The recession. It hit the United States hard. For a while, whenever you turned on the news, that's all you heard about. Even now, it's a big topic: is it over? are things improving? will there be another downturn?
My perspective has been a little different. During the biggest years of the recession, I lived in the town with the lowest unemployment rate in the country: Midland, Texas. Because Midland is smack in the middle of oil country, there were jobs. Lots of them. You couldn't go anywhere in town without seeing a "Help Wanted" sign. If you wanted to work, you could. Because the oil industry was doing well that decade (don't ask Midlanders about the late '80s), every other industry was thriving. So I was able to stay complacent. My world had not been affected. And then I moved out of state and started seeing the effects of the recession. No longer were they just stories on the news.
Reading Teresa Hirst's new book, Twelve Stones to Remember Him: Building Memorials of Faith from Financial Crisis, opened my eyes to the suffering many had to experience. Honestly, it was difficult for me to read. It was scary--that could happen to me and to my family. It spurred in me the desire to look at my family's financial priorities and make sure we had a good foundation for what ifs. But Hirst's book also reminded me that preparation is more than physical--spiritual component was just as important, if not more so.
Hirst's book follows her own family's financial struggle through the recession as well as the stories of four other families. I appreciated the courage these families had in sharing their stories so that others would know they were not alone. I was reminded of the importance of fortifying our families through food storage and financial preparation. I was touched by the life preservers each family was offered by way of blessings of the Spirit. Perhaps those blessings did not come how or when the families wanted them, but they came in the Lord's way and the Lord's time. I received a peek of the knowledge that can be gained in enduring trials with integrity and a grateful attitude. And I was shown that no matter what we're going through, the Lord is aware of us. Every trial we go through can be used for our good, to our benefit, and to our children's benefit. Hirst's book is the perfect gift for anyone you know who is going through a difficult financial period in their life--a how-to survivor's guide that is sure to inspire and uplift.
Teresa Hirst's book, Twelve Stones to Remember Him: Building Memorials of Faith from Financial Crisis, can be found at Deseret Book and on Amazon. You can read more about the author on her website and blog and connect with her on Goodreads.