The best birthday wish

 In change, The Plan

What do you want for your birthday?

Last year I knew exactly what I wanted … what I needed.

I had been thinking about it for months, but for some reason a lump in my throat and a pool of tears behind my eyes would form every time I considered making my wish aloud. Then during a simple, routine night, as Mom and Dad left our yellow farmhouse-in-the-city, I made my request. I am not sure why it was so difficult or why I couldn’t look Dad in the eye when I asked. Of course, he said yes.

On my 37th birthday, he gave me a father’s blessing. Maybe deep down inside, I knew it would be the last one.

The Holy Scriptures contain several examples of a dying father leaving a blessing for his children. Isaac, Jacob and Lehi stand as examples. For anyone unfamiliar with such blessings, my father placed his hands on my head, and with priesthood authority, spoke words – words that didn’t come from him. The words came from God, through the Holy Spirit, into my dad’s mind; his voice acted as the vessel.

So I guess you can say, my Heavenly Father spoke through my earthly father. Both fathers unified – to give me a personalized, guiding message (one I will always treasure). The blessing foresaw physical trials I couldn’t imagine at the time, it gave me words of warning, words of comfort and words of instruction. Gee whiz, that gift is worth more to me today than it even was at the time given. I recorded the blessing on my phone’s voice memo app, and I play it when I need it.

We all need to hear from our Father. He soothes our soul. And guess what, He has great desire to speak to us too! Just recently, the living prophet on the earth said,

“Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!” – President Russell M. Nelson

Our Heavenly Father communicates with us in a variety of ways – just as we communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Want to receive a letter or text from Him? Read the scriptures. Want to spill out your heart to Him who understands all and knows you best? Pray. Want to hear what messages He has published most recently? Listen to the latest General Conference, spoken by living prophets. And want to know what customized words He has just for you? Want to know answers to the deepest questions in your heart? Seek personal revelation by doing all of the above.

And I can testify that seeking out His words through a priesthood blessing during difficult times can make a big difference too! I love that He gives us so many ways to hear from Him!

“Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know …” – President Russell M. Nelson continued.
(Read the whole thing here. It’s amazing!)

To anyone struggling, to anyone feeling an internal homesickness for heaven, to anyone not knowing what to do and how to get through … please believe this:
He loves you. He wants to speak to you. He has a message for you.

“Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
– Matthew 7:7

It was more difficult than I anticipated to ask for that birthday gift of hearing from God … but isn’t that how it goes? We ask, we seek, we knock … we must put forth effort and put aside pride to show Him that we want to hear from Him. We must do a little work for the words … and then His words will heal our hearts.  

If you have a favorite quote or scripture that speaks to you – words that touch your soul – will you share it? If you have an experience when His words have led to heart healing, will you post a bit of it in the comments? Hearing your story of hearing Him may be just what someone needs today. Thank you!!

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  • Radene Betteridge

    Beautiful words. I treasure priesthood blessings as well. I LOVED hearing President Nelson’s recent talk and also how you incorporated it here. Thank you for your uplifting heart-felt sharing. Your dad was and still is a great man!

  • Carly Norman

    Love this SO much!!

    “To anyone struggling, to anyone feeling an internal homesickness for heaven, to anyone not knowing what to do and how to get through … please believe this:
    He loves you. He wants to speak to you. He has a message for you.”

    Jessica, you’re amazing! I know both of your fathers are smiling down at you!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Birthday 🙂

    One of my favorite scriptures that has carried me since returning & being truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ the last year and a half:

    Ether 12:27

    27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

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