Why Didn’t God Warn Me?
    Footnotes

    “Why Didn’t God Warn Me?” Liahona, July 2019

    Why Didn’t God Warn Me?

    By Lark Montgomery

    Texas, USA

    woman gathering loose papers

    Illustration by Tim Zeltner

    My husband and I were living in on-campus housing at the Texas State Technical Institute when our two oldest children were four and two. It was our first experience in Texas hill country, and I loved it! Every spring, central Texas is awash with flowers. In gardens, woods, vacant fields, on roadsides, everywhere I looked there were more blossoms to see.

    I took my children on stroller rides nearly every day. We’d find new places to explore, and I let the children pick as many wildflowers as they wanted. We’d finish our ride through a neighborhood where most of the houses had beautifully maintained flower gardens.

    One day we came around a corner to discover a large mass of papers spread across one of the flower gardens. The wind quickly scattered the paper all over the yard. I decided to tidy up the litter before it spread further. I grabbed handfuls of pages and stuffed them in my diaper bag.

    As I looked down, I realized I was holding pornography. Appalled, I asked my children to stay in the stroller as I snatched up the rest of the pages. I became upset as I saw glimpses of things I never wanted to see. In my heart, I began complaining, “Why didn’t God warn me to go another way home?”

    Then I heard the unmistakable huff of school bus brakes. About a dozen kids got off the bus. They all moved past the yard that had been filled with pornography only moments before.

    In that moment, my whole perspective changed. I now knew why I hadn’t been warned to go another way. I was grateful I was there to pick up those pages so those children could be spared seeing those damaging images. As I made my way back home, I thought, “What if the school bus had come later? What if I had never found out why I had that experience? How long would I have been upset with God?”

    Since that day, the opportunity the Lord gave me to see the “why” of that experience has helped me trust that His wisdom and purposes are greater than my own.

    Sometimes I will know why something happened; other times I won’t. But no matter what, I know I must have faith that the Lord has a bigger purpose that I can’t always see.