I was having a soul piercing conversation with my best friend last week. The writing I will post below was written by her at my request because I never want to forget the things she was teaching me. I know it will be of value to every reader because what she wrote was pure revelation from the Lord.
Spiritual Gifts and Blessings
Nearly ten years ago I listened in amazement as a young woman, only seventeen, described what it meant to her to be “Highly favored of the Lord.” She was an incredible soccer player who played the forward, goal shooting position for her High School soccer team. It came in a burst of enlightenment one day while she was practicing, that she was thankful for both of her legs, their strength, developed agility, and their ability to follow through quickly the commands of her mind. But, when she needed to make a goal, she “favored” her right leg. She trusted that leg to accomplish her literal and figurative goal. It made her think about how she wanted to be favored by the Lord, and be trusted to follow through with whatever His goal may be. That has stuck in my mind and I want to hug her every time I remember that and the way her inspiration has expounded in my mind as well.
Later, while serving as our ward Relief Society president, I had the challenge of watching over and caring for nearly 160 women and their families. It was a daunting and overwhelming task. I need God and my Savior constantly to hold me up. I created anxiety for myself by thinking that a good president would wander the neighborhood with a wagon of lasagna’s and cleaning supplies to be able to help anyone in need at a moment's notice. I made myself sick, but what I was taught by the Master Teacher was simple. It came as a pure and peaceful revelation that I needed to, “Send Rebecca.” This situation needed a Laura, or a Marie, or a Jessica. These 160 women didn’t need me 24/7, they needed the gift, the blessing, and sometimes the powerful weapon the Lord sent in the form of their neighbor and friend. I found myself appreciating on a whole other level the spiritual gifts these beautiful women had been given. I could rely on this person to help with kids, this person to make a meal, or this person to sit and merely abide with someone in need. These were not felt to be burdens to these women because it was what felt natural and easy to them to give. Expressed as a flowing out of the gift they had received as a gift from God.
From my personal experiences and from listening to ladies I love, I realized that we often are dissatisfied with what we have been given and what it is we give. A powerful teacher wishes they were softer and gentler. The quiet ministering angel that softly cares for a sick friend feels bad that they aren’t able to speak truth with the fire someone else has. What I have been thankful to learn in that each person, with their unique gift, is powerful. It is needed. They are Highly Favored. To imitate another’s gift, or berate ourselves for the lack we have, has to be a sin because of the sickness we bring upon our own souls. It isn’t healthy or helpful. What is life changing is to ask God to show us what gift He has given us. “What is it you love about me?” “What is the gift you have given me to accomplish my work?”
In the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy visit Narnia. Mr. Tumnus, the faun Lucy befriends, tells her that since the White Witch took control “it has been winter but never Christmas.” Cold without the warmth Christmas or Christ, brings. As the White Witches power begins to wane, and Aslan is on the move, the winter starts to thaw and for the first time in memory Father Christmas comes and gives the kids true gifts they will need for the upcoming battle. They were not given toys but tools. He gives Peter a Sword, named Rhindon and a shield. Susan received a bow and quiver of arrows, and a horn that is later heard in the battle against the witch. Edmund wasn’t there and missed the gift that was given then, but when he returns doesn't miss out on the battle or the crowns with their new titles in the throne room. Little Lucy receives a small dagger and a “Magical healing cordial”. I want to be “Peter the Magnificent” in the story! He is brave and true and fights valiantly in the battle against the witch. Who I resemble more in real life is Lucy. Lucy watches the battle from the hill tensley. She isn’t an active participant in the battle. I don’t remember her killing anyone or heroically sweeping in and saving one of her loved ones with warfare brilliance. Instead, as the battle fades she goes to work helping everyone she can with her healing elixir. She is more like a nurse who is just as needed in a battle, rather than the general or soldiers. Nothing lacking and equal courage and strength needed for each. The tasks are different, the goals are different, the people are different, so it is necessary the Gifts are also different.
What are your gifts? What strengths have you been given that aid the Body of Christ and even the Battle of or for Christ? Whatever it is, it is needed. It is favored, you are favored to do the work that suits your spirit. Admire other gifts and other people, but don’t allow it to take away from yours, but allow it to be mutually enriching. Don’t look down on anyones’ gifts, that points to lack of knowledge or understanding. Don’t dilute or weaken your own gift by dismissing it as lame or unworthy. Whatever your gift is, wield it now in practice. Strengthen it with use and gratitude.
I believe that we will all be called upon when we are needed to fulfill whatever it is we do best because of what The Giver of all Good Gifts, has given us. Your name will be called when that weapon is needed by the Great General to accomplish His work. Great or small, flashy or quiet, each is beautiful and essential to Him that created you and your gift.
You Are My All in All