What I Do Know
A couple days before Christmas, I was awoken by my phone ringing. Yeah, it was 9:30 in the morning and I was still sound asleep, but it was Christmas break and I was really tired. I don’t know about you, but I use my vacations for sleeping as much as possible.
Anyway, I saw it was the hospital calling, so I answered the phone even though I wasn’t exactly awake. I thought that maybe one of my appointments might be rescheduled or that they might have more information for me regarding my upcoming surgery. Instead, it was the financial office calling about the payment I had made for my MRI earlier this month.
A couple different scenarios immediately ran through my head. I’d paid for the whole thing upfront so I could get a 20% discount. We have a high deductible insurance plan and hadn’t met the deductible yet, and so the whole thing was out of pocket. Hooray. (Do you have any idea how expensive a freaking MRI is?) But we had just enough left in our HSA account for the year to pay for it with the discount.
My first thought was that I’d miscalculated and that there actually wasn’t enough in the HSA to cover it and that I would need to cough up more money to cover the procedure. My second thought was that THEY’D miscalculated, and that I had underpaid and would need to cough up more money to cover the procedure.
Imagine my relief when I heard, “The insurance paid more than we estimated they would, so you’ll be receiving a refund in the mail in the next few days. Also, we applied some of the overage to a bill you have that just came up, so when you receive that bill in the mail don’t pay it because it’s been covered.”
After I hung up the phone, I laid back down and pondered this blessing. I used to do an assessment of the blessings of paying tithing that I saw every year right here on the blog. But then my blogging fell off for a couple years, and I didn’t do them anymore. I have an incredibly strong testimony of tithing. No matter how much that tithing check hurts, the Lord always provides a way when we are being faithful to that commandment. I’ve seen it time and time again.
So while I was thinking about how the insurance had paid more than expected on the MRI (especially since I didn’t expect them to pay any of it at all), of course my thoughts turned to tithing and how blessed we have been by faithfully paying it.
But then my thoughts turned to other parts of the Gospel. Parts that I am not so sure of, especially in the climate of today. Social media allows me to watch in real time as the faith of my friends and even some of my family falters. I read posts on Facebook that are full of doubt in the Gospel and in the Church. Posts that sometimes give me pause and make me wonder myself about the truthfulness of it all.
Just because I was raised in the Church, served a mission, married in the temple, and continue to be active does not mean I am 100% without doubt. I have many questions. And sometimes the answers to those questions inspire more questions instead of laying to rest the original doubt.
But I choose not to journey down the path of doubt. Because I also have faith. Besides tithing, there are many things about the Gospel and the Church that I DO know. But what it comes down to is this: I know my Heavenly Father loves me. Just like Nephi, I don’t know the meaning of all things, but I know that God loves his children.
“And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.” 1 Nephi 11:17
Nephi was a prophet of God. If he didn’t know the meaning of all things, I certainly shouldn’t expect to! And I definitely know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I’ve seen countless evidence of that throughout my entire life. I know He is aware of me, I know He cares about the seemingly insignificant parts of my life, and I know He loves me. And I know He feels the same about every person on this earth, each of them one of His children.
Sometimes it feels like all the world around me is screaming the doubts and the questions. Sometimes the doubt feels so much louder than the quiet whispers of what I know. Sometimes it is tempting to follow those screams down a pathway of doubt. Sometimes I even take a few steps down that pathway before remembering, course-correcting, and turning around.
All it takes is a little glimmer of faith. Something that I do know. I hold onto it—cling to it as if my life depends on it, and stay on the path of faith. And when something happens in my life that proves God’s love for me or strengthens my testimony of a Gospel principle, I put that in my pocket, and go just a bit further down the path of faith.
So, yeah. I don’t know everything, and I have many questions about the Gospel. But I also know some things very well and have many answers. And that’s what I’m holding onto.
PS This post has been in my drafts for a couple weeks, and today I saw an article linked on Facebook about a man who left the Church for a while but then came back. He lists 18 lessons he learned from his experiences. I am linking the article here because #16 is exactly what I feel: “Don’t let what you don’t know keep you from following what you do know.“
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We don't get to know everything – that's why it's faith. It would be awesome to not have any doubts or questions, but then there also wouldn't be any room for growth. 🙂
Thanks for this. I just can't say how sad I am to see my friends struggle with their faith. But then I read posts like this and it really comforts me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just cannot express how much I love you and Joel and the good people that you are!
What a fantastic article. I feel like you – I don't know everything, but I have a testimony of tithing. And the things I have a testimony of help me with the things I might struggle with. Thanks for your candor!
It's true. Like President Uchtdorf said, we should doubt our doubts before we doubt our faith!
It's so hard to see, but their struggle is real and I empathize. It's a hard time we live in.
It's one that brings me great comfort.
And that's such an important thing to understand about faith, isn't it?