“Michaela and the Marshmallows,” New Era, May 2009, 24–25
It began as an ordinary day, but by second period I felt as if my entire life were coming apart at the seams. I didn’t get a role in the school play, it seemed like all my friends were avoiding me like the plague, I felt incompetent in almost all of my classes, and I felt inferior to everyone I came in contact with.
I had no excuse to feel this way. I knew I was blessed with a happy family, a nice home, plenty of friends, and many talents. I have never been insulted or brutally teased; why should I feel so bad about myself now? I’d had other roles in school plays … why should this one matter? But for some reason, it did matter, and my head and shoulders slumped lower and lower as the day dragged on. Between classes, I wrote in my diary.
“I feel of so little worth. It’s one of those days when you turn to people for sympathy, and they don’t seem to care. They almost just shrug as if to say, ‘You deserved it’ or ‘I have better things to care about.’”
By fifth period, I was still trying to pull myself together. I tried to remember a scripture that would help me, but it didn’t work.
At the close of fifth period, I finally decided that I would be polite and friendly to everyone I saw. Just as I was about to leave the room, a girl entered with a sunny smile that I remembered from seminary that morning. Michaela had given a devotional in seminary about pulling through the rough times and the storms of life. She handed out treats: peppermint marshmallows. I mentioned the devotional to her, and how interesting I thought the homemade marshmallows were. She smiled and pulled a spare set of treats and a paper with a quote from her book bag, handing them to me. Her smile alone brightened my day, but it went far beyond that.
As I walked down the hallway, reading the handout, I had trouble catching my breath. On that small sheet of paper was the scripture I had tried so earnestly to remember.
“Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment” (D&C 121:7).
There was also this thought: “Remember that no matter what you are going through, there will always be someone there for you!”
Tears sprang to my eyes. Those simple words brought me comfort and taught me something new. Logically, doctrinally, I suppose I’d always known that God loved and cared for me, but this time I felt it personally.
My heart felt full. I knew that He really does love me, and He wants me to be happy. Even though nothing was really and truly wrong, He still cared, and I could bring my problems to Him—great or small.