~by Amy (not her real name)
I was studying away when I received a text from my roommate, saying that one of her friends with whom she had been in contact was just diagnosed with COVID. “I’ve been feeling symptoms,” the message said, “so I will be getting tested tomorrow.”
Feeling a slight sore throat myself, the sudden shift was a little too much for my body and brain to handle.
Even though I kept trying to tell myself everything was going to be okay, and even though in my heart I knew it would be, I broke down. I am scheduled to receive my temple endowment in a week and a half, and that could all change if they come back positive (or if I do).
By this time, I was no longer able to focus on my heavy load of homework, so I decided to read an email from one of my friends who is currently serving as a missionary. He wrote:
“Miracles happen. Remember that. Be on the lookout….”
I realized I needed a miracle, so I immediately prayed I could have God’s help somehow.
Exactly thirty minutes after my first roommate texted, I received another text. This was from a number not in my contacts. She said, “I made some minestrone soup today. It’s nothing fancy just a pot of vegetables and juice. Just wondering if that is something you guys would eat. I’d love to bring some over!”
Minestrone happens to be one of my favorite soups. I could not believe that so soon after I felt so overwhelmed and alone, I got this text. I still didn’t know who it was from but I thought for sure it would be someone in the ward…maybe my ministering sisters or something? How could they choose something so perfect and healthy as minestrone and it not be for me?
Well, the longer we texted back and forth, I realized she had sent this message to the wrong number!
After all the confusion, this woman (who lives more than 20 minutes away from where I live) called me and apologized because she thought she was texting someone in her ward [congregation] who just had surgery. As we cleared up the miscommunication, she said, “Well I’ll pray that someone can bring you food!”
The call ended and I started walking home. I was still so tired and maxed out but so grateful someone reached out right when I needed it. I thought, “It’s the thought that counts here,” even though the kindness was for someone else.
About twenty minutes later, she called back again. I think she had the realization that she needed to be the answer to her own prayer for me. She said, “Have you had dinner yet?” I told her no. She said, “Well, we are going to bring you some minestrone.” And they did! A random family from several cities over brought me dinner (a favorite food, no less) on the very night I didn’t have it in me to cook, I wanted to feel peace, and I needed a miracle.
I have no doubt in my mind that God hears our prayers. Miracles are real! I’m grateful for my missionary friend who encouraged all of us to look for them.
This experience reminded me of a story President Thomas S. Monson told years ago, “We Never Walk Alone.” Tiffany had fallen into a deep depression because of high levels of stress and was losing weight (which she couldn’t afford to lose). But she could not eat. Friends and family were trying to deliver her some of her favorite foods, but to no avail.
One day, when prodded about what might possibly sound palatable to her, Tiffany could envision eating homemade bread. “But,” President Monson shares, “There was none on hand.”
The next morning, on the other side of town Sherrie had a prompting from the Spirit to bake an extra loaf of bread that day. She felt to take that bread with her in the car when she went to have lunch with a friend. After lunch, and with a very tired toddler in the car, Sherrie had the unexpected thought to deliver the bread to Nicole, someone she barely knew, and who lived 30 minutes away.
She tried to rationalize away the thought, wanting to get her very tired daughter home and feeling sheepish about delivering a loaf of bread to people who were almost strangers. However, the impression to go to Tiffany’s home was strong, so she heeded the prompting.
When she arrived, Tiffany’s husband answered the door. Sherrie reminded him that she was [Tiffany’s sister’s friend] whom he’d met briefly [months before], handed him the loaf of bread, and left.
And so it happened that the Lord sent a virtual stranger across town to deliver not just the desired homemade bread but also a clear message of love to Tiffany. What happened to her cannot be explained in any other way. She had an urgent need to feel that she wasn’t alone—that God was aware of her and had not abandoned her. That bread—the very thing she wanted—was delivered to her by someone she barely knew, someone who had no knowledge of her need but who listened to the prompting of the Spirit and followed that prompting. It became an obvious sign to Tiffany that her Heavenly Father was aware of her needs and loved her enough to send help. He had responded to her cries for relief.