“I don’t have a special place, Mom.”
It was a few nights before Christmas and I had just finished reading, The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, aloud to my 5-year-old daughter. (If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend doing so.) I assured her that she does indeed have a special place as we finished up our bedtime routine. After an extra-long hug, I could hear her breathing become heavy and knew that she was already fast asleep. I turned off her bedroom light and took a few moments to stare at her beautiful face in the glow of her nightlight. With tears trickling down my cheeks, I couldn’t help but say a quiet prayer asking God to please help her to know that she truly does have a special place in His plan. And I made a resolution to be better at letting her know all the reasons she has a special place in my heart.
In the days since, I have spent a lot of time pondering my daughter’s quiet statement. Truthfully, I know I have found myself with that same thought over the years. I’m quite certain that most of us have had similar thoughts at one point in our lives. That yearning to be assured that we matter, that we are loved, that God has a purpose specifically for us.
I have been reminded, frequently, the past few years that the roads we walk are helping to fulfill the Lord’s great work. There are lessons we can only learn through a specific experience. There are people we can only help because we wandered through a similar wilderness. There is light we only see because we spent time navigating through darkness. But, the Lord has promised us that
“all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly.” (D&C 90:24)
While the theme “A Great Work” has been specifically crafted for the youth of the church this year, I think we can all gain understanding and confidence from engaging in the great work the Lord has planned for each of us. In the January 2021 FSY magazine, the Young Men and Young Women General Presidencies proclaim “You are part of a specialized unit to find and accomplish your part in the Lord’s great work.” There are so many women who have felt the call to engage in the gathering of Israel lately. But, as I have talked to friends and acquaintances, I have realized that there are more women who feel like they don’t have a place. Or maybe they feel like they have a place, but they are not sure how to claim it because it seems like someone else already has.
I love the assurance that comes in D&C 88:58:
“And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their Lord, every many in his hour, and in his time, and in his season.”
You haven’t been left out. The Lord loves you and wants to help you discover what your great work is. When we are diligently seeking Him, He will enlighten our minds. He will send peace to our souls. He will send angels to tutor us. He will guide us step by step down the path He needs us to walk. He will make sure our experiences will link us with the One we are meant to yoke with.
“As we are all of one family, let us be united in doing all the good we can in our sphere, for we are able to accomplish much, if we feel like doing it.” (Elicia A Grist, We Have Each a Mission to Perform)
We will accomplish the Lord’s great work as we each strive to find our own place in it. It may look similar to someone else, but the way you perform the work will be unique to you. We are all journeying toward the same destination to live eternally in our Heavenly home, but there are countless ways to arrive there. My prayer for each of us this year is that we will be able to exclaim as Joshua the crippled lamb did, “You were right, God does have a special place for me.”
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Audra is our Content Manager and Creative Director. She and her husband have three children.
Audra is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. If you were to drop by her house, you would most likely find her in a favorite pair of leggings with a book in one hand and a cookie in the other.
Audra loves inspiring others through public speaking and writing. She has been featured on several podcasts, including This is the Gospel podcast and Spiritually Minded Mom. She has written articles for communities such as Work + Wonder and A Voice of Gladness.
Audra has also been a local presenter at Time Out for Women in Raleigh, NC. Other interests include baking, photography, and fitness.
Audra created and hosted a retreat for Christian women in North Carolina which allowed her to combine some of her favorite passions – unity, friendship, and developing personal relationships with the Savior.
Audra currently resides in North Carolina, USA.
You can connect with Audra on Instagram or on any of A Worldwide Sisterhood platforms.