“He Put Me Back Together,” Liahona, October 2020
I had always thought of myself as a healthy person. So I was shocked when I woke up one morning feeling like my chest was being squeezed so hard it was about to explode. I was rushed to the hospital, but after hours of testing, doctors couldn’t find the problem. They sent me home, even though I still suffered excruciating pain. Thus began a seven-month-long ordeal of doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, and the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.
I started to become depressed. I had to drop my college classes and move back in with my parents. I couldn’t go out with friends. I hurt too much to do any of my hobbies. I felt that everything I cared about—my aspirations, my relationships, my talents—had been shattered, and now the pieces of my former self seemed impossible to put back together. And I started to wonder: How could Heavenly Father let this happen to me? Didn’t He love me?
After yet another disappointing and painful doctor’s appointment, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry. But as I arrived home, I saw something strange on the porch: an old, tattered shoebox covered in tape and addressed to me.
A letter on the box revealed that the package came from one of my friends. She had heard that I was sick and wanted to cheer me up. When I opened the shoebox, I found that it was full of little pieces of Styrofoam. It was a homemade puzzle made especially for me.
As I put the puzzle together, I began to cry. The puzzle formed my name, surrounded by sweet messages of love and encouragement. I felt that the shattered pieces of myself were now being put back together as I assembled my friend’s gift.
A short time later, I started taking a medication that reduced my symptoms and helped the doctors make a diagnosis. I had a rare but treatable condition, and with the proper medicine, I could return to normal life.
Even as my body healed, I knew I would never forget what I had learned. Because of my friend’s sweet gift, I knew that I was loved and that Heavenly Father had not forgotten me. After months of feeling shattered, thanks to the kindness of a friend and the love of my Father in Heaven, I became whole again.