Never in a million years did I think that I would be grateful for a sleepless morning, but I am and I almost hope it happens to me again. In fact, I do.
I had the most beautiful experience a few months ago and I’ve occasionally had it come back into my mind.
It’s always been a tradition in my family to go out and find opportunities to serve. It all started with my grandparents, they taught their kids to be mindful of those around them and would often serve without ever telling anyone. My grandpa had a gas station and he would often fill a tank for a family in need or make sure they had a little food. Grandma would find ways to help people as well.
My parents carried on the same tradition, often lifting another family in their hardest years; providing money or food on doorsteps without the family inside knowing who had done it. They’d ask us kids to help pick out gifts for kids they were worried wouldn’t be seeing any that Christmas and soon enough I was older and found myself wanting to teach my children the same things.
But then something happened, a ridiculously early morning brought a miracle.
I could retell the story, but I had originally shared my thoughts on instagram, so I thought I’d copy and paste it here to share all over again.
I’m sitting in the parking lot at the grocery store in tears. The kids are being so good to wait on me.
This morning I couldn’t sleep. I woke at 4:30 am. Try as I might, I could not go go back to sleep. Finally I got up and before leaving my room offered a prayer of gratitude, I don’t know why, but I poured my heart out for the blessings I’ve been given, then ended with one simple request, show me someone I can serve today.
I’m sad to say I forgot my request entirely.
We did laundry and soccer practice, took our daughter to the temple (a place of worship and service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and then daddy/daughter and mommy/daughter dates. (Actually, mine included our little guy too.)
I Felt the Distinct Impression, Pay for Her Groceries
On our way home I swung into the store for cream and milk and upon checking out felt the distinct impression to buy the groceries for the woman behind me.
Paying for the person in line has become a long family tradition for my little family, but usually I’m more prepared for the moment. Usually I’ve decided ahead of time to do it.
I turned around and saw two cute Hispanic ladies buying random things, lots of corn, toilet paper, chips, fried chicken etc. I almost thought, oh but it’s not even super important items. But I knew what I’d felt and asked if I could buy her groceries.
She was shocked.
Said, “thank you.”
Then she explained to the other woman in Spanish, and as we stood in silence the thought came, “you asked me who you could serve, and I provided.”
Suddenly the woman touched my arm and started to cry.
She said, “my husband just passed away yesterday, thank you, thank you so much!”
And then we all cried.
Does God know each of you, by name, by heart, by need?
I know he does. I’ll never deny it.