Friday, October 16, 2009

Angels


A few weeks ago, our ward had the annual Primary Children's Program. Our oldest daughter had a part, which in a ward as large as this, is not too common. Though she had done fine in earlier programs in our smaller ward, this one was harder for her. Whenever she would stand in front of the very large audience of children, or imagine the even larger audience at Sacrament Meeting, she would feel absolutely terrified, and have a complete meltdown.

We practiced and practiced at home. At home, she could say it without a problem. She spoke with emphasis and poise, and felt very ready, but each time we would go to church, she would absolutely freeze.

I struggled to know how to help her. She was discouraged and embarrassed. She felt so sad and defeated. As a mother, I hurt, because I want my kids to learn to do hard things. But I also feared that if she wasn't able to do this difficult thing, it might knock her confidence down a great deal, and she wouldn't feel that she could do other hard things.

I prayed every day to know how to help her. Then one day, when she and I were talking, inspiration flashed to my mind.

We had invited a little friend of theirs to the program, in spite of the ensuing disaster. After inviting her, we talked together that afternoon about what a good thing it was that she had invited her friend, and that she was being a good missionary by trying to share the Gospel. All of a sudden, inspiration came, as I remembered a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants:
"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." - D&C 84:88
I shared that scripture with her, and told her that since she was being a missionary, that promise applied to her. I promised her that, if she would have faith, the Lord would be with her, and that angels would be standing all around her, to help her. It amazed her, and she thought about it for days. She began to pray for help, and for angels to come.

The morning of the program, I was nervous. I prayed fervently for her faith to have help. But as soon as we sat on the stand at church, I looked over at her from where I was sitting with my Sunday School class. She was smiling at me, and she quietly called to me, "Mommy, I can feel them."

When the time came for her to do her part, she stood bravely and said it without problem or hesitation. It was miraculous to watch the transformation. As I stood next to her, I could feel it, too. She was elated, and felt so happy. That night, she prayed with gratitude in her heart, and has spoken ever since of the angels that came to help her.

She seeks for help now. She asks for it. She has faith that it will come.

I have tried to take her example. As things have been challenging and have gotten difficult over the past few weeks, I have remembered her miracle, and the help she received.

The other night, I struggled a great deal. I have had a sadness I just couldn't name and it was wearing me down. I felt sad and overwhelmed. That night, after breaking down to Matt, I prayed sincerely for help.

The next day, I received a phone call from a dear friend, and during the course of that conversation, she not only taught me by her example of letting go of things she had wanted and planned, but she listened to me, long enough for me to finally put into words what was hurting inside, and to help me to understand and handle my own sadness better.

When I hung up, I thanked Heavenly Father for her call, and I realized in that moment that he had sent me my own angel, to stand beside me and to help me. I am grateful beyond words, and things are better inside of me, now that I have been able to understand the confusing feelings that I was having. The sadness has lightened.

Angels come in many forms. They can be unseen, heavenly visitors, and they can be right around us. Either way, they are sent from the Lord to be "round about [us], to bear [us] up." They really come.

I am grateful for the things that are hard. They give us a chance to feel our Father's love, and for us to see just how much He cares, and how much He wants to help us.

Whose angel will you be today?

6 comments:

Christine said...

Beautiful. Thank you! I needed that one today. :)

Chantile said...

I had a day like that just the other day. It's lovely, isn't it? :)

The Hughes' said...

Thank you for sharing this! It's amazing how we think we are teaching our little ones and they really teach us!! I know I need to have the faith of a child! Sometimes I don't feel like I trust enough in my Heavenly Father!! I am trying and He knows that!!

Jessie Mae said...

I love that scripture! I also needed to hear that today... I love you.

Debra Domenici said...

Ann, you know how to say the right things at the right times. You are such an inspiration. Our kids sure can and do teach us a lot. Good job Ashley!

Tara and Dan said...

That is the sweetest story! Brought tears to my eyes. Can you come over to teach my children these things because I know I will never measure up. You are my hero!