342 eyes were locked on us in the gymnasium, the room a blur in the corner of my eye. Even the school’s Bronco mascot seemed to be fixated on us from the wall. “Becca, I want you to know that I love you, that you’re the one for me… and…” My mind tried to stay focused. My chest rose as the air entered deep into my lungs. My fingers grappled the box at the base of my pocket. Becca held her hands up to her red face as her eyes moved anxiously. I pulled out a white box and my knee bent to the ground. I spoke into the microphone, “…will you marry me?” Shrieking girl voices filled the room like water into a pool and boys chanted with enthusiasm. Clapping and cheering was heard from the perimeter from the adult school employees. Gathering herself, Becca, now with hands over her emotional eyes, nodded three times saying “yes.” We then looked to each other and gave a small peck and a warm embrace. More girl voices shrieked with joy.
If you were to have seen me on that day, you would have known, I was terrified. Initially, I thought I had had it altogether until I got to the point of right outside of that gym. In that moment, you would have seen me pacing in that hallway. Who would do something so crazy? Of their own will? So bizarre yet so awesome? Well. I would. And I did. Something pretty scary, but awesome. Today, I look back with pride. Considering it, and for the sake of the principle of today, I’d like to think that this great event was an act of faith. Putting myself out there without really knowing the results. And then, thinking long-term, what lied ahead? How much faith would I really need? This was only the beginning. My faith—no, our faith, would need to press on.
This week, for our family history event, I shared about using faith while finding and then dating Becca. She and I both discussed examples of faith found in two of our grandparents, Jack Wood Sr and Irene Maughan. It was a blessing to honor them again for the legacies they left with our families. Those legacies live on greatly!––and continue to influence the world for good.
As we have described acting in faith, I’d like to examine the principle in depth. What are the elements of faith? What is it composed of? And then, what are the two principles of faith which we can look to?
The Composition of Faith
- In order to exercise faith, the object upon which it is exercised cannot be visible. For example: some may want but can’t see the following things: a buff body, a significant other, a clean and organized family tree. Not having or literally seeing these things now qualifies someone to begin the process of faith.
- Belief. Belief must be at the core––a trust that things will work.
- It must be real––or true. The thing in which faith is placed must be grounded in reality.
Two Principles of Faith
- Faith is gained by hearing or learning truth. As we equip our minds with principles and ideas on a particular project or venture, the steps to succeed become more real in our minds.
- Faith is manifest by our efforts and our works. If we truly believe in something, our actions will prove it.
Bringing Faith Home
Why is our discussion on faith fundamental to Getting Started with Family History? Because of this: Faith is the great creative instrument in us in our lives. Without it, our mental goals and creations within the Family History realm will not be realized. We must exercise faith.
As we sum up this week, I invite everyone to equip yourselves with faith! This great instrument will help you to break through your moments of the doubt and frustration often found in the work of family history and get you onto creating a beautiful legacy of your family.
So, how do be begin to equip ourselves with faith?
Remember. We equip ourselves with faith by learning. Let us begin a habit of learning the principles and truths which fortify the work of family history. Read about your questions. Look up YouTube videos. Attend RootsTech. All of these will equip you! And, of course, participate in the activities and events with Just a Pitch. 🙂
Beginning next week, we will be talking about “Connecting with the Living.” As part of this, we will be reading an article I have chosen on getting started with family history. It will be our Start-Right Monday homework assignment.
Let’s preview next week’s activities
Start-Right Monday: Do your homework by reading “Tree of Lives,” a great article on the fundamentals. After you have read it, answer the questions which will be posted on it.
Teaching/Tips Tuesday: Watch our live Video about Connecting with the Dead.
Just a Pitch Wednesday: As a supplement to our group, we allow sponsors to post relevant information about their services on this day.
Throwback Thursday: For this, we invite you to share a photo of someone LIVING that could potentially be your subject in a family history discussion. Or share a photo of someone who can help you in your efforts––a consultant, a family member, or parent, etc.
Fun Friday: Have some fun with Family History. Share what you did online! Even sharing a simple story with a child or friend is great.
Sweep-up Saturday: On this day, we’ll review the work we did in the week and play catch-up as needed. Also, we’ll preview the next week.
Like I have said, family history work can be daunting. There are MANY tasks and approaches to taking care of the work. Whenever you get to a point of anxiety or nervousness, please, if it helps, remember me standing outside of that gymnasium with a thumping heart. As you see me enter that gym, take the courage required to step forward too. Take that simple step of faith with all you know, even if it be little. If you exercise faith over and over again, you cannot be beaten and great things will come into your life.
All in all, faith will lead us through. And this work will heal us as we connect with our families both the living and dead.
Stefan @ Just a Pitch