I want to describe to you a spiritual impression I had a few days ago during the Saturday sessions of general conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Just minutes before the afternoon session came to a close, Aaron and I left our apartment to drive an hour and a half to Logan, Utah to be with his family for the evening. My cute sister-in-law was celebrating her birthday, so we stopped at the cupcake shop across the street to grab her a sweet little birthday treat.
However, minutes before we left, I experienced a moment where I felt like God was not hearing my pleas, and sometimes, tearful prayers. Have you ever experienced that? The feeling that you don’t deserve heaven’s blessings? If not, I offer my sincere “good for you!” exclamation with a warm-and-cozy side hug, because that means you have a lot of faith and a heck of a lot more confidence than I do! However, if my experience makes sense to you, then you probably have felt those exact same “I-don’t-amount-to-anything” feelings. But let me tell you a tiny secret:
These feelings are LIES. All lies. They are perpetuated by society, the media, or frankly, Satan himself. These lies – the one’s that make us believe we don’t deserve such-and-such, that we are not loved, or that we are bad parents – are dangerous and devastating to our sense of worth. I cried for a solid 20 minutes, but lucky me to have a husband who gently wipes my black mascara tears with the sleeve of his shirt whenever they fall. I slowly gained composure as he held me, gave myself a quick pep-talk, then stepped out the door.
We pulled into the cupcake parking lot, and while Aaron stayed to listen to the end of general conference in the car, I somberly walked inside, shoulders hunched, head down, to purchase a pretty cupcake. I told the teenage worker girl what I wanted, and as she was packaging it for me in a pink box and matching bow, something caught my eye. A handmade sign at the register seemed to glisten in my direct line of sight:
“You can’t be sad when you are holding a cupcake!”
Huh, I thought with a smile. What a sweet surprise. Tears filled my eyes as I was handed my pink to-go box. What came to mind next was a verse from the Book of Mormon: “But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Nephi 1:20). That very moment, I was experiencing a tender mercy. My loving Savior, Jesus Christ, sent me a personal and timely message, telling me to be of comfort and to be reassured that He does care, He does hear, and He will bless.
How can I be sad when I know those truths?
I decided as I exited the cupcake shop (with not one, but two cupcakes in hand – one for me, of course), that I would always acknowledge the Lord’s tender mercies, and express my gratitude to Him for allowing me to hear directly from Him that He is walking with me, side-by-side, in a warm-and-cozy side hug.
I believe that tender mercies are real, and they come to us as protection, small suggestions, and loving guidance from our Savior above. His blessings to us are abundant, and they, through our faith, can be given in the simplest of ways. Even as simple as a chocolate cupcake.
For that, I am grateful.