Sunday, June 10, 2012

Recurring themes...'s only been a gazillion years since I updated this blog.  My apologies to my two followers! ;)          
I've been trying my best to participate weekly in a Twitter chat with several LDS Twitter friends about general conference talks (for the details on this and if you'd like to participate, please click here).              
This week the conference talk we will be discussing is How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life by Richard G Scott.   I don't believe in coincidence.  Today in RS our lesson was number 11 from Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, Revelation from God to His Children.  This seems pretty inconsequential, right?  Well, to some, maybe.  But this is not the first time since the weekly #LDSConf chat on Twitter started, that it has been connected to several other lessons, or "themes," if you will, that I have been subject to, whether through personal study, reading, participation or counsel. If the Twitter chat was Church affiliated, I'd say, well there you have it. But it's not, so I take that as Heavenly Father telling me, "Hey, you!  Yes, Ashlie, YOU!  LISTEN UP!"  Which is never a bad thing because I need all the help and divine inspiration I can get.                                                                                          
I promise this will tie in here to what I really want to say in just a moment :) 
When I was just baptized, I worked at a bar serving food.  It wasn't spectacular money, but I made enough to pay my rent, clothe myself, put gas in my car and get myself to church.  I had what I needed and then some.  I was happy.  But, I knew the environment in which I worked was not conductive to the Spirit and I knew a change could not be procrastinated.  Besides, I wanted the change to be on my terms and I didn't want to be compelled to find a new job by more desperate circumstances (aka, my boss was already on my case about customers talking about religion with me-and I never ONCE initiated the conversation!). About a week into my job search I had a very promising interview where, if I got the position, I would be helping to supervise the opening of a new branch of this business.  I felt so great about it, I just knew I had the job.  I also had tickets to my first ever General Conference and I wasn't missing that for anything less than a horrific flood. 
Eventually I was asked to complete a background check and drug testing for the new job and my boss asked when I could start.  I said, "I'm available any day, but this weekend (that of Conference) is non-negotiable.  I have a church conference that I cannot miss."  her response was definitely not one I had anticipated: "Well, I wish you would have told me that earlier, before the money was spent for drug testing and the background check, because I know that we will definitely need you that weekend to start opening the new store." 
My heart sank!  Here was my new job staring me in the face and I had to tell them no if they couldn't accommodate this one, measly weekend for me!  I told the woman, as graciously as I could, that I was sorry, but I understood if they needed to go with another candidate, because this is not something i can waiver on.  I hung up with her and, as I had been driving, I pulled my car over and before I could help it, tears were pouring out of my eyes. That had been my only solid job lead so far, and it had been mine!  My victory had been short-lived.
When I could get myself together enough to drive the few miles to my house, I said a prayer and I got on my way.  When I got home I started reading my scriptures, stopping a few times to plead with heavenly Father to help me find a new job so I could quit working at the bar.  I knew He would want me in a better environment. It was only around four in the afternoon when I'd gotten  home, but I remember getting extremely tired and not being able to help falling asleep really early, around 5:30 PM.                  
When I woke up the next morning I felt peaceful.  I felt like I should keep trying and Heavenly Father was going to take care of me.  I knew that He knows what He's doing and I shouldn't be afraid that I didn't have the answer when I wanted it because He does have the answer and He'll give it to me when it's best.  That day I went about my business.  It was my day off so I needed to get caught up on laundry and so many other things.  Even though I was bummed about not getting the job, my heart no longer felt heavy.  
That afternoon I went to a store to get a gift card for my friend's son's birthday and as I was getting into my car, my phone rang from a number I didn't recognize.  I never answered those calls but I instinctively felt that I should make an exception this time.  When I answered the call I was surprised to hear my would-have-been boss's voice on the other end.  She said, "Girl, someone must be looking out for you.  I just got off the phone with the crew setting up the new store and our opening is going to be pushed back two weeks, I would really like you to have this position, are you still available?"

My jaw dropped and my heart sang.  Heavenly Father made it work for me.  He was mindful of little, insignificant me and because I'd prayerfully made a righteous request, while doing what I was supposed to be doing, and putting my Faith in him, He supported me.  He found a way and He kept his promise.  He did not abandon me. 

And He has been with me since.  I share this story with you because it is probably the largest testimony building experiences I've had as a member of the Church. Though it seems so small, in my struggle at that moment in my life, it was dramatic and bigger than life.  Heavenly Father knows who I am and He never leaves my side, even though sometimes I'm a horrible daughter and don't do what he asks of me.              
If there is one message I could share, if I knew it would permeate the heart of every person who heard it, it would be that Heavenly Father KNOWS and LOVES you SO deeply.  Just because we don't understand the plan or His reasons are unknown  to us, does not mean they do not exist, or that they are irrelevant.  On the contrary, they are the most relevant things in our life, they are simply meant for our understanding at a later time in our life.   

That's all the rambling that I'll do tonight, since Adelaide is not attempting to crawl across the keyboard {I think she's subconsciously yelling, "I CAN'T BE TAMED!"}  

If you've read this whole thing, YOU ROCK, because I know it's long!!!  Thank you in earnest for being here!   


P.s. The Teichert painting, "Rescue of the Lost Lambs," is one that hangs in my in-laws cabin in Midway, UT and it is one of my favorite.