Monday, August 26, 2013

Familiar Face

Abe is usually the first one to be ready in the morning and walks around as the champion helping everybody else.  This morning something strange happened with him.  The kids and I were all ready, and he was still in his pajamas!  Church was at 1pm, and it was already 12:30; he had lost track of time.  He quickly threw on his clothes, and then we raced out the door.

Our family slipped in a few minutes late and sat close to the back of our new, very large congregation in Florida.

A few minutes after we settled into our seats, a woman came in with 3 kids and a big double jogger stroller.  She parked her stroller just a few feet behind me in my aisle at the back of the chapel.  Soon, her children became restless, and 2 of them started to cry at the same time.

My children were all sitting quietly; even baby Jayden was sound asleep.  I was available to help and immediately felt inspired to reach for her child who was still strapped in the stroller.  My thought was, "Rachel, this is too bold.  She doesn't know you, and you don't know her. You're going to offend her."  Despite my doubts, the inspiration came pretty strong; so with her nod of approval, I placed her little girl on my lap.  The  mother soon leaned over to me and said, "You visited here last year.  I remember  you.  You're from Michigan visiting your in-laws."

After Sacrament meeting, I informed her we were not just visitors this time; we were now living in Florida.

I was taken back by her excited response: "Oh yay!  I have a friend!  I need to get your phone number."  I wondered why she would be so excited to have a friend because surely she had lots of friends since she lived here.  I was the one with no friends!

I saw her again during the 3rd hour of our Sunday classes.  It was Relief Society- where only the women meet together.  They asked for the new people to introduce ourselves.  My new friend stood up.  What??  I was so confused.  My mother-in-law, who was the Relief Society President at the time of our visit last year, said she didn't have any idea who my new friend was.

I quietly walked over to where she was sitting and crouched down beside her.  I asked her how it was that she was new, yet she recognized me from a year ago.  She said, "I am new in the last year.  I haven't been coming.  This is my first time back at church."  I couldn't believe we would both return on the same Sunday.

We quickly exchanged phone numbers before I returned to my seat.   I felt very strongly that our meeting was not by chance.

This woman bravely returned to church after a year of absence and needed to see a familiar face.  What are the chances that I would be that only familiar face?  I believe it was a miracle from God.  I am glad we were a few minutes late so we could be right where we needed to be when this woman entered.  I thank God for our meeting and blessed to have a new friend and a familiar face.