Getting her education later than expected has made it more meaningful for Kyla
Kyla Ford feels called to spread joy. “It started for me as the Lord saying, ‘You’ve had some hard things happen in your life, Kyla, and you can use those to help others,’” she said.
One of Kyla’s most difficult trials came from what she thought would be a joyous experience — her first marriage. She got married at age 18, but less than two years later, she and her husband were divorced.
At age 24, Kyla moved to Utah with the goal to attend college. However, tragedy struck just two months after she arrived when her younger brother unexpectedly passed away.
A fresh start
Kyla wanted more than anything to move back home to California and be with her family, but she felt prompted to stay in Utah. Many blessings awaited her there, including meeting and marrying her husband, Kevin. Kyla postponed her education to get married, and then again when she became pregnant six months later. She happily settled into her new roles as a wife and mother.
Now, seven years later, Kyla and Kevin have three beautiful children: Hunter (7), Hayden (6), and Henry (3). They love to travel and experience new cultures. Kyla also loves to write! She had a blog for nine years that she now continues via social media called “A Joyful Commotion.”
“I’ve tried to create a community to help women find more joy through living a Christ-centered life,” Kyla explained. “Life’s full of craziness, but I truly believe you can feel joy every day, even in the hard times.”
In addition to her social media content, Kyla enjoys speaking to various groups of women about the tools God has provided to overcome trials and feel more joy.
An unexpected prompting
In June 2019, Kyla and her family had just bought a new home. Her husband had been accepted to an MBA program. She loved being a full-time mom pursuing her passions. Life seemed nearly perfect — which is why Kyla was so surprised when she felt prompted to enroll in BYU-Pathway Worldwide, which her sister had participated in a couple years earlier.
“It was one of the strongest promptings I have ever felt,” Kyla said. “I heard a voice in my head say, ‘Kyla, do it now,’ and I looked over my shoulder because I truly thought there was someone standing there!”
Kyla followed the prompting without hesitation, even though it didn’t make sense at the time. She received a message saying classes were full for the upcoming semester, but the service missionaries found room in a gathering group for Kyla the next day and told her she could begin courses the following week.
Disciple leader and daughter of God
Kyla is currently in her online degree program. “I love the program so much!” she said. “It’s incredible. I feel so grateful that it’s available. With three young kids and a spouse in school, it feels like it was made for me.”
Participating in BYU-Pathway at this time in her life has reminded Kyla to always trust in God’s timing. “If I had gone to school all those years ago when ‘I should have,’ it wouldn’t mean as much to me as it does now,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been as excited about learning, and I absolutely wouldn’t have seen how God could be such a crucial part of my education. Being in BYU-Pathway has made me feel more proud than ever to be a daughter of God and to follow Him.”
BYU-Pathway is also strengthening Kyla’s testimony. She said, “I feel like I’ve learned more in the last several months of school than I’ve learned my whole life as a member of the Church. It makes me want to scream from the rooftops the truths that I’m relearning and understanding in new ways!”
Kyla hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies and to use what she learns to bless others. “Knowledge is power. I would love to use that bachelor’s degree to get as many tools as possible to help people!” she said. “I feel like God has definitely called me to be a disciple leader, and I am trying my best to do it.”