You’ve Got This!: How to Look Up When Life Has You Down
edited by Elise Hahl
Pub Date: October 11, 2016
I say, “You got this!” to my library patrons a lot. I run into a lot of folks who don’t know how computers work, or struggle with using a mouse or navigating a website. I give them the opportunity to do it themselves, and stay at their side encouraging them, letting them know they can do this, they have the knowledge. Whatever the task is in front of them, it is not insurmountable.
And that’s the basic gist of this compilation of essays from some well-known LDS personalities/speakers, giving words of encouragement aimed at a youth audience. But I wouldn’t restrict it to just the youth. I found a lot of edification in this slim volume. Some of these writers I knew of already, and others I got to know through their stories. And each gave me a little piece of thoughtful wisdom to dwell on and utilize in my life.
The essays from the Wilcox family about moving to Chile for a mission president calling, and learning to adjust and thrive, reminded me very much of the time my family moved from the north Virginia suburbs to inner-city Atlanta. We visited what would be our new ward, and found my sister and I would be the only white girls in Young Women. And we didn’t mind that since one of the young women immediately befriended us. We felt welcomed into our new ward, where my dad was eventually made bishop, and all these years later after I moved away it still feels like my home ward. Whitney Wilcox Laycock’s story of living in Chile reminded me that no matter where I am, I can be that welcoming person to someone else. You never really know how big of an impression you may leave on someone for such a seemingly small act.
Hank Smith’s breakdown of the story of Joseph of Egypt was pretty much exactly what I needed to hear right now, facing my own trials and hardships. It was a really refreshing take on the scripture story, and I want to seek more of his work out now. Zandra Vranes, who I had the pleasure of seeing at Time Out For Women last year, also touches on the story of Joseph of Egypt in her own unique way. (Clearly there are many things our youth can learn from him!!) Al Carraway delivers a wonderfully essay on perseverance and keeping up with the little things to retain our faith, and recounts her conversion story, which made me want to go back and read her book again because it’s just marvelous.
You’ll find a story in this volume that will speak to you. You’ll probably think of someone who needs to read that story as well. Maybe you can do one of those “pay it forward” things with this book. Read it, and then pass it along to someone you think might benefit from these words of encouragement. We could all use these nice pep talks throughout the week.
Many thanks for Cedar Fort Publishing for providing a review copy!