About seven years ago, I went to Kenya and fell in love with Africa. I knew I had to go back and I remember the moment I decided that. I made plans to graduate early so that I could take an internship for a microfinance company in Kenya. I was so excited about it and knew that is where I wanted to be. Just a couple months before I was supposed to take off to Kenya, my internship fell through. I was totally devastated and had no idea what I was doing. I just remember praying that I would know what to do. I got a blessing (a special prayer given specifically for me) from my bishop, and he actually was unaware of my situation. I remember the love I felt from my Heavenly Father when my bishop told me that there was a plan for me, that God was aware of me and that I would receive guidance for what I should do. I was really touched by this blessing. I went home and I searched different humanitarian organizations and I remember just staring at a world map and narrowing it down to where I wanted to spend my time for the next few months. I somehow narrowed it down to Ghana, Africa where I would work in a children’s home for three months.
Meanwhile, Austin was enrolled at Utah State University. He was at a time in his life where he was trying to decide which major he wanted to study. He was diligently studying his scriptures and praying for inspiration for some guidance in his life. His scripture study and prayers were often interrupted by thoughts that he should go to Africa. It seems so crazy and out of place, but the thoughts were that bold to him. He dropped all of his classes for the next semester, sold his contract, and broke the news to his family that he was going to Ghana, Africa to work in a children’s home the following month.
You’ve probably put it together, but I showed up to the same village as this Utah boy the day after he got there. We became best friends and eventually got married. And now we’ve been married for five years. Looking back at this whole experience, I realize even more how involved God was in helping Austin and I cross paths.
So many little miracles had to happen for me to find Austin. Things that I know were not coincidences. Heavenly Father wanted MORE for me than what I had in mind in Kenya. He wanted MORE for Austin than what Austin thought was best for him. I love this story because it obviously gave me Austin, but I love how it taught me that God is so involved with our lives! At the beginning, I was so bummed that I wasn’t able to go back to Kenya like the way I had planned. Instead, God sent me to Ghana and look what happened!
Written by Arianne Johnson. You can follow Arianne on her blog https://roundtheworldinbabydays.com/.