I like to believe there’s a part of us who want to make a difference in someone’s life. For many the act of being the best friend or family member or church member or active citizen they can be is enough. They do not require the accolades of those around them to feel good about themselves.
I am not one of those people :)
There is something ingrained deep within the most hidden parts of my soul that not only wishes to make a difference however big or small to a friend or even stranger out in the world, but also hungers for the occasional recognition of such efforts put out there. It's more than just wanting to hear "Thank you" or "You're awesome." It's beyond the need to know someone appreciates the talents and gifts my Heavenly Father has granted me. There is a part of me that longs to know I have become something important, even life changing, to someone out there.
Now before you think I give service and other acts of kindness for the glory, that’s not what I’m saying at all. I adore showing those I love them for two reasons: first, because I love them and adore showing it! And second, because I dearly love my Heavenly Father and Savior and know when I serve my fellow men and women, I’m showing my love for Them as well.
Yet every once in a while I begin to wonder just how much of a difference I might be making in this crazy world. I question whether or not the things my Heavenly Father has granted unto me to do, in particular with my talents, have really meant more than just something to think about or appreciate in the lives of those I come in contact with. I can’t help myself. Every once in a while I need to know I’ve touched someone in a way that will change their lives for the better.
Maybe, just maybe, the need to know such things was also given to me by my Heavenly Father in the hopes I would push myself harder and further to be that someone.
For a while now I’ve been wondering about my Sunday posts here, as I’ve struggled to feel truly inspired lately. I know some of my depression has settled back in as I’ve watched our little family spend less and less time together as the demands of my husband’s job and calling have been taking him away more and more. And of course there’s the yearly “letdown” of having the kids go off to school, and suddenly I’m left with one little girl who demands so much of my time I hardly know how to channel my creativity in ways that include her sitting on my lap.
Though I have so much fun trying to think up silly or meaningful things to put here on my blog, it wasn’t until a friend wrote a letter about some experiences she’s had in the last little while that I was finally able to answer the question I didn’t know I’d been asking: am I honestly doing something here to make a significant change in someone else’s life? Are my words really meant to be more than just fun? Am I doing any good in this world? And Father, can you give me a hint that I’m meant to keep going?
I’d been very reluctant to start a blog. It was only after offering many prayers and receiving some major spiritual answers I felt it was something I needed to do. When I began my Sunday Inspirations I was nervous. Would I inadvertently offend someone? Would I be able to state my ideas in a clear and simple manner? Would I run out of ideas within the first month?
Over a year later I seem to be going strong. It’s not easy. Some Sundays I feel so inspirationless I can’t think of a thing to say. It took a while for me to realize it’s okay. After all, we none of us are at our best every day of the week. Perhaps it’s just when I find myself with a month of feeling less than inspired I begin to wonder if every effort I put into this is worth it.
Then, a few days ago, I received one of the most beautiful offerings of what my blog has meant to someone. Not just in a, “I really enjoy reading what you have to say and it makes me feel good” sort of a way, but in a, “You have helped me in ways you cannot imagine” sort of a way. Jennie had invited me to be a part of a Yahoo group she helped put together, and in my introduction of myself I sent a link to the post on the death of our little D. She reread this experience of mine, as well as the talk I’d posted on looking for the Lord's tender mercies, and not only felt grateful for it, but put both posts to use in her life.
I hope she won’t mind, but I feel so grateful for her parting remarks and want so very much to share them with you, as it might give you an idea of what it meant to me.
“Thank you for sharing your testimony. I want everyone to read your blog - the message you share is deep, but yet so simple. It is encouraging in a mist of darkness. It lifts the clouds of despair. It reminds me to do my part and God will be there for me, for my family.”
I cannot claim credit for my words, even for a moment, for I know full well the things I wrote for both posts were truly inspired by my Heavenly Father. He even gave me one of the most excruciating and extraordinary experiences of my life to help me find a way to help others out there who might struggle against seemingly impossible odds. And so I sit here at my little computer so grateful to a wonderful Father who not only knows what His children need to hear, who not only grants me the privilege to make a few words into something inspiring to others, but who knows every once in a very long while I need to hear that everything I’ve put my heart and soul into was worth all the effort, agony, and exhilaration. That even when I’m not feeling very inspired, it’s okay, because there will always be another week the things placed so carefully into my heart will be precisely what someone needs as an answer to his or her own prayers.
So Jennie, I thank you today, for being an answer, an inspiration, and a friend for me. And my challenge for the rest of you out there is this: think of someone who has had such a significant impact on your life you know for a fact you would not have been the same without him/her, and TELL THEM!!!