July 10, 2017
Sometimes in life we need to have faith in ourselves during uncertain times. Annette Carson has seen the blessings of following the Lord’s plan as she has followed His path for her.
Finding Her Path
As a young single mother in Georgia, Annette knew she needed support and a change of scenery after her father passed away. Annette felt guided to move everything she had to Maryland. She did so faithfully, and soon found herself alone with her seven-month-old daughter, lost and unsure of what step to take next.
Being raised in a casual religious setting, Annette had always believed in God and understood that He had a plan for her and that there were certain morals to live by. Because the world’s standards and views of the family were changing and different from her own, she thought perhaps her ideas were too old-fashioned, until one day in July 2007 when Annette came across missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She found comfort in knowing there was a whole church dedicated to the ideas she had held dear throughout her life. Annette continued to speak with the missionaries and felt that this was God’s way of guiding her in the right direction. Annette was baptized just five months later, in November of 2007.
Being a member of the Church proved to be a blessing in her life, and through her ward, Annette found a new support.
A Step in the Right Direction
Some years after joining the Church, Annette felt that she could do more for herself and her daughter but was unsure of what that might be. She prayed for direction, and her answer came one Sunday while attending church. During Sunday school, a pair of service missionaries presented about PathwayConnect and Annette’s heart jumped for joy — she knew this was her next step.
“When I learned about PathwayConnect I felt impressed to get an education so that I could better myself and better provide for my daughter. I now wanted to get a degree, but I hadn’t seen it as an option before.”
When Annette got home from church, she started looking into PathwayConnect and where the nearest gathering would be. After some research, she enrolled in PathwayConnect in September 2014.
Although it would prove to be a challenge for her at times due to her full-time work schedule, weekly gatherings an hour away, and being a single parent, Annette continued to push forward with faith. The gatherings became her motivation to keep going.
“Going back to school at 40 years old is just terrifying,” Annette admitted, “but those gatherings gave me the opportunity to really get to know my classmates and better understand what I was learning.”
Continuing With Faith
After completing PathwayConnect in July 2015, she enrolled in a BYU-Idaho online degree program and began taking classes in September 2015. She felt inadequate and uncertain, but she decided to work toward an associate’s degree in general studies.
“Heavenly Father wants me to further my education, I want it, and I want to be a good example to my daughter,” Annette said. “Heavenly Father has helped me to have the courage needed for me to try and not give up.”
The Road Ahead
Her little girl is now a teenager, and Annette hopes to instill the importance of following God’s will in her daughter’s heart.
“It has been a long, hard road, but I want to be a good example for my daughter. I want her to look at me as a role model of someone who has followed God’s plan even when it has been hard. If I can join the Church and go to a university, anyone can,” Annette said.
Because of the support she has received from her daughter and ward family, Annette has achieved her goals and continues to follow God’s path for her. She hopes to become an even greater disciple of Christ as she progresses through her life.
Like Annette, if we have faith in our Father in heaven, we will be blessed with more than we have room to receive.
Learn more about PathwayConnect at byupathway.lds.org!