"God is using all of your experiences both good and bad, to develop your character to match His calling."
In the midst of trying times, we often ask God for his mercies before thanking him for the blessings we receive daily. I know this, because I quiet often do it more than I would like to admit. It's human nature, "to ask than shall receive." But as I look back on my daily talks with my tiniest little human loves, I realize that I am failing at this very important gospel tactic.
It's been 47 days since my Dad took his final breath and leaped into the arms of our Savior. While this time was peaceful, as we knew his cancer battle had been won, we ache. We ache in trying to hide pain so well. Or how my own spirit is a little more crushed each night, that he and I do not share a laugh. That my soon coming birthday seems more sad and how I wish for the day to pass without notice, all because it draws back memories of him feeling so well at my last birthday. The birthday where he picked on me, just as we so often did to one another and how I long for the moments to reoccur.
Then again, I also long to finish this testimony in fulfilling his wants and his determination to spread the gospel.
At some moments, I sit and think about what a powerful statement and task this might me for someone like me. Someone who is just learning the order of the books in the bible, the gospel stories, and studying the word. Because let's face it, my four year old little mission friends can probably recall more than I can at this moment. Yet, even through all of my ignorance and trials to learn more there is something that I consistently teach each child in my life... There are many ways to spread the gospel in our lost world.
While we are striving to know more, it doesn't mean that we cannot shower someone with joy. Joy can be shared in many different forms of the gospel light. These can be cards, simple texts, smiles, holding the door, or even volunteering. While I have been overly blessed with the out pouring love from so many families during my life, it is now that I see there's more to this than just kindness. It was a much more higher calling of spreading the gospel in a different form of love.
When my Dad would gently place an over exceeding tip amount to a waiter or waitress, he wasn't just being kind. When he bought Christmas gifts for children near by, that he knew would benefit from the joy of the morning, it wasn't just kindness. Or the amount of times he drove me around while I fussed and fretted about life itself, he wasn't just being my Dad.
Even in our on blindness it sometimes takes us believers to realize that the gospel can be shared in many lights. As the gospel is such a very powerful thing.
My Mother in law recently told me, "God doesn't waste pain" while I fretted over a sweet friends leukemia diagnosis. As us Kentucky folks often like to say, "this spun me for a loop." She is a woman of wisdom and solid biblical words, and I understood at that exact moment exactly what she meant by this simple statement.
While my pain is hard and fresh, I pray that this pain can be wrapped into a bundle of God stricken moments. That I can ask the Lord to fulfill me with a calling that I know can bless others with sharing parts of our story. Wether this be in a moment of friendship, passing of a stranger, or some random waiter telling our family a story of how he would like to take a trip home. May I be brave and bold enough to carry out the gospel in which He has laid before me. But most of all, that I always remember that God has laid out a plan for my life, one that is much greater than I have invisioned. That my pain may be real, but it shall not be wasted.