My life might not seem very “ideal.” Most of my body is paralyzed and I’m in a wheelchair. And sometimes, when I’m feeling a little weighed down and heavy with the burdens I bear, I have to remind myself that it’s okay that I can’t walk and it’s okay that my hands don’t work. It’s okay.
But when my circumstances seem a little too heavy and I feel a little too weighed down, I have to remind myself how really blessed I am. When I am unable to do things for myself, God sends angels to help me. When I face life’s challenges with faith everything seems to work out.
Just the other day I needed to go shopping for some things I needed for the upcoming Ms. Wheelchair Utah pageant event. I couldn’t get a babysitter for our little girl, Zula, so I ended up have to take her along. This was a very frightening thing to me as I had never taken this 21 month old bundle of energy to a store by myself. I can handle her needs at home, but imagining what she might do in a huge store like Costco brought visions of every little thing that could go wrong. I knew that I needed the help of angels that day and I poured out my heart in prayer, asking Heavenly Father to make up for where I lack so that my trials don’t cause unnecessary trials for Zula.
I was to meet my friend Katie at Costco, but she hadn’t yet arrived when I pulled into the parking lot. And that is when the angels started to appear.
The first angel was a woman who was loading her groceries into her car which was parked in the very first spot in front of the store. She noticed me waiting for her and hurried along with her task, although she was still a little slow. I was soon able to park close to the entrance thanks to this “Parking Angel” (Angel #1).
Katie wasn’t there yet to help me get Zula out of the car and as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t unbuckle her car seat. It is just too hard with my paralyzed hands. I looked out the open driver’s side door and asked a passing lady if she’d help me. She quickly unbuckled Zula and then was gone (Angel #2).
At that moment, Katie (Angel #3) came and we were able to get everything from Costco…mostly because Zula was behaving like an angel (Angel #4). Then, while Katie was on a business call and I was busy at the checkout counter, Zula began to wander thru the sea of shopping carts. My attempts to reign in Zula were less than effective when – amazingly – Angel #5 – my friend Shae appeared, swooping up my toddler and taking care of for her. Shae and Katie then loaded my purchases into my car and left for other commitments.
I then realized that I needed to pick up some napkins and ribbon from another store, Zurchers, which was only a block away from Costco. But without my friend Katie to help, I figured I would have to go home and put Zula down for a nap and then come back. (Whit works from home and could keep an eye on her with the baby monitor from his office). But I was right there, right now! Did I have the faith that Heavenly Father would send more angels to my rescue? As I left the parking lot, I felt I’d be blessed to get the napkins and ribbon I needed if I went in faith. At first I didn’t act immediately on the feeling. How could I go to Zurchers with no one to help me? I turned right toward home, but then decided to just stretch my faith a little more. I flipped a U-turn toward the store all the while wondering how I’d get Zula out of – and back into – her car seat…. Would I just ask someone? And how would I know I could trust them with my baby? But my fears vanished when I pulled into the parking lot and saw Angel #6– a young mom who was getting her stroller out of the back of the car to run an errand to Babies R Us. She shined with a brightness I knew I could trust and was more than happy to unbuckle Zula!
Zula was pretty good in the store, though she insisted on carrying her own shopping basket, trying on all the leis, and pulling all the napkins off the shelves. I couldn’t find the ribbons but another shopper (and Angel #7) took me right to them.
And Zula got her very own Angel #1 who gave her a yellow balloon at the checkout line!
I was worried I was pushing the limit with my blessings and I wondered if I would run out of angels, but as I was rolling with Zula down the parking lot, I saw Angel #8 – my best-good-friend, Bree, walking right next to my car! She needed to pick up some stuff at Zurchers, too, and the timing couldn’t have been better. She buckled Zula right in.
As we drove home I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love. My prayer for God to watch over me and send me angels was answered.
It reminded me of the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 84…
78 For I suffered (you) not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats (nor two legs, nor hands that work…)
79 Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire.
80 And any man (or woman) that shall go and …fail not to continue faithful in all things, shall not be weary in mind, neither darkened, neither in body, limb, nor joint; and a hair of his (or her) head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed…
81 Therefore, take ye no thought for the morrow, for what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, or wherewithal ye shall be clothed… (or how-withal ye shall get thy baby, Zula, out of her car seat…)
82 For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.
83 For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
84 Therefore, let the morrow (or the next moment) take thought for the things of itself.
85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say (or do); but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour (or the very exact moment!)…
88 And … I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up
I might sometimes have to remind myself that it’s okay that I can’t walk and it’s okay that I’m in a wheelchair and it’s okay that my hands don’t work. But it really is okay, because I don’t have to be perfect right now to do things perfectly. Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “Much that is good, much that is essential—even sometimes all that is necessary for now—can be achieved in less than ideal circumstances.” (Why Marriage, Why Family)
And from my wheelchair, my circumstances might not seem ideal, but with the Lord watching out for me and angels surrounding me, my life is much more than just “okay.” Eight strategically placed angels helped me at exactly the right time. I didn’t have to wait even a moment. I don’t know if these 8 earthly angels’ mornings were chaotic or easy or whatever trials or pauses they endured, but whatever happened to them or for them that morning, I feel, was specifically for me so that Heavenly Father could make good on His promise that He would be on my right hand and on my left and His angels would surround me to bear me up, even when I’m feeling a little weighed down.
Everyone has burdens to bear. They may be much different than mine, but Heavenly Father knows us all and loves us enough to send angels. May your angels bless your life as equally as mine.