Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

A Life Written by God

This coming week is such a big one for our family. I thought it might be fun to look back at a post I wrote for TOFW a couple of years ago...


I can’t remember when he started calling me mom.

The boy my husband picked up on the curb and brought home four summers ago in August.

The one who had been in jail for a weekend.
The one whose friends were known by the Lehi police department on a first name basis.
The one whose family had just been evicted, and everyone else had found somewhere to stay.

But nobody wanted this boy.

They pulled into the driveway and I told Greg to leave all of his belongings in the car while we talked.

Because this wasn’t like bringing home a puppy.

This was like bringing home Goliath. For real. Because Garett is 6’7 and 295 pounds.

I laid out the rules. They were simple. And non-negotiable.

In our home we go to church.
We pay tithing.
We turn in our phones at 10 o’clock.

And we have to approve of the friends you spend time with.

He could choose to live by our rules, or we would help him find somewhere else to stay.

He agreed.

So we moved all of his stuff into the upstairs bedroom.

He went to church, and paid his tithing, and slowly began to find new friends.

And we started to watch his life turn around.

Perhaps the most rewarding experiences this life has to offer are the ones when you get to see God at work, doing what He does best ––molding, lifting, building.

“It is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Cor 2:9-10

Garett fell in love with God in a way he hadn’t ever before and his life began to change.

Opportunities opened up.
Things beyond our imagination.
Opportunities the likes of which would never have entered into our hearts.

This boy, who barely made it through high school, (please note the word barely) was given the opportunity to attend a junior college and play football.

I would have told you an opportunity like that just wasn’t possible for a kid like this.

He was so good that the college offered him a full scholarship.

Again, I would have told you an opportunity like that wasn’t possible for a kid like this.

Last semester he got a 3.5. This semester he started receiving offers from football programs all over the country: BYU, Auburn, the University of Utah, Kentucky, the Oregon Ducks.

And I said to my husband, “Is this seriously happening?”

And then I remembered that my heart can’t even imagine the things God has prepared for those that love Him.

And Garett loves God.

He called me up last Friday.

“Mom,” he said, his deep voice filled with the excitement of possibility, “I need you to start a blackboard in the kitchen of all of the colleges who are giving me offers. I don’t want to forget any of them.”

As if we might forget.

Seriously, the Ducks.

But OK. I told him I would start a blackboard. In the kitchen. But the kitchen blackboard has always been a place where I write scriptures or quotes to memorize.

So I looked in the scriptures to see if there was something that would relate to this moment in Garett’s life.

And I found this:

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering be pleasant unto the Lord… Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts… bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” 3 Nephi 24: 3-10

Return unto me and I will return unto you…and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

It is the story of Garett’s life.
The one God is writing for him.

I think back to that summer afternoon in August, and I can’t help but wonder where Garett would be right now if he hadn’t chosen to love God.

Oh, I am so happy that he did.


Family, GarettEmily Freeman