I was thinking of doing a “Spiritual Sunday” theme. I believe in God and maybe you do or don’t or believe in something else completely different. But I think we can all learn from each other’s experiences with the spiritual. So, I hope to share what little bit I have learned from life and faith and hope.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf and I are good friends. He just doesn’t know it. I started running about 18 months ago and decided I would run a half marathon after saying I would and hiding from it for years. My brother in law, Ryan, passed away unexpectedly and it pushed me into doing it while I still can. When I began “running”, I was slow and tired and it was hard but I listened to some talks by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a leader in my church. I normally listen to music when I work out but I found a great peace and clarity when I listened to him share his stories and wisdom. At times, I would find myself tearing up or laughing out loud and I felt like I was listening to an old friend. I always came back home feeling more positive and loving and patient.
He is a World War II refugee, not once, but twice. He was a commercial airline pilot and progressed through the ranks of leadership quickly. He tells stories of falling down skiing with his grandson (and not being able to get back up.) He tells about meeting his wife for the first time and of his love for her. He tells a story about Great Aunt Rose and living a positive life. He tells about picnicking on the wrong side of a World War II Germany border. His German accent is fun to listen to! My kids enjoy him too. He is a wealth of knowledge.
However, my most favorite talk from him,(if I’m forced to choose one) is called “Forget me Not“, where he reminds us of God’s love for us. It always touched my heart because I first heard it as a young mother when I did feel forgotten at times. In the midst of raising a young family, I often felt a bit alone. Blake is a wonderful husband and was working and going to school. But when I heard this talk, I knew I was important to God. I knew that he knew my needs and wishes and dreams and that He cared. This is so central to my worth as a person that I try to teach it to my children as often as I can. One of my favorite quotes from this talk is, “Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you.”
I remember looking over and seeing one of my dear friends silently crying with tears streaming down her face. She had been through the wringer and life had not been kind to her. And my heart went out to her. And I realized that we all have felt alone. We all have felt not good enough or lost at times. And though we feel these things, and the feelings feel real, they just aren’t true. We do have a Heavenly Father who has watched over us for our whole lives, no matter our choices, no matter our situation. He loves us and is constantly cheering us and hoping to help us in any way that we will let Him. “He who created and knows the starts knows you and your name.” I truly believe this.
And finally, I really appreciate Uchtdorf’s respect and understanding of women. In a world where women are seemingly pushed one way or another to find happiness or to be enough, I really appreciate what he has to say about women. He builds women up and appreciates what we have to offer the world, no matter what our calling, job, amount of children or lack thereof, size, wealth or intelligence. He is able to send a message of confidence and happiness and appreciation to women and girls everywhere! And I believe he is able to do this because he follows God and I know for certain that God loves women and girls and all people, everywhere. I know this because I have felt it in my heart. So, if any of you are feeling frustrated and alone or just need a little lift, listen to one of his talks. They are only 15 minutes long or so and I promise you will come away feeling better about yourself and what you are doing with your life. Happy Sunday, friends.