Thursday, September 25, 2014

Christ is With Us Every Step of the Way.


         Some days I am reminded about how much I am loved by my Heavenly Father. These are the days where everything seems to be perfectly timed or even just the smallest of things happen that give you a smile on your face that was put there by God.
         One day in particular I had one of the days that everything was perfectly time. I felt that my day was perfectly crafted by every heavenly being.
          Pre-cursor to the story so you can have a better understanding of why this particular day was perfect. There was a night that I felt very much alone. I am surrounded by people I love all the time, the men I work with always make me laugh and feel good, the people that live in my apartment building (The Ambassadors of UVU) are incredible people and we are all really close friends, and I love all the people I meet throughout my days. But yet I felt alone. I felt like no one truly understood me or took me seriously. That night I was kneeling in prayer with tears just streaming down my face  because I felt so alone and like there was something in my life I wasn't doing correctly. I had so many prayers that weren't being answered and I was at a breaking point. I was comforted as I finished my prayer and crawled into bed that night. (pre-cursor now finished.)
          The second day after that sincere prayer was given very unusual moments were occurring. I got off work as normal and went to my leadership class and then my Comm 1020 class. Normal right? My last class of that day was English 1010, it had spaced my mind that class was cancelled that day. So I came to find out that indeed it was cancelled as I approached the classroom (one of the happiest moments.) I could have gone home and hung out with people, or eat dinner, or you know do some homework but for some reason I was impressed to just hang around campus. I rode my scooter over to an area right outside the gym and I saw my roommate...
           "Hey Nat, What are you doing here?!" (I hardly ever see my roommates, basically the only time I see them is in the morning before work and at night after, so seeing her on campus was a pleasant surprise)
           "I am about to go to the temple, do you want to come with me and some other people?"
           "No thanks, but I hope you guys have a good time" *WHAT THE HECK?! I love the temple?!?! Why did that come out of my mouth?!* (It was as if someone had put these words in my mouth and they just came out. Here is the weirdest thing.. It felt right to say. The Spirit told me to say this.)
           We departed and I started out towards my car. I called my mom to update her on life, she informed me that the rest of my family members were on campus at a baseball game and suggested I go but yet once again I had another one of those weird moments "No thanks Mom." *WHAT THE HECK?1 WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ME?! Two things I love so much, my family and the temple but for some reason I said 'No Thanks'?? What is wrong with me?!*
            Me and my mom continued talking and after a little while I made it to my car. I was about to get in and drive home when I saw two boys that I am good friends with across the road "Mom I have to go, there are attractive men and I need to be friendly." I ended up walking to their car with them. On our way to their car we met up with a girl named Myra. Little did I know that Myra was in my ward, she told me that she was going to Relief Society. I was hesitant to go but one of the boys looked me in the eyes and told me I had to, this struck my soul. So I went.
            I arrived at the church to find it was a stake activity and there were about 6 girls from my ward there. There was food I didn't want and I just felt that there was something better I could be doing. The adversary was working really hard to get me to leave but I was glued to my chair. I was weirdly guided here and I was missing out on the temple and family, I had to get some spiritual-ness some how.
            After dinner was over a lady got up to spoke and as she spoke I began to be overwhelmed with The Spirit. Every question that was haunting my soul was answered, every burden was lifted, every fear was comforted, every hole was filled. She provided me with information to help me better study the scriptures and receive the answers that Heavenly Father has waiting for me. I knew as she spoke that every single step of the day lead me to that seat, in that cultural hall, at that activity, that night and EVERY step was provided to me by my Savior Jesus Christ because He didn't want me to feel alone anymore. He loves me and His hand crafted that day and crafts everyday to come.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The First 2 Steps to Seeing Miracles

        You may be questioning, "Courtney, What do you mean recognizing the Lord's hand?! You have this cute little story but seriously what do you mean?" Well I will tell you what I mean! 
         On when you research "Recognizing The Lord's hand" the first option it gives you to look at is "How can I learn to see the Lord's hand in all things" [] and it says,  "The prophet Alma taught, “All things denote there is a God” (Alma 30:44). Heavenly Father loves us and blesses us daily. If we are observant, we can see evidence of His power and influence in our lives and in the world around us. Though we may not see Him personally, recognizing His hand in all things can strengthen our testimony that He lives." 
          We must FIRST have the DESIRE to see "evidence of His power and influence.." There might me something holding you back like you feel you aren't "spiritual enough" to see his hand for example. YOU ARE WRONG. It doesn't matter what you have done or where you have been, if you are fully active in the church or not, all you need is the DESIRE to see. People would not have joined this church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints) if they did not have the DESIRE to know God or Jesus Christ
           Now you have the Desire to see the Lord's hand in your life, or the tender mercies of God, or blessings (all the same thing). You must now PREPARE yourself. Have an open mind, you are going to need it. Heavenly Father doesn't always answer our prayers in the way that we think he will or the way that we hope for or plan on. He may throw you a curve ball. You must be ready to accept what doors of opportunity He wants you to enter. Gordan B. Hinkley said "I know that we are not perfect men [or Women]. We know the perfect way, but we do not always act according to our knowledge. But I think that for the most part we are trying. We are trying to be the kind of men [or Women] our Father would have us be. That is a very high objective, and I commend all of you who are trying to reach it. May the Lord bless you as you seek to live exemplary lives in every respect."
           You don't have to be perfect to receive blessings from Heavenly Father, you just have to try. My challenge to you this week is to have the desire to see the Lord's Hand and then prepare, the first to steps to seeing miracles. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trash To Treasure

        It all started one Sabbath afternoon in my summer Singles Ward during Sacrament meeting... Let me give you some background to my story- When I was in the singles ward for the first time it was an adventure (by adventure I mean culture shock). If you already think church is the longest three hours of your life, wait until you have Relief Society first and Sacrament last, then you may you say church is the longest 3 hours of your life. Anyways.. I made it through the first two hours (don't get me wrong I love church and look forward to it every week, but 3 hours is a long time in a skirt) and finally came the best part of the day SACRAMENT MEETING. I was pumped! But this wasn't your typical Sacrament meeting... No screaming baby's, no siblings fighting, no mom's telling their children to sit still, in fact STILL is the exact word to describe this meeting. It was so quiet you could here yourself think and even better you could here the Spirit. It was incredible. Then the Sacrament came... After the prayer was over I lifted my head... THIS IS NOT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DID! I looked around and mostly everyone's heads were still bowed! I used my best judgement and assumed that they were each saying their own prayer. WHAT A GREAT IDEA! So I took this first day to heart and I now do it in every meeting.- Now you have the background let's get to the REAL story.
        One particular Sunday afternoon in Sacrament I was saying my personal prayer and I was praying to focus on one specific thing throughout the coming week, I asked Heavenly Father "Please help me recognize The Hand of The Lord in my life each day."  and of course as some (most) people do I went throughout the rest of my day almost forgetting some of the prayers I sent God's way UNTIL later that night. 
         I was on a walk with a boy I used to date just around my neighborhood and this boy like picking up trash. As we walked he looked down an saw a small piece of trash and when he picked it up he told me with surprise in his voice "Look Court! It is half of a Passalong card!" (A passalong card, if you don't know, if a small index card that the missionaries usually hand out and it typically has a picture of Christ.) He handed it to me and I began to giggle to myself... It was a recognizable card and just like he said it was only part of the card left but what made me giggle was that it was literally THE LORD'S HAND and JUST his Hand. Heavenly Father is funny and He knows it! I looked heavenward and I sent a thought God's way "I like your answer. You are funny!" 
       Unlike most pieces of trash, I kept this one. I keep it with my in the back of my phone case to remind me to look for The Lord's Hand in my life EVERYDAY and it helps because when great things happen I pull it out and explain to whoever is with me at that time that GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN THE LORD'S HAND IS IN YOUR LIFE. 
        Since that particular Sabbath day I have been able to recognize when The Lord is blessing me because of a simple prayer, God's humor, and a piece of trash that is now my Treasure.