Trading Television for a Testimony
By Chelsie Hightower
From the age of 18-24 I had the opportunity to dance on national television every week which brought many blessings and experiences into my life. Overtime the business of that lifestyle started to wear on me made it very hard for me to go to all three hours of church every week. Most Sunday’s I’d make it to sacrament meeting if I was lucky, but rarely ever Relief Society.
During that time I experienced some of my hardest personal challenges. The very thing I needed the most, which was support in the church and actually being able to attend, I was unable to do most of the time. I remember feeling an emptiness and that my life was without purpose. That feeling had me pretty unhappy many days.
I remember sitting in church one day listening to a man’s conversion story and it was powerful. I remember feeling the Spirit so strongly. Due to the complexity in my daily schedule and travel the Spirit was a feeling I hadn't felt in a long time. I remember burying my head into my hands with tears streaming down my cheeks. I prayed to my Heavenly Father that if need be, to take this career away from me because it was taking me away from what I wanted the most, a testimony and relationship with Him.
My career slowed down immensely after that. I moved back to Utah and, for the first time in years, I was finally able to focus on regaining my spiritual strength. A blessing I received around that same time stated to attend all three hours of church. So I did just that.
I have a testimony of the blessings that come with the effort to attend not just sacrament meeting but Relief Society. I saw the Lord bless me in my life with all of the necessary things in order to strengthen my testimony which would give me the strength to get back to where I wanted to be. Through visiting teaching, He gave me the friend that I needed to be a support to me in my efforts to come back to him and to be an example to me. Through attending Relief Society, I felt strengthened each week and was given a sense of belonging, a way to participate and give back to the ward. He gave me a voice to be a leader by calling me to my ward’s Relief Society presidency.
I love my Father in heaven and this Church more than anything. I'm so grateful that the Lord knows my every need, exactly what to do to strengthen me, and how to help me. This gospel means everything to me and I'm incredibly blessed to have it in my life, with amazing examples around me to help inspire me to be better every day.