The week has been a good one in Houghton Lake. It is a tough area. I feel like everyone is angry with God, but they have helped me to dive a little deeper and find out what kind of a parent god is. He really is the ideal father. We have helped a few people understand his nature by comparing the way they behave as parents. "Have you ever told your kids no? Why?" We asked a woman named Amy. "Because the thing they wanted wasn't the best thing for them. You tell them no because you have something better in mind for them." We helped her understand that God had not abandoned her. That God sometimes with holds things from us because he knows better than we do. That he wants to play a role in our lives, but sometimes we act like disgruntled teenagers and turn away from him, complaining that he doesn't care and doesn't understand, when we are the ones who shut him out. We had an awesome lesson with her. I was able to relate to her very well. She was shocked when she found out I was 19. She was awesome! She committed to daily prayer and scripture study. I really do testify that it works! Draw near to him, and he will draw nearer to you.
I also have found that many here feel as though they are failures. When we asked a single mom named Shannon how she thought God felt about her. She said, "I think he is ashamed of me." We were able to testify to her with all our hearts that God is not ashamed and never could be. We asked her how she would feel if her daughter made a mistake and came to her for help. She said that she would love her no matter what and do anything she could to help her through it. We were able to share that God feels the same for her. We testified that through the atonement, she could be changed, and be made 100% whole. We shared experiences from our own lives and how the Gospel makes it possible. We also shared that she was out in Middle of Nowhere, Michigan but we were led to knock on her door. God had sent us there to help her. As she prayed, she broke down, and said, "Thank you for sending these men here. I pray that this works. Amen." She is the sweetest lady.
The last experience I wanted to share was about a man named Robert. He felt as though he wasn't being a good enough dad. He was overwhelmed, because he didn't feel like he was making the right parenting moves. As we talked to him about this, we felt prompted to invite him to read the Book of Mormon with the question, "What kind of parent is God?" He was very interested in that. He was a fine man. I know that reading the Book of Mormon or the Bible with similar questions will help change us. I hope that he does it, for it will help him come to know how God feels towards him.
These people are amazing and they don't even know it. I love these people with all my heart. What I wouldn't give to help them realize who they truly are. We are children of God, brothers and sisters, working towards the common goal. This is true regardless of class, creed, race, or appearance. Let us love and serve one another in anyway that we can, and we will be filled with this love!
Michigander for Life!