It all began after my seminary teacher promised me that my life would change if I read the Book of Mormon everyday. She promised me that if I did, my life would change and that I would know that the changes came because of God's power. I had just moved from Utah to Virginia. I had no friends, my grades were bad, no girls liked me (in my mind), and what I wanted more than anything was to break an 18-year-standing 300 meter hurdle record. I then started reading. Every single day.
I kind of forgot about the promise made by my seminary teacher. Partially because my mom was my teacher (and I a senior in HS). And partially because I just started a new habit. It wasn't until one day while driving home from a track meet in Alexandria, Virginia. During that drive from Alexandria to my home in Fairfax, it all clicked.
My parents usually came to the track meets and my dad always brought his amazing telephoto zoom lens and his SLR (FILM) camera. But this meet, no one was there from my family. It wasn't even a special meet.
I had been trying to break a high school record that hadn't been touched for 18 years. It seemed impossible and that made me want it even more. I trained and trained. I bruised my left knee more than anything has ever been bruised on my body. I fell from exhaustion during the last few hurdles a LOT. I even shattered a hurdle once because I kicked it down so hard trying not to fall. I was always SO close to getting the time.
Then one day, I finally broke the record.
I prayed in the starting blocks and I dedicated the race to God. I always remember that race. I remember thinking that it was good Karma for Mike Imoh (the record breaking running back from our football team) was holding my blocks. I remember him saying "This is your race Proctor." Everything about that race was perfect. The start, the pace, the form, the ending boost, the finish. Everything. It was perfect. And those who I thought were my biggest fans weren't watching. One of my coaches was even gone that day. It was like a big build up to this day and then no one was watching.
No one but God.
When the announcer called out "Proctor for the win!" there was no crowd cheering me on, my coach was gone, and my parents weren't there. But I'm glad because that was the first time I realized that my biggest Fan was there. I remember feeling alone and that in this one moment when everyone should have been watching, I thought to myself, "this is ironic, no one was here." And as soon as I had this thought, I heard the words: "I've been watching the whole time."
This thought began after the race and then as I drove home alone from the meet, I had my first glimpse of the love that God has for me. I realized that everything was different in my life. My grades had improved, I had great friends, girls liked me, and I had broken the hurdle record. In that moment, I saw God. I saw His hand in my life. Over the past few months, He had been blessing me in every aspect of my life. The Book of Mormon promise had come true and my life had changed. But it took me breaking the record with no other audience to realize that among all the people who I thought cared, God was ALWAYS my biggest fan.
This was the beginning.