Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I needed this

"It was a calling I always said I never wanted. And so, after the bishop extended the call, all I could do was cry. Twenty minutes later he prepared to leave our home and asked, "So is that a yes?" I nodded a confirmation and he replied, "It's going to be fun. Wait and see, you're going to love it."
Completely overwhelmed, I walked into my bedroom and knelt down to pray. Looking back now I would have to say the entire next week was one constant prayer. The prayer consisted of the same phrase repeated over and over, "Heavenly Father, what were you thinking? I am not capable of this. What is it you want me to do?" At the end of the week I planned a trip to the temple. After everything was settled at home I started the drive to the temple and I began the silent prayer again in my heart, "I am not capable of this responsibility. What is it you want me to do?" Immediately the Spirit whispered back to my heart, "You took no thought save it was to ask," My first thought was, "What does that have to do with anything?" I pushed the words out of my head and began to focus on praying about the task at hand.
That morning the temple was busy. I love it when the temple is busy because it allows me some uninterrupted time to immerse myself in the scriptures while I am waiting. I picked up a triple combination and flipped it open. My temple scripture habit is to start reading wherever the scriptures open--it adds a little variety to my scripture study. On that day the scriptures opened up to Doctrine & Covenants, section 9. Imagine my amazement when I read the section and came to verse 7, "Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me." Obviously I had something to learn. In pondering what the message meant I realized that although I had asked for help in determining how to fulfill my new calling, I had never stopped to ponder what I might be able to bring to the calling. The Spirit had whispered the truth: I had taken no thought of what I had to offer, I simply asked Heavenly Father to tell me what to do and why.
I spent the next few days preparing to begin my new calling. My preparation included a personal inventory of myself, partly to convince myself and to see if I knew what I had to offer. For some reason, Heavenly Father had chosen me for this moment, this calling. Why? Was there someone I would be able to reach? Did I have a testimony of something I needed to share?  Just accepting this calling was nothing short of humbling.  It's easy to sit back and watch others serve and in the back of your mind think about what you might do.  (That's not exactly the RIGHT thing to do.)  It isn't until you are personally in certain situations that you finally realize what you are really up against, and come to know that no one in their right mind actually desires to be in certain callings, and when you find yourself in these callings it is very humbling, indeed.

Each of us has a circle of influence. This circle extends beyond our church callings and into our everyday life, including our relationships with family and neighbors. We have been placed where we are for a purpose, even if it is to touch the life of just one person. I have come to realize that each of us is on an errand from the Lord; sometimes that errand has the title of a calling, most often it does not. Heavenly Father knows the power of our influence and He will place us where He needs us. It is up to us to determine what we have to offer in that situation, and, more importantly, whether we will offer our best. Relief Society General President Julie Beck counseled, "The Lord expects us to increase our offering." I am confident that the increase of our offering will lead to more in our life.
-Emily Freeman

I love this story. I needed to hear and read this. So many times I have felt out of place in a certain area. I never thought to ask, why here and why now?....what do I possibly have to offer? Sure, I have asked my Heavenly Father why here and why now? But I never thought to ask, what I had to offer? Maybe if I did, I would have been given answers. Maybe if I would have asked that question my attitude would have been different? Sure, I think about why I have not been asked to do this or that? Usually, I am asking my family, why does this person get to do this or that? Don't they know, I can do that too? Don't they know I want to serve too?  I tend to forget that it's not always your current talents that are used in determining who is right for certain callings.  Sometimes we are placed in a certain place to serve, grow, and learn new things......but, I have never thought about the fact that the Lord has placed me in a certain place at a certain time to be an influence. Sometimes it is for one particular reason or another OR many reasons. Sometimes that purpose will not come as an official church calling.  Sometimes you find out later on as you set out to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of that calling, and it is through your faith that answers come.  I now plan to get on my knees and pray to know what it is that I have to offer, knowing that He will hear and answer my prayer. I have no idea what this experience will bring. Maybe my Heavenly Father will use this as a teaching moment again to show me where was an influence or where I missed-the-boat? Who knows? So, for those of you that have felt the way I feel, my suggestion is to start asking your Heavenly Father to show you all the things you have to offer. And then ask, How he can use your abilities, talents and testimony to be an influence for good. I promise your attitude will change and your life will be abundantly blessed for having taken to the time to ask and act upon the answers you receive.

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