“After all that Jesus Christ did for you, I invite you to do something this week to follow His teachings…you can start today on a new spiritual quest.” (Russell M Nelson, The Peace and Hope of Easter, A Palm Sunday Invitation 2021)
As I listened to our Prophet speak of the Savior and invite us to start something new, my mind immediately started scrolling a list. I love invitations to act from President Nelson, I have never once been disappointed by the results. They haven’t always looked the way I thought they would, but there is always a blessing waiting at the end of the journey.
But, here I sit, an entire week later still not sure what new spiritual quest I’m starting. All week, I watched friends and influencers post on social media about what they were #startingtoday. And I kept coming up empty handed. Quite honestly, it made me feel like my preparation for General Conference was subpar. I can’t even come up with one thing?
My husband sometimes calls me fickle. He’s not saying it to be mean, he’s more intrigued by the fact that I have so many interests and actually put in the effort to pursue most of them. And I do. And then once I feel like I’ve gotten something out of it, I feel okay setting it aside and moving on to the next thing. Playing piano. Swim Team. Photography. Hosting a retreat. Running a 5k. Teaching group fitness. All things I wanted to pursue at one point in time; and I did. But, eventually I no longer felt excited or inspired by those things and moved on to something else. I like to learn and I want to learn all the things. I used to think it was a pitfall, but now I see it as one of my gifts. Because I know there are people out there who feel like they’re not really interested in anything. (I live with a few of them.)
So, really, it wasn’t that I couldn’t think of anything to do for President Nelson’s challenge. More like I was paralyzed by all the options in front of me. And now it’s Saturday morning, just a few hours before the opening session of general conference and I still don’t know what I’m starting.
But, God does.
At just the right moment, He told me. That’s how it always works – in His timing. I continue to learn that lesson and I’m so grateful for it.
As I opened my scriptures to read, I found myself in 3 Nephi. I love when the Savior visits the people in America after his crucifixion. I could read those chapters every day and still they would make my heart soar and tears fall. I started to read 3 Nephi 9 and, as always, my mind caught hold on some of my favorite promises from the Savior. And then, verse 20.
“And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.”
Immediately, I felt relief wash over me. All week I have been so excited for general conference. To hear what the Lord has to tell me. In doing so, I was offering a willing heart and mind. I am preparing myself to hear Him. The past few months, my mind has been so busy with all that life is throwing my way, I have just been getting through each day with very little time for stillness and pondering. But, this week? I made time for quiet. I set aside the busyness and have allowed time to just let my mind wander. In doing so, I am offering my heart. Because I truly do want to know what He wants to tell me.
Our sacrifices look different, mine certainly doesn’t look the way I thought it should. Thankfully, Heavenly Father knows our thoughts and hearts. Even when we don’t understand where they’re guiding us, He does and in His timing we are given that understanding, too.
As we direct our focus to Jesus Christ, we cannot go wrong in our offerings. “As our resurrected and atoning Savior, He stands ready to help us grow from the dramatic, unexpected events in our lives.” (Russell M Nelson)
Beautiful artwork by Lacey Zubia Christenson
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.