How grateful I have been for the past couple of weekends when, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been privileged to gather and listen to the leaders of our church. First, with Women’s Conference and then with General Conference. I came away with a desire to do better, to be better.
I was particularly touched by the talks highlighting the call to serve the millions of refugees around the world. I was touched by Sister Burton’s words – “What if their story was my story?” I’m not sure I’ve heard more humbling words. Words that made me count my blessings. Words that made me want to do something.
I went to work searching for local refugees in my area, only to find the closest in my state are six hours away, and they are very few. I found a place in Atlanta, which is four hours away, but they only accept volunteers that can commit to coming twice a week at certain times, something I can’t do right now. I was discouraged. I was hoping to do more than just donate money to the humanitarian fund to help. So I got down on my knees and I asked the Lord who and how I could help.
How has he answered my prayers so far?
The following Friday after Women’s Conference I had the opportunity to chat with a beautiful friend of mine. She’d had a tough week. She’s a first year teacher and this is her first time working outside the home. I know many of us can relate to how hard it can be to be a fulltime mother and a fulltime employee. I have been there, and it can be exhausting trying to juggle all of the responsibilities; and sometimes balls get dropped. I felt impressed the next day, before conference began, to write her a note and take her a conference treat. It wasn’t anything special, just a note to say how much I admired her, to offer her my help.
This past week I again had the prompting to serve another sister in my ward. It had been a busy week for me. I’m in the middle of trying to prepare to release another novel, and that means sometimes I spend twelve hours or more a day going through my manuscript. Thursday was just one of those days. I was looking forward to my Friday, and had my day planned out. Halfway through my day, I heard that still small voice encouraging me to contact our Stake Young Women’s President to ask her if she needed help for the upcoming dance she was in charge of. She is probably the most capable and crafty person I know, so at first I didn’t listen to the prompting, but it came again a few minutes later. I texted this dear lady and within a minute got of a response of, yes, they needed help setting up that night. It was not what I wanted to do after a long, hard week, to help someone for four hours. I was tired. But, I stopped and thought about all the times my burdens had been made lighter by others and remembered that I had asked the Lord for the opportunity. I went willingly and felt blessed for it. I had the opportunity to work side by side with my friends, and the some of the young women I serve.
These two examples may not seem like much. I didn’t get to help the hungry and the needy, instead I got to put a smile on a friend’s face and I got to reduce the stress of another dear friend. And more importantly I got to help my Heavenly Father.
I think the first two verses of “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” sum up my feelings perfectly.
It may not be on the mountain height
Or over the stormy sea,
It may not be at the battle’s front
My Lord will have need of me.
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
Perhaps today there are loving words
Which Jesus would have me speak;
There may be now in the paths of sin
Some wand’rer whom I should seek.
O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide,
Tho dark and rugged the way,
My voice shall echo the message sweet:
I’ll say what you want me to say.
Remember, sometimes it is our literal neighbor he want us to serve. And whether the service be grand or small it makes a difference for we are His hands.