I would never compare my life to that of Esther's in the magnitude of responsibility, but I have always looked at her with awe. Her remarkable strength and courage to do something really hard has given me fortitude many times in my life. The way she turned to God in prayer and fasting has always been an example of how the simple things can make a difference.
As I look around at the women in my life, my neighbors, friends, and even strangers that I meet I find the same strength and resilience even though their trials and weaknesses all look different. However, I have always found it difficult to see those same traits in myself.
This was very evident the Monday night before RootsTech, as I laid in bed crying trying to figure out how I had gotten myself into this position of presenting a workshop that I felt completely inadequate participating in. I knew I was prepared. I had spent the last couple of years studying and living family history, but I let the doubt and fear of who I wasn't, become stronger than the faith I had in the Lord and His ability to make up for my weaknesses. Thankfully I was able to receive a priesthood blessing that brought peace, but I still did not know how it was all going to work out. So like many other times in my life, I put my trust in God and walked a path of faith.
"I am inadequate. But the Lord is not inadequate. I'll depend on Him." (Neill F. Marriot, "A Gathering of Women," BYU-Idaho, March 2018)
The morning of LightKeepers this scripture kept running through my heart, again, not because I was saving the world, but I was doing something difficult for me and I knew the Lord had prepared me for this event. I didn't understand and the question, "Why me?" kept running through my head. There were so many more qualified women that could teach this, but I was here and I would do all that I could for Him. Because for Him I will do anything. Because of Him, I had absolute peace as I walked into the room where three hundred women (a handful of men) will fill in and expect to be inspired and fed. The words that came out of my mouth were not always what I had practiced, but they were what God wanted me to say and the day was remarkable. Not because of me, but because the Spirit, the Holy Ghost answered the prayers of my heart and many others in the room. His influence taught in ways I will never be able to if left on my own, but with Him, miracles can happen.
At the end of the day, I knew that this scripture was meant for all of us. I am not singular or special. I am just one woman doing all that I can to help others. I am just one woman who loves Christ and wants to always remember Him. I am one woman trying to change my nature so that I can become more like Him. I am one woman surrounded by many who help lift and strengthen me.
We each have gifts, unique talents, and strengths that help those around us. Each day we have the opportunity to show faith and follow Jesus or to have fear. Our lives are different, our situations and trials are different, but like Esther, we are uniquely prepared for this time and this day. We will always face the reality that we are not enough, but the Lord is enough and He will do what we cannot if we just follow Him.
I loved this quote I read yesterday by Virginia H Pierce, "Unity is a holy thing. How many times did the Savior reiterate His oneness with the Father and His injunction that if we are not one, we are not His? Unity doesn't mean "rubber-stamping" the word of our leaders. It requires listening, weighing, pondering, seeking inspiration, speaking up, articulating problems, and recommending solutions." (The Beginning of Better Days: Divine Instruction to Women from the Prophet Joseph Smith," Deseret Book, 2012, p. 10-11)
UNITY IS HOLY.
We can't do it alone. Whether we are united with the Lord or as sisters, friends, and neighbors (or all of the above) we can accomplish all that is required of us. Even remarkable things, because He is not inadequate.
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