Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My list of "If God helped them then, He will help me now"

Nephi taught me to REMEMBER by making a list of people God has helped overcome what looked like impossible challenges. 

I invite you to make your own list. Watch it boost your courage, strength, and faith in God's ability to help you with your challenges. 

Several years ago I felt God inspiring us to homeschool our children.  I didn’t want to, I didn’t think I could, and quite frankly, I was utterly terrified. But I kept remembering Nephi’s story, and it gave me faith and courage to “go and do what the Lord has commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7) knowing that God would prepare a way for us to accomplish what He commanded us. I needed to boost my faith that God would help me do something that looked scary and impossible to me. So as a family we brainstormed a list of people from the scriptures, others in history, family, friends, and ourselves, whom God has given His power to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. 

I have kept my list in my planner to pull out whenever I need a boost of strength. 

Investing some time in making that list built my faith, strength and courage to do something very challenging to me, knowing that if God helped others and my family in the past, surely He would help me now.  May I invite you to do the same thing? Here is our list. I'm sure you could add many more people to it. 

Scripture people whom God helped overcome seemingly impossible challenges

God gave Queen Esther the courage to confront her husband and save her Jewish people. If God helped her, then He can and will also help you do what's right even when it's hard.
  • God told Lehi's family to leave their comfort zone of Jerusalem, just as he told us to leave our comfort zone of school. Although it wasn't easy, God helped them and they succeeded in doing God's will.  
  • Nephi in getting the brass plates. After two failures and two death threats, Nephi was committed not to return without those plates. He still went forward, trusting that the Spirit would guide him how to get those plates. This helped me stay committed to obey, even when it felt scary and I wasn’t sure how to get started.  
  • Nephi building a boat that would sail to the promised land, and he had never built one before
  • Esther going before the king to request he come to a feast, so she could save her people
  • Brother of Jared building barges to cross the ocean
  • Brother of Jared needing air and light in the barges, then seeing Jehovah’s finger and Him 
  • David as a child killing the giant Goliath 
  • Joseph of Egypt getting out of prison 
  • Joseph of Egypt saving all of Egypt and the surrounding area from starvation 
  • Daniel staying alive in the lion’s den 
  • Mary and Joseph raising the Son of God, even though they were imperfect human beings
  • Moroni compiling and abridging many, many records into the Book of Mormon, while war was raging around them and they were some of the only righteous left in the land 
  • Adam and Eve left the only place they’d ever known, the Garden of Eden, to live a mortal life and bring children into the world
  • Noah building an enormous ark (in the mountains of all places) and then gathering two of every kind of animal, all the while the community laughed and mocked him
  • Joseph Smith surviving first of all
  • Joseph Smith translating the gold plates into the Book of Mormon in a very short time, without a formal education, while moving around and being persecuted continually
  • Joseph restoring the gospel with the priesthood, RS, ordinances, temples, sacrament, and so on
  • Abraham passing the test of being willing to sacrifice his own son 
  • God being able to sacrifice His only begotten Son 
  • President Hinckley building more temples and traveling to more places in the world than any other prophet, even though he was in his 90s
  • Moses freeing the huge Israelite nation from slavery in Egypt, even though Pharoah repeatedly said no, even with repeated plagues, and even though the Israelites even pressured him to stop trying to free them

Ponder how impossible Moses' situation looked. You've got a huge sea in front of you, and an army behind you who wants to kill you and your people. Did Moses give up and give in? No, he knew that because God had helped Moses many times before, He would help him now. 

Other heroes whom God helped overcome seemingly impossible challenges

  • Christopher Columbus – finding America instead of the Chinese finding it first, even though they had more advanced ship technology much earlier than Europeans did. 
  • Jamestown – the last few remaining turned around and came back when they saw supply ships. That they saw supply ships at all. 
  • George Washington – said over 60? times that if it weren’t for God’s hand they would have lost the Revolutionary War, including the summer fog after the storm that let them cross the river at Valley Forge 
  • James Madison – wrote the Constitution, was able to gather those influential, chosen men, both amidst great resistance from Satan and men
  • Abraham Lincoln – Battle of Gettysburg was amazingly won, freed the slaves, kept USA from becoming many nation-states, kept Constitutionalism and democracy alive when the world saw it almost collapse under Continental tyrannical succession, which would have led to other successions.
  • World War II – Battle at Midway among others 
  • Ronald Reagan – reviving USA’s economy after the late 70s, shutting down the spread of communism around the world
  • Thomas Jefferson – wrote the Declaration of Independence, and each man signing it putting their lives on the line 
  • Harriet Tubman – risking her life to free many slaves 
  • Mother Theresa – dedicating her life to helping the poor, sick, and dying of Calcutta
  • Thomas Edison – failed over 1000 times and then invented the amazing light bulb 
  • Oliver DeMille – formed George Wythe College (now University) amidst great odds 

Thomas Edison overcame an impossible challenge and ultimately invented the light bulb, which would change lives around the world. 

Ways God has helped me and my family overcome seemingly impossible challenges. I hesitated including this list that is personal to my family, but I hope it encourages you to make a list of your own. 

  • Switching our life to homeschooling, moving past grieving our old life and having joy in our new life. God is guiding us to the resources, people, curriculum, money, groups, inspiration, systems, trainings, and conferences we need to succeed! 
  • Learning how to eat without any gluten, dairy, corn, or oats, moving past the grief, and living happily. 
  • Getting out of the Army early to attend BYU. At first they said no, but we felt it was God's will so we kept trying and finally they said yes! 
  • Mike receiving a 4-year degree in 2 years. While working two jobs to support our family. 
  • Attending law school instead of returning to the Army right away. At first the Army said no but we felt right about it so we kept trying and they finally said yes. 
  • Switching from returning to full-time Army to reserves, and staying here in Utah. The Army wanted Mike to return to full-time service, but finally they let us change our course. 
  • It looked impossible for me to move with Mike to his unaccompanied Korean Army duty as newlyweds, but we did it! 
  • It looked impossible for Mike to leave his old law firm and start a new firm on his own, but God inspired him to finally do it, and he did!  
  • It looked impossible to pay for homeschooling, let alone a wedding, just 8 months ago when Malia got engaged!!  We have seen huge miracles with that!  
  • Teaching institute, even though overwhelmed and intimidated, with an old manual. God helped me become competent, skilled, talented, and confident at preparing for and teaching institute lessons filled with the Spirit, love, fun, and inspiration to live a better life. 
  • Starting teaching organizing classes when Adam was a baby. Then Mike “picked me up” emotionally, and helped me start teaching it on my own.  That started many years of teaching thousands of women to help them put their lives in order and live more in line with God’s priorities and will for them. 
  • Mike getting into the Army looked impossible, and then God made it happen. It has been such a blessing to our lives over many years!  Mike getting through Basic Training looked nearly impossible to him, with hip flexor injuries, etc. 
  • The fact that I made it through Mike’s Iraq experience with my sanity intact looked impossible!  Not only that, but about half-way into it, I made a positive, pivotal shift in my thinking that helped me not only cope but thrive, and has changed the rest of my life! 
  • I didn’t think it was possible for me to be so fulfilled as a full-time mom, even though I’ve always believed in and promoted motherhood so much!  While Mike was in Iraq, I was prompted to take a job during the stage when I had less time that any other stage in my life!  It seemed impossible that I could take on something else during such an intensely stressful time, but I felt right about it. That experience was pivotal in helping cure me of the nagging dissatisfaction I had felt for the first nine-ish years of motherhood, even though I didn’t want to feel it.  I’m sure energy work helped with this healing too. 
  • The amazing job opportunity Mike got right out of law school as an assistant to the Davis County judges. It has been hugely influential in getting the job later as a prosecutor, then a defense attorney, and now those judges trust Mike so much they refer their own family and friends’ cases to him. 
  • I didn’t think I would ever be healed of depression, and I am! 


Shauna said...

Beautiful perspective. Thank you for sharing!

Marni Hall said...

Elder Sterling Sill would call that your personal Hall of Fame.

Marni Hall said...

For more "Hall of Fame" clarification, Sterling Sill was an assistant to the Twelve, then when they dissolved that position he became a Seventy. At the beginning of his book "Lessons from Great Lives," there is chapter that talks about this concept. He talks about this national monument where great leaders have been voted in and their busts placed there.

He talks about how we should each have our own personal Hall of Fame of people we admire. People we can look up to, even historical figures, and know well enough to be able to think, what would they do in this situation? Sill wrote over 100 mini biographies of people in his own Hall of Fame!