“Being Watched,” Ensign, June 2006, 65–66
When I found the address I had scrawled in my notebook, I thought the place looked creepy. It was a big, old, gray house that had been converted into apartments, but it looked more like a haunted house in a black-and-white movie. Still, I wanted to meet Rachael, so I marched up the rickety steps.
Earlier, when I stared at the housing ads tacked to a board in the institute building, the ads had blurred together like a patchwork quilt made of paper and pushpins. But one ad stood out. It showed a stick figure saying, “This is me, Rachael. I like running, jazz music, and chocolate.” I laughed. It didn’t say much about the apartment, but the roommate seemed fun.
After talking to Rachael for a while, I decided that the feeling inside her apartment seemed welcoming. I dismissed my first impression and moved in a few weeks later.
The next morning Rachael left on a two-week family vacation. An eerie feeling sank in the minute she was gone, but I brushed it off and busied myself unpacking. “I’m nervous because I’m not used to being here,” I reasoned. “I need time to adjust.”
It was almost midnight when I came down with an itchy sore throat. “I must be allergic to something,” I thought. I hunted around until I found Rachael’s scented candles. I decided to put them outside.
I had discovered earlier that the entryway light didn’t work, so I left the front door open a crack, letting a sliver of light spill out. Barefoot, I hurried through the darkness onto the porch.
Suddenly I froze.
The night air was still. I couldn’t hear a thing. But I felt someone approaching.
“Get back into your apartment before someone else does.” The Spirit’s instructions were unmistakable and urgent.
Still grasping the candles, I raced through the darkness into my living room and slammed the door. As soon as I locked it, the doorknob turned. My jaw dropped. I watched the doorknob slowly twist back and forth without a sound.
Someone had been hiding in my entryway! He had tried to follow me inside, only a moment too late. Now nothing but a flimsy wooden door stood between us. Instinctively, I hit the door with my fist as hard as I could.
I don’t know how long I stood there silently praying, waiting for something to happen. Finally a peaceful feeling assured me that the threat had passed and I would be safe for the night.
The next morning my mom called. She and Dad were gone on vacation, or I might have called them sooner. Before I could tell Mom what had happened, she said, “I’ve been worried about you! I keep getting the impression that your entryway is a danger zone. Is it well lit? It would be so easy for someone to hide there.”
I shivered to realize how close I had come to being attacked—so close that my mom had sensed the danger from 200 miles (320 km) away.
Then she told me she had been trying to call me the day before to warn me of her impression. “I couldn’t catch you on the phone, so I prayed. I knew I couldn’t protect you, but Heavenly Father could.”
Mom was right. A stranger had hidden in my entryway, watching me. Higher powers had also been watching and had told me what to do.
I know that the Lord won’t always protect me from tragedy, but as I follow Him, He won’t let His plan for my life be thwarted. It was His will for me to be protected that night, and I am grateful He was watching over me.