Tiffany Turley Bowcut, Title IX coordinator, delivered today's devotional address. She spoke on the importance of having faith in the Lord and in ourselves.
Faith in the Lord
Turley Bowcut taught that often life does not go as we plan, but we must learn to trust the Lord's timing and stay rooted in our faith.
“Despite its unexpected twists and turns, the Lord has been there for me unfailingly," she said. "I often say that my life motto is, ‘Life is hard, but God is good.’”
In November 2020, Turley Bowcut and her husband woke up early to read that week's Come, Follow Me lesson as their three small children were peacefully asleep. She was prompted by the Spirit to carefully read and record her impressions, leading to a very powerful study. A short time later that morning, Turley Bowcut discovered that her six-month-old baby had tragically passed away from SIDS.
Devastated over the loss of her baby boy, Turley Bowcut had to rely on the Lord's plan for her family and stay strong in her faith.
“Over the course of the next few days, I recognized this was an experience where the rubber met the road with my faith. Did I really believe that what I’d been teaching my children was true, that families are forever? Did I believe in the Lord to sustain us through what felt like an insurmountable trial and somehow make it be 'for our good'? Did I believe that I could trust the Lord to comfort me in my pain and wipe away this brokenhearted mother’s tears?”
The night following the death of her baby was an extremely difficult one for Turley Bowcut. She described her inability to sleep and her struggle not to give into the darkness that seemed as if it would consume her. As she paced around her living room trying to find some sort of solace, she was led to open her Come, Follow Me notes she had recorded only the morning before.
"Reading these again, with the perspective I now had of losing our angel son, I was amazed to think that the Lord loved me so much that He would have His Holy Spirit inspire me to write down thoughts that just moments later would take on new meaning in my life and be an anchor for my faith that I would need in the coming days and months."
Turley Bowcut explained that through these trials she has come to realize that the Lord has always been there for her, easing her burdens and filling her with His love.
“I’ve had many moments throughout my life, as I’m sure we all have, when I definitely don’t feel worthy of His sacrifice and love. But as I’ve struggled through those moments, clinging to who I know He is and focusing on my faith in Him, I feel He has also reminded me to have faith in myself.”
Faith in ourselves
Just as it is vital to have faith in Jesus Christ, we must also have faith in ourselves, Turley Bowcut said. She continued by bearing her testimony that we are indeed all children of God, which gives us a divine identity and power.
“Every day I work with individuals facing trauma, and I wish I could speak that truth into their hearts and let them know how much the Lord loves them and wants them to believe in themselves because that knowledge can make a powerful difference in our healing and growth.”
Recounting the story of Peter walking on water to the Savior, Turley Bowcut gave additional insights into why he began to sink.
“In my mind, Peter didn’t doubt the Lord," she said. "Who Peter seemed to doubt was himself, and I think that’s an important lesson we can learn from this story that has the potential to be overlooked. This story has taken on new meaning for me as I’ve approached it this way, and I’m grateful for what seems to be a reminder here that the Lord has faith in us, and we need to have faith in ourselves.”
Turley Bowcut gave three suggestions for strengthening our faith in the Lord and in ourselves: preparing for miracles, surrounding ourselves with good people and partaking in the power of praise.
She explained that just as the Savior instructed the people to roll away the tombstone before He would raise Lazarus from the dead, the Lord often requires us to do something to witness our own faith and prepare the way for a miracle in our lives.
“If we want to see miracles in our lives, what preparations are we making to that end? The amazing thing is that once we’re willing to do something and prepare the way for the Lord, from getting out of the boat and walking on water to rolling away a stone, our faith in Him will increase when we witness the incredible miracles He brings into our lives.”
Turley Bowcut also taught that having good friends and consistently expressing gratitude will help strengthen our faith and give us a greater spiritual perspective.
By following these three suggestions herself, Turley Bowcut has experienced greater faith in herself and in the Lord, which has seen her through the darkest moments of her life and kept her rooted in the truth.
“He will not leave us comfortless — and through Him, we will find peace that surpasses understanding.”