I recently watched a movie entitled, "Faith, Hope and Love". It's about a man who lost his wife tragically to a car accident and left to care for two daughters. Because his last name was hard to pronounce, he shortened it to be "Hope". The youngest daughter was in dance and there was an adult competition to raise funds to save the studio. The girl desired that her father enter the competition and become the dance partner of her teacher, "Faith". As the story goes along, they both share their insecurities, weaknesses and desire to gain other romantic relationships, not realizing the one that they were forming.
Without too much of a spoiler alert, at the final competition they had to come up with a team name and struggled through the entire process to do so. Their final decision was "Faith, Hope and Love" (yeah you probably figured out what happened)
Anyways, why is this story on my mind? I mean honestly I fall asleep through almost every movie that starts, not because I'm not interested, but I run so hard and so fast all day long that when I do take time to sit down, my body wants to sleep! Not this time! My heart was in the movie!
I've been thinking about it the last couple days and trying to relate it to my own life. The biggest takeaways that we can ever learn is how every little thing we encounter can be related to our beliefs and understanding of a true, living God who knows us, what's best for us and how to guide our path to accomplish that.
Although I couldn't relate to the story from the movie, I contemplated how I could relate and it brought me to my testimony of these three words that make the title of the movie.
I was blessed to be raised by a grandma who consistently took me to church, taught me and loved me and helped ensure that I was at every event that I wanted to be at that would encourage my faith to grow. I participated in yearly youth temple trips, weekly activities and weekly church attendance. I learned to increase my faith when there were times that I needed the extra strength. I learned how to rely on God to guide my path when I didn't know I fit into the lives those around me were living (would I be able to afford college, would I get married in the temple, would I continue my testimony as an adult without the same support as a youth, etc.). My faith has helped secure the consequences in my life that have helped me see that God knows me personally.
There have been countless opprounties for me to practice hope. When I was younger, I had hoped for an eternal family. My parents were never married to each other. My mother wasn't an active member of the LDS church and my dad was never a member. To me, it seemed like this reality would never come to pass. When I met my husband, I was terrified to get married, seeing all the failed marriages around me. Nevertheless, I chose to marry him in hopes that our eternal marriage would last forever and that I would have that eternal family I always hoped for. Despite the ups and downs of any marriage, we have remained true to our goal to be an eternal family. I hope for that each and every day as we each have our own agency to choose that path.
Saying "I love you" has always been a touchy subject for me. I often hear others say it out of routine, not at all or with total endearment and I wonder what the difference is for people. Was it how they were raised, how they truly feel, or just what they think they should be feeling/saying?
I'm still trying to figure it out, but one thing I do know is it feels good to hear it!
Something that has been a unique experience for me is to hear my friends tell me they love me. I NEVER even thought about that! Of course I love my friends, but I naively assumed saying it was reserved for family relationships. How grateful I am for those that say it to me and make me feel loved when I often wonder what there is to love some days. Love for me is an unconditional feeling of acceptance towards another; a trait that I'm anxiously working on.
Faith, Hope and Love also encourage me to think about my testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done for me to ensure my joy, not happiness, but joy.
He has given me a modern day prophet that speaks for Him when we need to listen.
He has give me the opportunity to work on improving myself through counseling with others and reading/studying scriptures.
He has died for me and my sins individually to prove that I can be forgiven.
He has allowed me to have high expectations of myself all while working on pardoning others.
He has allowed me to learn how to forgive myself and others.
He has allowed me faith, hope and love to give me strength to keep pressing forward.
I am grateful to live in this day and age where I get to have the freedom of religion, speech and expression to share my thoughts and feelings about my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful that He doesn't give up on me when others do. I'm grateful that He chastens me to become a better version of myself. I am grateful that He gives me opportunity to experience Faith, Hope and Love.
At a very difficult time in my life, when my husband was recovering with a pornography addiction, my bishop directed my thoughts towards this scripture. Never has any scripture brought me so much faith, hope and love for my Savior, my bishop and my husband.
If you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please evaluate how you're following the prophets counsel to read the Book of Mormon and how to discover how the Savior reveals His will to you.
If you don't have any clue what I'm talking about, will you please ask me more?!
I would love to share more with you how I have gained a testimony, why it matters and what having a testimony does for me.
We can have Faith, Hope & Love in our lives if we look to the Savior for guidance as where to find it!