A year ago, we introduced you to Linda Hastings, a woman of abundance. Linda lost her battle with cancer in August, but she won the war of cultivating abundance in her life and the lives of all who knew her.
May I share some secrets I learned from her on developing an abundant heart?
Love God and trust His goodness and power to provide you with sufficient and enough to share.
How Linda loved the Savior who is her best friend! She didn’t just say prayers; she truly prayed in His name, pouring out her heart in a constant, running conversation. Then she loved Him enough to trust His will and timing. She displayed pictures of Him in her home, found comfort and peace in reading His words, and used her faith to call down heavenly help for her loved ones. For years, she taught children and adults they were all children of God as she wrapped them in the abundance of her love and His.
Love others and keep believing in them.
Linda loved each of us, especially her family. We were wrapped in her love and encouraged by her ability to see the desires of our hearts, our progress, and our potential. It didn’t matter how many times we fell down or failed, she never stopped loving, believing, and choosing to remember our best efforts and behaviors.
Linda’s love included her neighbors, co-workers, store clerks, her church families, and countless friends. She showed this love by her good deeds, sharing her apple pies and enchiladas, and quietly giving of her rather humble earthly assets without any hesitation or worry about balancing her own budget.
Perhaps the best example of this was her love and compassion for her former husband who died about a year before she did. She never loved another man. She said the Lord helped her see his growth and infinite potential. She forgave him and chose to have their marriage solemnized in a religious ceremony that would provide the possibility of a partnership with no boundaries of time. When she made this decision, her physical stamina was decreasing rapidly, and she knew time was running out.
Through a series of miracles, kindness, assistance from others, and sheer determination, the miracle happened. The fact that she had the strength necessary to carry out this dream was a miracle in and of itself. The beauty of her abundant heart glowed in her face. She found a wedding ring and a stunning white dress for the big day. Both had been absent from their marriage ceremony decades earlier. She was as giddy as a young bride. After the sacred ceremony, she delighted those in the room by announcing, “I’m going on my honeymoon.”
After this tender goal was realized, her physical stamina decreased rather rapidly. She kept the white dress hanging on her bedroom door so she could see it all day from her hospital bed as she experienced the final chapters of her mortal journey. Her abundant heart overflowed with joy.
She also had a grateful heart that acknowledged everything the Lord had given to her and done for her. Most important, as she lived her life in this manner, she became like the Savior she loved. It was not a matter of marking items off a daily list–she gradually experienced a change of heart that overcame any desire to sin and allowed her to have His image in her countenance. That is the light everyone saw in her, but many may not have recognized its source. Was she perfect? No. She humbly recognized and even worried about that, but she offered the Lord her heart and her life.
David Butler, a local teacher of religion, suggested, “as we learn from and listen to people [like Linda] who have a greatness of heart, that greatness has a way of overflowing, spreading, and multiplying.” If we spend enough time remembering and following Linda’s example, our hearts will become abundant too.