Each Faithful Step Taken
By Emily Hartford of Lawrence, KS, USA
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. -Luke 4:1-2 NRSV
In 2009, my husband and I had the opportunity to volunteer with World Service Corps in Australia. I quickly fell in love with both the country and the people. I loved hearing the sound of knitting needles in church. I admired the hand-sewn outfits on babies and beautiful blankets created with intention. The women of Victoria were a treasure trove of crafting knowledge.
Joyce invited our family over for morning tea and so I could peruse her fabric stash. She was a gatherer of textiles-and stories. I learned basic sewing as a child, but Joyce…she was a seamstress! She could create something beautiful out of anything. To be honest, I felt intimidated by her skills and her mountains of beautiful fabric! I think she sensed my hesitation and began to tell stories of teaching others to sew.
Many years ago, Joyce gave fabric to a young mother much like me. The woman was hesitant to create, fearing that she would mess up and ruin what had been shared. Joyce encouraged her to try, and if she didn’t succeed, just put the project into a brown paper bag and toss it into the rubbish bin! Joyce wanted her to have the freedom to try.
I went home with no pattern and created a small blanket. I felt liberated to have the freedom to fail! Joyce taught me that God has freely given gifts to all of us, and it isn’t our job to guard them. Just like Joyce, God desires for us to experiment, to learn, and to develop all that we have been given.
My life has been drastically different since that day. I am not afraid to fail. And when I do, I see instead the success of each effort.
God delights in each faithful step taken (paraphrased from Doctrine and Covenants 163:10a).
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.