Good morning brothers and sisters, I’m Abby Bake for those of you who do not know me and I’m going to be a senior at Edison this year. Today, I was asked to speak on the question, How do I know that God knows me personally? And I’d like to send the invitation to all of you to think of how He knows YOU personally. As we’ve been reading in Come Follow Me this week in Psalms, there is a scripture in chapter 139 verse 1-3 that I would like to share. It reads,
"1. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways."
Just like this scripture outlines, God knows our thoughts and He knows what we are going through. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at journal writing so in thinking of experiences I came across one of my entries that I’d like to share with you all that leads me to know that God knows me personally and He knows what I’m going through and what I need. Just keep in mine this is from May 2019, and is the written point of view of my 14 years old self.
"The plan for today was that me and Dad are going to go for a 4.5 mile hike at Laguna Hills. We will get back at 8:00 am to then get ready for my cousin’s wedding at 10:00 at the Newport temple. Then after the wedding we’ll go to the lunch-in and then the reception. But…here is what actually happened. Dad woke me up at 5:45 am and we both got ready for our run. We got in our exercise clothes, filled our water bottles, hopped into the car and drove off. We arrived and started our run. Lots of hills and constant ups and downs. We then enter this new trail called Lizard Ridges. Here you are on this thin trail and surrounding you is trees and rocks and bushes, it was like you were in this beautiful jungle. This trail had a lot of downhill rocky parts so you had to be very careful about your foot placements…I learned that the hard way says the scrape on my knee (it’s all good though). We reached the end of the trail and headed up a hard up-hill. At the top, we could go left or right. Door #1 was going home and behind door #2 was the wrong way. Guess which door Dad and I took. Yup we accidentally ran down door #2 and went down the left path. We went probably 1.5 miles till Dad and I doubted our choices. Trying to read the trail map, we realize we were indeed going the wrong way. We turn back and retrace our steps. Keep in mind, I have never ran these trails before and Dad had only been here once before with a friend of his but he didn’t pay any attention because he was just trying to keep up. So, here we are a couple of lost fools who also didn’t bring our phones."
"Anyway, the story continues. We are no longer running at a constant pace, more of a stop and go thing we have going on. I learn to appreciate every bit of downhill because it goes by before ya know it. We keep walking/jogging and I keep asking Dad if any of our surroundings look familiar…but he has no idea. We get to another fork in the road. Again, I’ll spare you the expense, yes we went the wrong way yet again. We walked so far along this path, we even entered a different park/ campsite area. We were completely and utterly lost. We got about 4 miles out till we asked these 2 dudes how to get back to the ridge park. They told us we’re about 7 miles away but gave no clear directions on how to get back. At this point, we turn and head back the way we came. To make sure we were going the right way we asked another dude who was running with his baby in a stroller. Thankfully he was more helpful and told us we were going the right way. Now Dad and I don’t even know what running is. Dad is having a tough time walking as his feet drag across the dirt. As an answer to my prayers we soon bump into this sweet lady and her husband who had passed us once before. We ask her directions to ensure we are on the right path. She assures us and kindly tells us to always stay on the right side after the fork in the road ahead and it should take us back to our car. Full of hope and reassurance we continue our shuffle walking as our legs cry in agony. At this point, it is 9:00 am and there is no possible way we will make it in time for the wedding. Mom and family are probably worried sick and we don’t even have our phones to tell them we are okay. They probably think Dad died or broke a bone and I’m left here dragging him back to safety. But NOPE…we just were stupid and got lost. After a couple more painstakingly long miles, Dad and I started to recognize some of our early hills. 1 more hill to go. The long, steep, up-hill slope with the camp sign at the top, marked our destination. We walk shuffled so slowly, neither of us can feel our feet. Dad is holding onto my neck and the top of my back to gain support. So, technically I carried Dad to the car. Slowly but surely we made it back to the car and inhaled our water bottles and blasted the AC to combat the beads of sweat coming from our faces. We did it, we finally made it. What was supposed to be a 4.5 mile hill run turned into an 11 mile hike and boy are my dogs barking! The whole way home I felt like a noodle, completely exhausted. Dad’s phone was flooded with calls and texts from our family. Mom was in tears, thinking we could have died. I felt bad to have made everyone so worried but Dad and I got home, showered then drove to the temple just in time to see the newly wedded husband and wife come outside. Although Dad missed the wedding, at least Mom put us on the prayer roll."
God knew that we were struggling and in desperate need of assistance. He answered my prayers and sent us the sweet lady who guided us in the right direction back to our car and thankfully we didn’t get to the point where we had to pray for mana. That was an experience for me personally, how I know that He knows me. Another experience I have was from our stake youth conference just a couple of weeks ago. In a lesson taught by President Richardson he told us to imagine we were in a room and all of a sudden the Savior walked in…what would we do? As I’m thinking I imagined that I would run up and hug Him. And sharing these thoughts with President Richardson he corrected one thing. As soon as the Savior walked in, He was the one that would be the one running to hug us. As he shared this message I instantly felt both my Heavenly Father's love and the love that our Savior has for me. I know that He loves each and everyone one of us and He knows each of us personally. And I’d like to challenge all of us this week to recognize the love that the Savior has for you and pay attention to how you KNOW that He knows you personally. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.