Tuesday, April 30, 2019

He Knows Me

Individual Worth #1

In this personal progress experience I read several scripture passages where the Lord tells prophets that he knew them before they were born or where He calls them by name. He tells them they were forordained to do the work on the Earth that they are doing. (Psalms 8: 4-6; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Abraham 3:22-23; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10; Joesph Smith History 1:1-20.)

When we read the scriptures, it is most impactful if we can put ourselves into them. I like to think of myself as being in the place of the person writing the scripture. Surely, if the Lord knew Moses or Abraham or Joesph He also knows me. This is what these scriptures teach me.

But I also have had numerous experiences where I have felt that the Lord knew me specifically. He knows my joys and sorrows, my strengths and weaknesses. He knows what I need to be happy and to grow. He points me to things that will help me do that.

One example of this is my current project of doing Camille's Personal Progress. I wrote that I had felt in a sort of slump in my first post on Keep the Faith (which I wrote right after I decided to do Cami's Personal Progress but before I decided to journal all the journal entries on the blog.)

The next morning I dove head long into doing this Personal Progress thing. I wrote like 4 posts that day and completed nearly all my Faith experiences. I only have to share my testimony this Sunday to finish my Faith experiences. I have felt so uplifted and purpose filled. Doing this has completely taken me out of my slump. It has reminded me how important it is for me to journal and write. I have not been good about that the last 5 years. I have relied on Instagram to document my life. But I have missed journaling. I need to be better about that even when I am done with this current project.

I am grateful that the Lord knows me well enough to know what I need and that He gives me those gentle nudges to do that which will make me happy and fulfilled.


Faith #7

I have been paying a tithing of 10% of my income to the Lord for as long as I can remember. At certain times in my life this has been an easier thing for me to do. At other times, it has taken faith. One such time was when I was in law school. I moved to Washington D.C. with basically nothing. I had about $1500 when I graduated college and I spent most of that backpacking Eurpoe for a month. (Priorities right?)

So I took out loans to pay my first tuition and my dorms. My parents had supported me 100% through college but aside from paying my car insurance, I was esentially on my own financially. I was doing night school and looking for a job to help me pay for school so I wouldn't have to take out so many loans. I felt led to go to school at Georgetown and had faith that the Lord would make a way for me to pay for it.

My brother Morgan though I was crazy. He and my sister Lesli had driven the car my parents were letting me use out across the country to pick me up after I got back from Europe in NYC and drive me down to D.C.  We were walking the streets of D.C. and he asked me why I was coming to school out here when I could have gone to University of Utah on a scholarship.

"You are gonna get married and have all this debt." He wasn't sure I would ever even practice. I told him I was gonna get a job to pay for it. He pointed out that as a public relations major, there was no way I was gonna get a job making enough money to pay for Georgetown tuition plus living in one of the most expensive cities in America.

After trying to justify my decision and him arguing with each of my points, I finally said, "listen, I know the Lord wants me out here. So He is going to make a way for me to pay for this."

He responded, "Okay, but you do understand that is the only reason you have given me that makes any sense right?"

Sometimes the Lord asks things of us that don't seem "reasonable." Anyway, I signed on with a temp agency while I looked for a job. The first gig I was assigned to was editor of a newsletter for a lobbyist. He liked my work. After a couple of weeks he offered me the job full time. He had also done Georgetown Law as a night student. He told me he didn't want me "eating Ramen" every night to get by and then offered me a salary twice what all my colleges at other publications were making. $36,000 a year. That was $1,000 more than my brother was making at his accounting job. :) I enjoyed calling to tell him my miraculous good news.

When I got home after that, I wrote out a budget. Before I started I figured I needed at least $100 a month to live. My housing and books and tuition was all paid in advance with loans. I wanted to save enough to cover my tuition for the next semester and only take out the subsidized Stafford loans that didn't accrue interest.

I started forming my budget and figured out how much I would need to put away each month to save for tuition. I factored in my tithing and a generous fast offering given my budget. After I deducted all my set expenses from my monthly net income, I was left with exactly $100 to spend on food and transportation. It was a sign to me. The Lord does provide, sometimes exactly what we need.

I did get married during law school and only worked for a year after school before I had Sabrina and quit. I ended up coming out of law school with only subsidized Stafford loans. (I think it was about $36,000 of debt. Tuition at that time was about $25,000 per year.) I was able to make enough money practicing law to pay off all my debt in 6 months, before it accrued any interest.

I attribute this financial miracle to faith, hard work, and paying a full tithe.

Jonathan and I have been through a few financially difficult times and times of unemployment. Even when we have lost everything, the Lord has always helped us find ways to regroup, find employment, or send helping hands to see us through. These are blessings of an honest tithe.