Glad I Walked
July 2003

“Glad I Walked,” New Era, July 2003, 10

Glad I Walked

Walking to church every week with my big family was embarrassing. I used to hope nobody was watching, but now I’m glad someone was.

My family lives within walking distance of our chapel, so I had to walk to church every Sunday and to Mutual every Wednesday. I would beg my parents to drive me, but they firmly believed that I, along with the rest of the family, should walk. We walked in sunshine, rain, and even snow. I had to reassess my entire Sunday-shoe wardrobe.

Walking together was an embarrassing feat for our family of six children. We would straggle out of the house carrying scriptures, various bags, and even babies. Some of us would still be dressing as we ran out the door. My little brother would pause at each step to pull on a sock or tie a shoe.

Occasionally, we would notice a neighbor watching, and my mom would laugh. “Here come the Embleys!” she would say. I didn’t think it was very funny.

At this time I had been searching for a job. I had interviewed at several clothing stores with no luck and was beginning to lose hope. Because of my determination not to work on Sunday, it seemed no one wanted to hire me. Potential employers always asked if I would work on Sundays.

My reply, of course, was “No.”

They would explain that being available to work on Sunday was part of their hiring policy, and then ask me again if I could work Sundays. My answer stayed the same. They would nicely say they could not hire me, but I could come back if I changed my mind.

One day I discovered that the local grocery store was hiring. I applied, and they wanted to interview me right away. I went to the store for my interview and was sent to the pharmacy and up a flight of stairs. I stood in an office until someone realized that I was there. Finally, a polite lady wearing a green smock invited me in.

She introduced herself and said, “I’m your neighbor.” It shocked me because I hadn’t made the connection that she lived across the street from me.

After looking over my application, she asked if we could revise the available hours I’d put down. This made me nervous after being turned down at so many places, and I got ready to be disappointed again. We made a few changes to my weekday schedule, then went to the weekends.

“For the most part, we require our employees to work on Sundays,” she said, “but I see you walking to church every Sunday and Wednesday, and I think if it’s important enough for you to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, then we can let you off those days. I’ll talk to your manager and work things out.”

I was amazed! Because my neighbor had seen my dedication in walking to church, I got a job that didn’t require me to work on Sunday.

Now every time I complain about walking to church, my mom simply reminds me that my salary comes because of my faith. If I hadn’t walked to church every Sunday and Wednesday, I wouldn’t have my job. I’m grateful that Heavenly Father provides a way when we do what He commands.

  • Jessica N. Embley is a member of the Frankfort Ward, Lexington Kentucky Stake.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh