still bummed) and retook Anatomy.  I was okay with this, it felt right, but I always wondered why the Lord didn’t want me out with His other valiant servants, spreading light and truth. I thought maybe I just wasn’t righteous enough or that I wasn’t cut out to proselyte or learn a new language. In the back of my mind these thoughts were present, but I went forward with what I felt was inspiration.

This same semester, my cousin and one of my dearest friends, was in a car accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury.  For a while, we didn’t know what her life would be like as a result of this accident. There was a period of unknown that was terrifying for our family.  I prayed a lot during that time, and though I had no real reason, I knew it would all turn out okay, no matter the results, because I knew that Heavenly Father was in charge. Somehow that was good enough for me.

And it did turn out okay 🙂 It was, however, a difficult semester, but I finished my prereq’s for nursing school and did well in all my classes. I applied to three nursing schools. I didn’t get into any of them, and with nothing left to take, I left my beloved Rexburg, hoping that I would nab one of the coveted nursing student positions I worked so hard for and return.

I went to live in Montana with my mom’s side of the family. This was one of the greatest times of my life! I made wonderful friends there. I grew a lot spiritually.  I  had some time off from school and relax.  My two cute cousins were both having baby girls and I was going to be there for all of the excitement!

Then came some of the most horrible news I had ever heard. My sweet cousins baby was going to be a still born. Our hearts were completely broken. She was their first. We were so excited for her to come and be with her cousins and aunts and her mom and dad! I remember sitting outside the hospital room after she was delivered, crying and asking God, “Why, why did this happen?! She was ours, she was supposed to be ours!!”

And the answer came, clear in my mind, “She is still yours.”
Suddenly I remembered. Temple covenants have bound her to our family. She is ours forever.  I was washed with peace knowing our sweet McKinley was never lost to us because of the temple and Heavenly Fathers great plan.

While in Montana, I applied again to nursing schools. This time I was accepted to Dixie State and I was pretty excited, but I waited to hear from BYUI.

On a stupid technicality, my application was rejected though I was (what I felt,) more than qualified. I had wanted so badly go to BYUI. My friends were there, it was close to the ones I had in Billings as well. There had also been potential for a relationship with a boy whom I had really liked. It was somewhere I was comfortable. The tuition was cheap, not to mention it is a great nursing school!  Yet again, I didn’t understand why the Lord didn’t want me there, a place that focused greatly on his gospel, a place I desperately wanted to be. I felt a bit rejected and unworthy.

So I went down south were I was accepted and tried to adjust.  It was very different.  I had a few family members I knew and I made a few friends and had some great roommates, but often I was lonely and sad.  I stayed for the summer thinking it was a good way to make friends, but I spent most of my time alone.  I called my mom and dad often and told them how I wished I was somewhere else. Deep down I think I knew this was where I was supposed to be, but had no idea why.

July 14th, 2013.
My parents died.
My heart broke.

But in thinking about the last two years, my life made more sense.

I was being prepared.

Had I gone on a mission, I would not have been there for my sisters right away. I would not have gotten to see my parents the day before their passing.  I would not be in a position where I could make sure they are taken care of.

Had I not been there for Ashley’s accident, I would not have learned to have faith that Heavenly Father really is in control and no matter what the outcome, it really will be alright.

Had I stayed at BYUI and not been in Montana when Kaitie and Adam lost McKinely, I would not have had the experience that gave me a strong testimony of Temples and the Plan of Salvation that I now cling to.

Had I not been in St. George, I would not have had the immediate family support I had when the news broke.  I would not have been able to get to my scared and lonely sisters in the hospital as quickly.

This all tells me several things.

1.  God has a plan for my life.
2.  Things that happen might not make sense now, but we will know the meaning of all of this eventually.
3.  My best interests are always His motivation, even when it doesn’t feel that way.
4. He prepares the way when he asks us to do hard things.

So, I guess the whole point of this is that I don’t know why this has happened to me and my sisters.  I am living between hoping this isn’t reality and the heart breaking truth that it really is.  I question why the Lord thought it best I should have this burden on my shoulders, or why He thinks I can do it at all.

But I am not angry. I am not afraid.
Everything works out.
In time I will know. Maybe in two years, maybe in forty. I probably won’t even fully comprehend why until I get to see Mom and Dad again.

Until then I wait  in faith.  🙂


This post was written day before yesterday (7/26), and forwarded to me by a friend. It touched my heart.  So, I reached out and asked Ryanne if I could run it on my blog so more people could find it. She graciously accepted.

While it is not spelled out in the post, Ryanne’s parents were both killed in a car accident, leaving behind three daughters – Ryanne being the eldest.
I don’t know Ryanne, or her family.  But I love her.  I admire her for her tremendous strength and her faith.  It is important to note that her parents were taken from her less than two weeks ago. She is in the middle of this difficult process – yet she shows such wisdom, grace, and faith.
Her story brings up some thoughts I will blog about later in the week. But for now, I would like to point out how rare it is to see the importance of why things happen when we are in the midsts of them. Often things happen and it takes years or a lifetime to understand the “why.” Sometimes we never do, and we have to trust in the Lord that one day, when we meet, the answers will become clear.
My heart goes out to Ryanne and her sisters.
I also found out that there is a Memorial Trust set up for the girl. Contributions can be made  through PayPal using the email address mayfamily1989@gmail.com.
Also, there has been an account at Wells Fargo established under the name May Family Memorial Account.
Also, here is Ryanne’s blog. She’s awesome.
Please show her the love.

About the author


  1. Thank you for posting this story. It shows me again that we are all serving missions one way or another. Rhanne is a beautiful example of strength and faith. Our prayers are with her and her sisters.

  2. Thank you MMM. And thanks to Ryanne for sharing such an intimate and personal insight. I left my comments on her blog.

  3. Wow. Thank you for sharing this. I have so much to say in response and yet I can’t find the words. Just THANK YOU!! More than you will ever know.

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I lost my husband in January, and looking back on our life, I can see why certain things happened for a reason and can also see Heavenly Father’s hand in it all. I also think my boys will benefit from reading Ryanne’s story and testimony as we continue to deal with our trial, and look forward to sharing it with them.

  5. Oh Ryanne! Thank you for writing this. I’m so sorry about the loss of your parents. You don’t know me but the accident happened on the highway that runs north of our farm. When we got the call about it (my husband is a bishop) all of our kids were so concerned and praying for you and your sisters. You are still in our prayers. One of the state troopers who was on scene to help your sisters was also a member and attends a branch in our stake.

    May your faith continue to take you forward. God bless you and you family with peace and comfort at such a difficult time.

  6. wow. i know from losing my mom from a drunk driver hitting my parents’ car when i was in my 20’s that tragic sudden losing a parent completely changes you. i know from losing my dad last month after him struggling in the hospital for a few months at the age of 79, that it’s difficult losing a parent..it’s difficult being an orphan, but when they’re old, it’s easier to accept. my heart aches for her. i’m grateful she shared her story thus far. grateful she can see the steps He laid out for her.

  7. Ryanne:
    Know that you are prayed for and loved. I feel you are completing the mission Heavenly Father called you to serve, for you will be touching the hearts of many with this story. Thank you for taking the time to share it. May God’s strength, mercy, grace, and love be ever present for you now and always.
    Lasting prayers,
    Amy J. Flagg-Edwards, Albany, Oregon

    MMM: Thank you SO much for posting this story. It is truly inspiring. Heavenly Father loves us so much.

  8. What a beautiful testimony. Ryanne we must all have faith. Heavenly Father knows us and blesses us, especially in the hard times. Keep the faith!

  9. Dear Ryanne,
    I love you. There is nothing I feel I can add to your words just know that you are loved.

    MMM – thanks for posting this. You’re a good man

  10. What an uplifting testimony. Thank you, MMM, for sharing that with your readers.

    And, Ryanne, you & your family are in my prayers. It isn’t often we have some insight into the ‘why?’s of our earthly experience, but it sounds like one of Heavenly Father’s tender mercies for you at this time. Thanks for sharing your testimony – & honesty – in some of the wonderings you’ve experienced. It’s helped me. Thank you.

  11. Thank you. (As you know, this has not been the easiest year. Sometimes I wonder if I’m broken, because I cry so little when the loss is so big.) Thank you for giving me an opportunity to weep for this dear girl and to pray for her. I lost my parents nine years apart. I cannot imagine losing both at once. Oye.

  12. Ryanne, I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your faith and your observations. You have helped me today–if we live right and try our best, nothing that we do or experience is wasted or useless. All things can work together for our good. Sharing your testimony and experience online is the way you will share the good news with the world. Heavenly Father and your earthly parents must be “well pleased”. 🙂 You and your sisters will be in my prayers. God go with you.

  13. Oh my! What a spiritual giant Ryanne is. I have already been fed by the spirit and I haven’t even been to my meetings yet 😉 Prayers and hugs going to Ryanne and her sisters. Wow!

    I know that I would not see in the moment what His plan is. I am inspired to be better at recognizing His influence.

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