Sometimes, when I stare up at the stars I am amazed. Spectacular! Heavenly Father and Christ organized all of this for us! I see how big the universe is and I realize how small I am. I’ve often wondered, “Does He even know my name? How can He keep track of us all?”
I have learned from the scriptures that the “worth of souls is great.” (D & C 18:10) Jeremiah was taught by God that before he gained a mortal body God knew him, sanctified him and ordained him to be a prophet. (Jeremiah 1:5) Moses was taught that he was God’s son and God had a work for him to do. (Moses 1: 4,6) We also know that God loves us all so much that “He gave His only begotten son.” (John 3:16) God does love us and he knows us. Sometimes we may wonder, “Yes, but does He know me personally?”
Many years ago I was called to serve in a Relief Society Presidency. At our first presidency meeting our new president shared how she chose us to be her counselors. She said that after being called she went to the temple and inquired of the Lord. The Lord told her, “L. and Deanna are to be your counselors.” I was so excited! He knew my name! I know that may sound silly, but at the time I was overwhelmed with four tiny children and constantly thinking I had been lost to God upon the masses. Having knowledge that God knew my name was such a blessing.
Since then I have learned to have faith that God does know me and He does have a plan for me. Not only does he have a plan for me, but I am living that plan each day as I keep my covenants. I have learned to recognize the times he shows His love and awareness for me. When a friend calls and says, “I’ve made lunch. Come over, I have a feeling you need cheering up.” There are also many instances that continually happen were things just work out that seem like they shouldn’t. I realize again that God is watching out for me and he is aware of me. There have also been times when I need knowledge in order to proceed with assignments, lessons, or responding to emails. When I turn to Him God does reveal the information I need to fulfill that responsibility. Observing a beautiful bird singing on a fence post while I work outside trying to beautify my inheritance further shows me God is there for me and desires to brighten my day. I am not alone.
Recently I was reminded again that God is aware of each one of us. A young neighbor friend recently appeared in my kitchen. He seemed frantic and excited. He said, “Deanna, I have it, I have my mission call!” I looked down at his trembling hands. “You’ll never guess where" he said. Now before I tell you where he is being assigned I have to tell you about my young neighbor.
A couple years ago our area was blessed to have a temple dedicated closer to us. At the time I was serving as the Young Women’s President. I was responsible to help our ward’s youth prepare for the Youth Temple Celebration the night before the temple’s dedication. Those in attendance would include the prophet and several other leaders. When we started practicing for this event nine months before my young neighbor friend was in high school and was uncertain what he believed. I remember on the day I had to finalize (months before the event) which of our youth would dance and which would not that he was still trying to decide. Did he stand for Christ and his holy temple or was he going to do something else for the summer? It would sure have been easier to do something else. It was hard for him. He came from a family where some members didn’t care what he did. He had several friends that were rock solid. He leaned on them and made the choice. He would participate. I watched as his testimony grew. I watched him grow happier and more confident. I commented on his change in countenance several times to my husband. I was so proud of him.
He had one particular friend, Justin (name changed) that was an amazing support for him. He never preached to him, he was just good and solid. My neighbor respected him and tried to emulate him. They were friends. When Justin turned in his papers for a mission my neighbor followed his example.
So here my neighbor friend stood. “Deanna, I am called to serve in the Italy Rome Mission!” (Mission place as been changed) What is special about Rome you may ask? Justin had received his mission call to Rome just four weeks early. They were going to the same place. They live two blocks apart from each other and in a town with a population of 400 people. They have known each other since birth and they are going to be sent to the same mission on the other side of the world.
Now my friend’s submission papers didn’t say, “Please send me to same place as Justin’s because I’m scared, and I’m the first son in my family to serve a mission.” But God knew. God knows what choices my friend has made and how hard he has worked to be good. God knows that he depends on Justin. God knows that his parents will be more relieved than ever to know that their son is going to be with Justin. Somehow it is just going to be okay now.
I know that God knows each of us individually. He has a plan for us. He loves us. He is there for us. I know each day He is trying to show us that He is there, but sometimes we don’t recognize it or we don’t believe. I am trying to be better at recognizing God’s awareness of me and my family each day.