Warrior Skills

A friend sent me an email with an interesting comment – “You have a great deal more warrior skills than many of us.” I’ve been pondering that statement all month.

The truth is, I have had a long battle with myself to get here. I struggled with paralyzing fear and anxiety and was on tranquilizers by the age of 12. When I realized that, I quit the pills and turned to my Heavenly Father to teach me to cope and be courageous. And for my whole life, He has.

But what are “warrior skills”? What does that look like? I think in my life and for me it involves exhibiting a whole lot of courage. It doesn’t mean you’re not afraid–it means you choose to act in the face of fear. I have a sticker in my office that says, “Courage is contagious.” Now that I’m older, I can see many people leaning on my courage and drawing strength from it just as I draw strength from my Savior.

It also shows up as being willing to speak up and speak out. Y’all know I love to talk:). I try very hard to speak up when I see something wrong–or good for that matter! And interesting things happen . . . people listen, people learn, people debate, and people speak up more themselves. That is huge.

And warriors step forward–they do not shrink. When work is to be done or battles fought, they march forward. This can be a hard one. I was joking with my son, Connor, who does political work for a living, and said, “You know–most people just wake up every day and don’t even think about the things that need fixing in this world. They just go about their day, doing their work, caring for their families. I never have a day like that.” We both laughed because we’re the same kind of people–the kind of people who wake up and see concerns and DO something. Or at least try.

I was talking to a teenage girl the other day who is similar in personality and I warned her. This life is lonely. It is hard. And there are days when you do not want to fight at all.

But when you have the heart of a warrior, you hear the song every morning–calling you to battle. You see the battles clearly. You know that God has called you and that you cannot shrink.

Quoting from a great talk by Pres. Hinckley:

“I believe the challenge to oppose this evil is one from which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as citizens, cannot shrink.. . . I think the Lord would say to us, ‘Rise, and stand upon thy feet, and speak up for truth and goodness and decency and virtue.'” (“In Opposition to Evil”)

Yes, the Lord has blessed me with warrior skills. I pray that I may use them to oppose evil and spread goodness. Not an easy task, to be sure, but one to which I have been called.