Seeing Beyond Myself

    “Seeing Beyond Myself,” Ensign, July 1999, 61

    Seeing Beyond Myself

    Some time ago my husband and I prayerfully decided it was time for him to make a career change. So we sold our home to raise money to start a new business. Soon it became clear that the business was a failure. Our savings were gone, and we were in financial crisis. Besides our pressing and worrisome debts, we were concerned about providing for our children, two school-age and two preschoolers. Pregnant with our fifth child, I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. It was a dark time in our lives.

    One day the phone rang. The voice on the other end said, “We have a family in need in our ward. Would you please take a casserole to them for their dinner tonight?”

    Instinctively I said, “Yes.” Then I hung up the phone and cried. We had been discreet about our problems—perhaps too discreet. Few knew of our own troubled situation.

    Through my tears I went to the kitchen and prepared a casserole from the sparse ingredients I found in my cupboard. Then I loaded the baby into the stroller, gathered the other children, and, balancing the casserole on the handle of the stroller, started the mile walk to the home of the family in need.

    As we walked, I felt hurt inside. It seemed unfair that I had been asked to help someone else when my own need was also great. We finally reached our destination and were greeted by a distraught family member, who informed me that their child had just been killed in a tragic accident.

    In an instant my perspective changed. As I turned to walk home, I was overwhelmed by the sweet spirit of the Comforter. I realized my adversity and affliction would be but a small moment (see D&C 121:7). My husband would find a job; we would get through this. I looked at my children running circles around the stroller. What a blessing they were! And how grateful I was for my good husband—worthy to hold the priesthood, trying so hard to solve our problems, and loving me so much! I had a home to return to, even if we did not own it. I had food in my cupboards, even if it did not provide the menu I would prefer. And I had caring family support.

    But most of all, I was grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who, despite my own pressing needs, had extended to me an opportunity to serve another. How little I had given, and how much I had received.

    [illustrations] Illustrated by Bethany Scow