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June 26, 2017

Lifelong Lessons

Andrew Merrick reflects on the blessings he gained from PathwayConnect that continue to illuminate his path

Just days after graduating from Brigham Young University-Idaho, Andrew Merrick was sitting in a sacrament meeting with his family beside him. A woman was giving a talk on education when she began to share her experience in PathwayConnect. Andrew was immediately intrigued, clinging to her every word as he connected the dots to his own experiences.

Just a few years prior, Andrew was himself enrolled as a PathwayConnect student. Looking back on his time in the program, he began to see a path that led him through every part of his life since.

A Still, Small Voice

Andrew and his wife, Stephanie, the day he graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2014.

Andrew can clearly remember a moment in PathwayConnect that he will never forget. Up until that point in his life, he had not realized that he did not have the option to move forward in his career because he hadn’t gone to college. Andrew began seeking out answers to his prayers, and PathwayConnect helped him to listen to promptings for himself. Being a convert to the Church, this was the first time in Andrew’s life that he was recognizing and following guidance given to him through the still, small voice.

Andrew feels his path has led to new opportunities after opening his heart and mind to the gentle promptings of the Holy Ghost. “Having the courage to act on promptings, and then seeing the blessings that come from it gave me the strength I needed to trust the promptings I received later on,” Andrew recalled.

After completing PathwayConnect, these promptings led Andrew to move with his wife and son to Rexburg, Idaho, so that Andrew could continue his education on campus at Brigham Young University-Idaho. During his time there, Andrew received a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and welcomed a new son into his family.

Continuous Blessings

The Merricks have seen blessings in their lives come from Andrew’s experiences in PathwayConnect.

After graduating from BYU-Idaho, Andrew was moving with his wife and two small children across the country to Indianapolis to work as a manager for Marriott hotels. Part of Andrew’s job was to step in as an acting manager at hotels that did not have one. Having to lead a new team every week came naturally for Andrew as he reflected on the times he participated as lead student in his PathwayConnect gatherings. He was able to teach others the skills they needed and build team moral, the same way he did as a lead student.

Although Andrew planned on staying in Indianapolis for the rest of his career, he began to feel prompted to quit his job. This surprised Andrew, and at first he brushed the thought aside. “That same week I was offered a promotion and I accepted; however, that following weekend I felt uneasy,” Andrew said. “I knew that I needed to follow the prompting to leave my job, even if it meant not knowing how I was going to provide for my family.”

Andrew enjoys being in Rexburg once again and loves working for BYU-Idaho.

When Andrew returned to work, he told his boss he could no longer accept the promotion and that he could no longer work there. “Having to resign was one of the scariest things I’ve done because I did not have another job to fall back on, and I had a family to support.” Despite his fears, Andrew knew that the Lord would lead him to where he needed to be.

Andrew began fervently applying to jobs around the country, and was invited for an interview with BYU-Idaho. His prayers were answered when he was offered a job as the BYU-Idaho Housing and Student Living Manager, and the Housing Facilities Manager. “At the end of my interview, I was asked how soon it would be until I could start,” Andrew said. “I told them I could start next week, recognizing this was a miracle from the Lord and the path He wanted me on.”

The Future is Bright

Andrew feels PathwayConnect gave him the opportunity to better support his family.

Andrew knows that he may not always be able to see the path ahead, but trusting the Lord and His promptings has blessed his life in more ways than he can imagine.

In the moment, it was hard for Andrew to see why he was taking certain classes or working certain jobs, but now it all makes sense. “At times I did not know why I was put in certain positions, but looking back I can see how everything strings together as a preparation for where I am today,” Andrew said.

PathwayConnect is more than just a three-semester program. It brings lifelong lessons that stay with those involved in the program. Let PathwayConnect bless your life and open new doors for you, just as it did for Andrew.


Learn more about PathwayConnect at byupathway.lds.org.

Comment on "Lifelong Lessons"

sila To'o says:

All the best for your future endeavour Andrew. Congratulations for new work and the succession on BYU Idaho pathways. You are great an example to me and my family.
KEEP up with an awesome work

Sila To’o

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