I trust you all had a marvelous Christmas! I know we sure did. I love this time of year when we get to spend time with family and celebrate the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ. I pray often to have spiritual experiences that will lift my soul and keep me closer to my creator. I had an experience this past week that I thought I'd share with you. It is something that is special and sacred to me. As it turned out to be that spiritual experience I was hoping for. Yet not in the way or time I expected. (But what I've learned about God's blessings sometimes they aren't in the way we expect!)
Last week was crazy busy! Yes we had been having our Family Home Evenings, attending church services, worshipping and remembering the Savior this time of year, but all the rest of the time seemed to be filled with mad rushing around! Trying to get things made, shipped, parties, shopping and the like. One day in particular I had a room mom party to host, class Christmas program at school and many things to do. I had some errands to do and left the house in a rush. My home is about 10 minutes from stores and the Post Office and I was coming into town, when I realized I had forgotten the giant stack of envelopes on the kitchen table that needed to get out today! AHHHH! I was really mad at myself for forgetting them! And I had to turn around and go back for them. So I did. At this moment I was feeling anything but a peaceful, patient feeling!! As I finally got what I had forgotten, went to the Post Office, bank, and made my last stop at the supermarket for a few things I figured out why I had forgotten the envelopes. As I pulled into the parking stall I looked to my right to see a run down SUV loaded to the ceiling with stuff, a woman and two small children. She was talking on her phone and looked a bit distressed. At first glance I thought to myself, "people have issues and one shouldn't pry." And I proceeded to the store. I got the things I needed and loaded them in my car. As I put my cart away, the woman was still there. She looked more distressed than before and a thought came into my head "Ask her if she is okay." The thought was paired with the feeling that she needed help and I would be the answer to her prayer. So I went over. She was now loading her child into the car seat. I asked her if she was okay? She turned around with tears running down her face. "No, I'm not okay. I'm traveling from Idaho to California and I'm out of gas and out of money." It turned out that she had just left her abusive husband and was trying to get to her parents home in California. (One of my errands this afternoon was to go to the bank and get a check cashed so I could give our employees a Christmas bonus that night when we took them to dinner, when I wrote the check I wrote it for over the amount needed, but I wasn't sure why at the time.) I went back to my car grabbed the extra cash I had and gave it to her. I asked if she would follow me to the gas station across the street and I could fill her tank. As we were talking, one of the clerks in the store came to collect carts and overheard us. She then offered help also. The girl was waiting at this store to receive a Western Union from her uncle that would also help her on her way. As I drove back to my house after filling her tank, a warm peaceful feeling came over me. And a thought came into my mind that I had helped to answer her prayer. A prayer that maybe had not been offered before.
I don't share this story with you to pat myself on the back or to bring light to "my good doings." My purpose in sharing is that I want all to know that we have a loving Father in Heaven, A God that knows and loves us. He hears our prayers and he answers them. And because I know this I feel it is my duty to share that more might know if Him. Sometimes He uses other people to answer prayers. I had the privilege of being one of His angels and what a sweet experience it was for me.
God's spirit speaks to us in so many ways. Sometimes it's a thought in our minds, sometimes a feeling in our heart, and many other ways. I believe God speaks to us in the way that we understand the best. I have found that He speaks to me most by thoughts in my mind accompanied by feelings in my heart. This combination has happened in my life so many times and I can't deny the knowledge that He does in fact exist, hear our prayers, care about us and is aware of our needs and circumstances. One could argue that this is all pure coincidence. And some may see it that way.
I returned to the store at a later date and I encountered the clerk that was there that day. She remembered me and said that it was nice that I helped. And I said that it was nice that she helped. She went on to say that she was able to have some more conversation with the girl while she was hanging around the store waiting for the Western Union to come through. She mentioned that the girl said she had said a prayer, hoping for some help. And that she, and the store had chipped in to get her diapers and medications that the children needed. She also said that the girl had called and said she made it to California. This was music to my heart! I secretly cried all the way home and tears fill my eyes as I type now. For the feeling of "you helped answer some one's prayer" floods my soul again with the Spirit of God. Coincidence, I think not! There was a reason I forgot the stuff on the table (so I would be later to be in the stall next to her so that I would see her), there was a reason I had written the check out for extra money, (so I would have extra to give to her) and the thought and feeling that I was answering a prayer was because she had prayed. Yes, I believe that things happen for a reason. And I believe that God does in fact exist and speaks to us, sometimes for our own benefit and sometimes to benefit others. I hope and pray that we can all be open to the soft whisperings of the Spirit that we can help those around us who are in need. This experience is precious to me, because it further adds to my personal testimony of the Almighty and His guidance in my life. I'm grateful for it and I hope you can find time to think of Him and the great gifts He gives us this Season. I don't yet know why I felt prompted to share this on my blog (perhaps that will be made known later) and I put part 1 because I have had many experiences such as this that are special and personal to me that maybe at some other time I will be prompted to share. If this helps lift only one heart, the purpose was served. Wishing you all late Merry Christmas!!