A few weeks ago I was lost.
I was riding my bike in St. George, Utah and I ended up in a small town called Santa Clara.
Being lost didn’t scare me. I just kept whispering, “You’ll be just fine. Keep pedaling. Have faith. Keep your eyes wide open to direction.”
And then I met her. I looked up and there she was.
Strong. Resolute. Committed. She clenched a book close to her heart, both literally and figuratively. This was the first sign that I was in good company.
She cast her gaze upward, with a certain grace and grit in her soul.
She was my type of girl. Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt.
Sarah came from pilgrim stock. Keep reading. This isn’t your typical “trek” story. It has everything to do with you and the words you carry.
Sarah grew up reading the Bible, but it was an inner fire in her bones that caused her to search for deeper truth. She sacrificed everything to believe in a prophet named Joseph Smith. She made the westward pilgrimage for 13 years, always firm in her faith. She shouldered up with other women, teaching them how to be strong, self-reliant, and believing. Every time “faithful Sarah” uprooted, she became more rooted in her belief in God.
I stood beside Sarah and I read her words. Her sentences threaded into testimony. I circled the statue over and over, looking up and down in pure reverence and awe.
How was I so lucky to meet such a woman? How was I so lucky to read her sacred words?
Cast in bronze, Sarah is captured standing near her husband’s grave as he died too early along the trail. With one hand above her head, she gazes westward for the journey ahead. Once she arrived in Utah, Sarah was asked to settle on the river banks of Santa Clara.
Here I was in Santa Clara with Sarah, a believing woman standing beside me. In my hour of being lost, I found words to make my life work.
I belonged to her. I belonged to her same God. I belonged to the same plan that Sarah belonged to.
Just below Sarah’s feet, there were passages and vignettes from her journals. Because she recorded her faith by pen, Sarah’s posterity is in the tens of thousands and is among the largest of any woman in this dispensation. All because of her words.
The minute Sarah put pen to paper, it was an act of faith and courage. It’s easy to write about the events of a day in your journals, but when you write about the events of a believing heart, it can change lives and ripple through generations of time.
When Sarah became lost in the world around her, and also when she lost loved ones, she believed and sang praises unto God. Just like all of us, Sarah had big questions for God and she took them directly to Him through her prayers. And, when she found the answers, she recorded them in her journal.
Although her sojourn consisted of a long dirt road with unbearable conditions, I like to think that Sarah is probably glancing down on your roads as young women and whispering prayers in your behalf. I’d imagine she’s standing in pure reverence and awe because of your faith and commitment.
Without Sarah’s words and faith, I would have pedaled right through Santa Clara into the next town searching for some sort of direction.
“Cast your eyes upward, always. Just like Sarah.” These are the words I now whisper when I am lost.
My story with Sarah is written in the pages of my journal.
People often ask me, “So what types of things do you write in your journals? What words make it into the journals that you’re always carrying?”
I carry words like Sarah’s. My words are breadcrumbs of wisdom gathered that will carry me home to heaven. I carry the words of my learning as I journey through Christ’s Atonement every day. I carry pieces of His grace, reminding me of His divine power and how I can be enabled by it.
I carry these words to remind me of His redeeming love in my life, particularly on the days when I am lost.
I carry words that bring me light. And in turn, these words carry me.
This is why I write.
What words are you carrying in your heart?
Share them here, or write them down in your journal just as Sarah did.
Learn more about ways to journal and record your story at the RubyGirl Retreat.