“Our Blessings Came—After the Trials,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 58–59
I was 54 years old, a recent widow and the mother of a disabled daughter confined to a wheelchair after an auto accident. My income consisted of some Social Security and money from a small insurance policy that was fast disappearing. What was I to do?
Ever since my 15th birthday, my patriarchal blessing had comforted me. I read it again, pondering the promise: “The Lord will take care of you all the days of your life.” Over the years the Lord had helped me in many ways through many people. Surely he would continue, wouldn’t he? Yet I constantly worried.
I began examining possibilities. It would be difficult to work eight hours a day, take care of my daughter, and still have time for the many other demands of life. If possible, I wanted to work at home. I was already a freelance proofreader for a company that was only 10 miles away, a job I found just before my husband died. It paid well but offered no benefits, and the work was sporadic.
I turned to creative writing and over the next few months won a poetry contest, got a response on a query from a magazine editor, and replotted a novel. Writing was therapeutic, but I wasn’t making any money. What else could I do?
With the last of the insurance money I bought a used piano and began taking lessons. I had always wanted to teach piano, but I hadn’t played in years. I practiced for hours each day, then advertised in the neighborhood paper and got a few beginning students. While it was enjoyable, I still wasn’t earning enough to survive.
Just before Christmas I began getting calls again for proofreading. I was grateful for the work, but I was on an emotional seesaw, never knowing from week to week how much money I’d have. I finally accepted the inevitable. I would have to find a full-time job and an aide to care for my daughter.
I was having many sleepless nights, so I finally asked for a priesthood blessing. Silent tears streamed down my cheeks as the Lord reminded me of his long-ago promise: he would be beside me to help provide my sustenance. I felt his love and support so strongly that I slept better than I had for months.
I inquired about social services that might be available to help us, and a caseworker assessed our needs and resources. Soon my daughter was approved for home care. What a blessing! And there were more. The first of May the full-time proofreader who had been giving me manuscripts to read wanted to know if I could work in the office while she went on vacation. When she returned, she informed me she was turning in her resignation and wondered if I might want her job. Did I ever!
When I hung up the phone, I fell to my knees in gratitude. How could I have doubted? Hadn’t the blessings always come—after the necessary trials? I thanked the Lord and apologized for demonstrating a lack of faith by worrying so much.
In the coming months I found that having enough money to pay bills was helping me sleep better. I also found myself eating better and exercising, which gave me more energy. I was able to keep two of my piano students, continue my creative writing, and enjoy my daughter more than when we had been constantly together. The aide, a young woman near her age, was fast becoming one of her best friends, a special person who soon began asking questions about the Church.
I am grateful for the patience of a loving Heavenly Father who reminded me he would watch over me, then led me to the people and resources I needed. The road ahead will not be easy, but I know as never before that I need not face it alone.