Choosing to stay and find God in your extremities


Josh Flygare, a 30-year-old doctoral student studying nuclear engineering at Pennsylvania State University, has learned to overcome the toughest times in his life by searching for God in his extremities and choosing to trust Him. (Pamela Brubaker)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Like many other young adults, Josh Flygare has had his fair share of difficulties and obstacles to overcome throughout his life. Josh has sought to stay faithful in his religion and search for God, especially during his hardest moments.

“Whenever I have found myself in my extremity and I’m trying my very hardest, that’s when I find God,” Josh said.

Josh has continued to place his faith in God — remembering moments when he has previously felt enlightened by the Spirit — even when faced with life-altering obstacles that could have caused him to turn away from God in anger.

One such life-altering event happened shortly after Josh returned home from serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and resumed his studies at Brigham Young University. The rug was pulled out from under him when his father was put in jail, his family lost their house and his parents divorced — nothing about his life was the same.

“That was a time where I knew that I either needed to find God, or I had to leave,” Josh said. “I just kept doing what I knew I should do. I have had experiences where I know He is there, and I had to find Him. I had to find Him because I was in my extremity.”

Josh relates his decision to keep trusting in God to his decision to keep working on his doctoral degree in nuclear engineering.

“I’m in academia, and there’s things that I love about being a graduate student. There’s also a lot of things that I don’t like about being a graduate student,” Josh said. “We need to learn to separate the things that we don’t like and the things that we like — not just muddle them altogether.”

Josh lightheartedly said that if he continued to talk too much about all the things he doesn’t enjoy about his graduate program, he would maybe talk himself into leaving the program for good.

“It’s so easy to just get so hyper-focused on all the things you don’t like,” Josh said. “Remember the real reason that you’re there in the first place. Then all of the little things that can needle you and make you want to leave, they fade. They don’t have as much power.”

Ultimately, he has decided to trust God and stay faithful in his religion — not because he knows everything, but because he has chosen to focus on the good. Despite the hardships he has faced or questions he carries with him to this day, he has found peace with his faith and current understanding.

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