“Anyone but Him!” Ensign, December 2019
When I heard about the Church’s “Light the World” Christmas initiative and the worldwide day of service, I thought, “What a nice idea. I’m going to do it.”
A couple of days before the worldwide day of service on December 1, a thought popped into my mind of whom I needed to help. Immediately, I thought, “Anyone but him!” This person had hurt me deeply for many years, but the more his name nagged at me, the more I knew that the thought had come from the Spirit.
I told my husband what I was thinking, and he said that serving this man would be good for me. Still, I felt extremely nervous at the thought of helping him. I knew I couldn’t do this on my own, so I prayed for strength and for someone to go with me. Eventually, I called the sister missionaries, and they agreed to go with me.
December 1 came, and I was so nervous that I felt shaky while I drove. We prayed together when we got to the apartment. I took a few deep breaths and knocked on the door. The man opened the door, but he didn’t seem to recognize me. I asked if he knew who I was. He thought I was just one of the sister missionaries. When I told him who I was, he was surprised but pleased that I had come to see him. An awkward moment arose when I told him that it was a worldwide day of service, and we wanted to help him in any way we could.
I delegated jobs to the missionaries, and we went to work cleaning his apartment. After a couple of hours, we finished and left. It wasn’t until I was driving home that I realized I was laughing and happy. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: Heavenly Father had taken away all of my hurt, pain, bitterness, and grief. It was gone! And I was free from all the anguish I had carried for so many years. Heavenly Father had blessed me with the strength to finally forgive this person. It was marvelous how light my heart felt.
I am so grateful that I followed the prompting to help this man. My loving Heavenly Father knew I needed to have this experience so I could grow and become more of the person He wants me to be.