Erin Holmes, a professor in the BYU School of Family Life, offered reassurance at Tuesday's BYU Devotional, speaking about what individuals can do to wait faithfully upon the Lord during times of uncertainty.

"Uncertainty is a reflection of the gap between our desire for the ideal and our experience of the real," Holmes said. "The ideal represents how we think things 'ought' to be or 'should' be; the real is how things actually are. Gaps between our ideals and our real circumstances challenge us. When reality hits or when things don’t go as planned, we may struggle."

Holmes provided four key principles rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ to help individuals overcome their personal uncertainty and increase their trust in God's plan.

1) We must actively seek god to find Him

When in her early twenties, Holmes and her husband struggled with infertility. Though deeply painful for her, Holmes turned toward the Lord for comfort. Her answers did not come swiftly, but after singing the hymn "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" one Sunday at church, she received an answer to keep moving forward.

"I had to keep waiting and seeking," said Holmes. "In such darkness, I couldn’t seek the Lord with my eyes alone. I had to seek him with my heart. What a deeply humbling thing it is to wait upon the Lord. Though I did not receive all of the answers I sought, I was finding the Lord, and He was helping me feel His presence in my life."

2) Waiting includes trying to understand gods plan for us

Holmes advised that the plan God has for each person may not match that individual's ideal plan, but when we rely on faith we can become co-creators with God to make a plan and do remarkable things.

Additionally, as every person is unique, so are our life plans.

"God’s plan for you will not match the plans God has for others," Holmes said. "You must come to know what the Lord wants for you personally."

3) As we wait, we can choose faith and hope

The opposite of faith is fear. Holmes explained that we have the ability to choose faith and hope in the face of fear. This choice becomes easier when we recall past spiritual experiences and blessings from God.

"This optimism in Christ’s divinity and this belief that we will continue to be blessed are the very essence of hope and faith," said Holmes. "One thing that helps me remember is keeping a record of the spiritual experiences and blessings I have received in my life."

4) If you feel lost as you wait, you can find reassurance in gods love for you

During her struggle with infertility and after several miscarriages, Holmes felt discouraged, lost and distant from God. But in her sorrow, she was impressed by a moment where she felt surrounded by God's love. 

"When we feel lost, we can find reassurance in God’s love for us," said Holmes. "My experience taught me that there is an interesting paradox amidst that truth: sometimes, when we are lost, He will also find us."

Next Devotional: Eric Gillette, BYU Department of Design

The next BYU Devotional address will be given by Eric Gillett, professor in the BYU Department of Design, on Tuesday, Apr. 11, at 11:05 a.m., in the Marriott Center.

His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYUradio.