Just Rannin' Around

Sunday, October 14, 2012

9 months and 12 days . . . .

So much can happen in this small time frame.  During this last 9 months and 12 days almost my entire life has been turned upside down.  However 9 months and 12 days is also how long it took me to accomplish a goal that grew during the process.

January 1 I had some goals in mind that of course I started immediately.  January 1 of this year I opened to page 1 of the Old Testament determined to re-read the entire thing straight through before the end of the year.  I have only done this once before in my life for Seminary and even then I probably skipped places here and there.  Since then I have studied the Old Testament and loved the stories and lessons taught but it was so daunting.

This is a goal that I pre-determined how I would attack it.  I would read 10 pages a day giving myself Sundays off so that I could still study along with the Sunday School and Relief Society lessons.  Plus, let’s be honest, it is a heavy book and I needed a day off so that I wouldn’t burn out. 

What an amazing set of scriptures!  I always forget how much is really packed into the Old Testament.  Yes I will admit some of it is extremely hard to get through . . . like all the genealogy . . . but it is well worth the time and effort.  There is a wealth of wisdom, advice, comfort and answers found throughout. 

But there is more . . . .

In 9 months and 12 days not only did I make it through the Old Testament but through the entire Standard Works of the Church.  That is right . . . I finished the Old Testament in May and just kept reading my 10 pages a day.  I moved onto the Book of Mormon since I try to read that from cover to cover at least once a year and since we were studying it in Sunday School this year.  From there I read the first half of the Pearl of Great Price and then the New Testament.  I finished the second half of the Pearl of Great Price and wrapped it up on Friday night with completing the Doctrine and Covenants. 

Honestly my goal of reading the Old Testament spread and now I have read my entire quad!  It is most likely the only thing that has even gotten me through these last 9 months and 12 days because that is the only explanation to where the strength came to get keep me moving forward and not falling on my face and just giving up.  The words of God throughout the history of this world as written by His prophets are powerful and incredibly fortifying.  They are as applicable today as they were back then.  They are guiding lights set in written word to help us if we will but take the time to read and understand. 

I’ve always had a love of the scriptures, but this goal has expanded that love and hunger to continue studying more than I ever thought possible.  It is a comfort, a strength and knowledge that Heavenly Father loves us more than we will ever fully be able to comprehend in this moral life.  To grasp the fact that He not only gave us these scriptures but also the Gift of the Holy Ghost to enlighten our understanding and then on top of that, modern day Prophets, Apostles and His Church, is humbling.  To have ALL of this in my life plus a testimony of its truthfulness is the greatest blessing.   

Friday, October 05, 2012

“Heavenly Father, are you really there?  And do you hear and answer every child’s prayer?”

 I won’t lie. . . I have felt like I have been neglected and forgotten.  I have felt like my prayers weren’t making it past the ceiling.  Since my prayers are falling back down unheard on my bed then it is no shock that I feel like I haven’t received an answer in just as long.  I’ve been making some life altering decisions and it makes it all the more stressful not really knowing. 

“Pray, He is there.  Speak, He is listening. You are His child.”

Most of the time it isn’t the big things that happen, but the small and simple ones that brings hope back into my heart and help me continue the fight forward.  My new bishop in my new ward called me into his office a couple of Wednesdays ago.  I went in a bit nervous because this ward has the 2nd largest primary in the world and they had just released a handful of women from there to put them into the new Relief Society presidency. 

Want a whole bunch of honesty?  Well I’m dishing it out anyway.  I don’t want to be, nor am I emotionally fit to have a calling in the primary.  Don’t get me wrong, I love children.  I adore my nieces and nephews.  However I am at a point in my life where I am fighting with all my might not to become bitter.  See where it might not be a great plan to have me in the primary?  Well I have this whole speech concerning the reasons why it probably wouldn’t be a wise idea to put me in the primary, but that IF that is where the Lord truly desired me to be, I would accept even that calling.  It is a speech that I never delivered.

The bishop immediately put me at ease when the first words out of his mouth were, “I didn’t schedule this appointment to issue you a calling.  I just want to get to know you.  I typically go into new members homes to do this but I didn’t know how you would feel about that since you are a single sister.”  Every part of me relaxed and I filed the speech away for another time . . . no need to give it if this wasn’t about a calling.

We chatted for about an hour about the typical first meet-and-greet kind of things.  Suddenly he got a very serious look on his face and I went into complete panic when he said, “I really didn’t call you in here to issue you a calling, but I am feeling very inspired to issue you this calling.”  My hands started sweating and my heart about went dead. . . BUT I HADN’T GIVEN HIM MY SPEECH!!!  I sat there dead silent not even knowing what to do or say when he said, “I would like to issue you a calling to serve as our Gospel Doctrine teacher.” 

Automatic calm washed over me and a warm blanket of love was draped over my shoulders as Heavenly Father gently reminded me that He KNEW me and He didn’t need the speech.  After months of wondering if I was truly all alone, I got the one thing that He knew I wouldn’t miss as a quiet answer to that prayer. 

Now as crazy as it seems, this calling is my favorite.  I truly enjoy serving in this capacity.  Furthermore, as I drove home I realized that since I was 19, every single time I have changed wards this is the calling that I receive.  It is a calling that allows me to quickly get to know a huge number of ward members and to even more quickly get involved in the ward.  Being on my own, that is something that is of huge importance.  I also realized that I have never been in the calling long enough to teach an entire year.  I am always moved onto another calling before that happens.  This is the fourth time I have had this opportunity to serve as a Gospel Doctrine teacher and I look forward to it for however long it lasts.      


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