Saturday, October 15, 2011

Not the will to believe...

My beautiful daughter Dannielle gave me a bracelet recently inscribed with a quote that reads "Perhaps what we need is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out" by William Wordsworth. Pretty strong words, huh? No clue what they really meant until today...

This morning one of my best friends, Janette, and I drove to Eureka to look at a potential place to hold Girl's Camp next year. We met the "Ranger Lady" and as us women folk tend to do we fore-went the "straight to business" attitude (shocker, huh?) and chatted. As we talked and shared our stories and experiences, I felt the Spirit so strongly. She courageously gave us two books that she said "changed her life" and brought her closer to Christ. As we were saying good-bye, I got into my car and was putting my books in the arm rest and there was a Book of Mormon. The Spirit told me that as the books she gave me had changed her life the Book of Mormon changed mine and I HAD to give it to her. How could I not? Here is a sister in Christ who possessed the valor to follow the prompting of the Spirit to share His word with me, a stranger, and at that moment I knew that she deserved no less from me. I am not proud to admit it, but that was the first time I had the nerve to follow the Spirit and share what I know to be true and life changing with someone I had never met and I owe it all to the "Ranger Lady" who in two short hours showed me the meaning of courage, and how to love and show concern for every soul, no matter who, no matter where.

So why did he choose "Ranger Lady" ? I have had SO many examples of this type of courage in my life, my little love, Jojo has never had a problem sharing the gospel and taking that step to give someone a Book of Mormon. My precious heart, Dan'l invites people to church functions without hesitation. One of the greatest men I know who, I am blessed to call my son-in-law, Atlee, spent two years going door to door, valiantly delivering God's message, praying everyday that he could serve God's children fully and share with them the true and everlasting gospel. I cannot forget the brave young men who found me when my life had been pulled apart at the seams and patiently shared with me the book that would change my life forever and I must mention the countless brothers and sisters who have taught,supported and testified to me of the true and living God that has helped me in my journey on this earth.

So again, why "Ranger Lady"?

I now know, it is because God will teach us when we are ready, He will teach us through various experiences and elect people. Today I was blessed to visit with a messenger of God who taught me to overcome my fear and weakness in sharing the word of God. The courage I felt at that moment when I saw that Book of Mormon (which had been laying in my console for almost two years) was not like the storybook surge of courage that leads valiant warriors into the fray, it was quiet, simple, unscripted. I had no control over myself, no fear, no inhibitions, I grabbed that book and stammering like an idiot I thrust it into her hands and rapidly spat out clumsy words that I hope made her feel as loved as she made me feel today. Please don't for a second think I was some converted heroine,Puh-lease, my stomach knotted up, I was terrified, scared of rejection, scared that she would take offense to my intrusiveness and think that I had done this purely to match her offer as a mundane exchange of religious values. AND IT FELT GREAT! Why have I waited so long to do this? I feel so alive, like bungee jumping adrenaline alive! My eyes keep tearing up and I can't thank God enough for sending me "Ranger Lady" to open my eyes.

All these years my perception of what courage feels like has been so off base. I have always had the will to serve, the will to believe that I could share the word of God, the will to believe that I could serve my brothers and sisters according to the desire of my Heavenly Father, and the will to believe that Heavenly Father would help me in all that I asked for, and yet I sat, immobile, uttering monotonous prayers and wondering when I would feel ready to act on my beliefs. In James 2:26 it reads "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" so if faith depends on work to thrive, so must "the will to believe" be accompanied by "the wish to find out." What a beautiful day.