I can't miss the opportunity to write about a miracle that happened in my life last week.
After buying the cheapest plane ticket that I could to get up to Rexburg for the start of the semester, I was pretty much broke. Gone were the reserves of money that I had been saving up from before the mission (really, before the end of senior year), finally exhausted after having a good, long run in my bank account. My situation isn't terrible because I have a couple of investments that give me monthly money, but I knew that after paying rent and all of the other start of school expenses, I would be totally and completely out of money.
The comfort of being at home for the holidays lessened my worry about this particular problem. But when I started to think about buying textbooks on my first day of class, the worry began to creep into the back of my mind. I calculated on my fingers my assets and what I needed to buy. I remembered that on top of all the things I needed to buy, I still hadn't paid my tithing for that month. Ayayay ... I thought this to myself several times as I tried to think about how to make ends meet.
I have heard my entire life that tithing brings blessings. It has always been a known fact, and I never have had a problem paying tithing because I have always been aware of those blessings. On my mission, I told people all the time about these blessings: "Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." In not seeing a way forward financially for the beginning of this semester, I had a chance to prove the Lord.
I went home after class and paid my tithing. I then set out on all of my errands that I had to accomplish for the day. Pay rent. Pay for the necessary books. Pay for food. All the time, in my head, I was calculating how much money I had left. When I was at the checkout line in the grocery store, I stared in disbelief at the total for my shopping cart. It was a little bit less than the money that I had left to spend. I don't know how, but somehow, Heavenly Father stretched my money to be enough. And I believe that that is part of the blessing that he poured on me for paying my tithing. What a miracle.
Later that night, I posted on my Facebook about this little miracle. Since I have been home from my mission, I haven't been an avid Facebook poster because I don't want to bother anyone with trivial things. I knew, however, that I HAD to testify of my experience and the goodness of Heavenly Father ... because I knew that the blessing of having enough money to pay for everything I was stressed out about was a direct miraculous response to my worries and fear.
Not one hour after I posted that Facebook status, a couple of my friends came over to catch up after the break, and they said, "Hey, Laney! Someone left you some food outside. We thought we'd bring it in for you!" I blinked two times, processing what they had just said. Bags of food for me? I immediately said to myself, "Oh my word, they shouldn't have gone to the trouble ... I am not in a desperate situation. It will all work out eventually." I guess I haven't had the chance to be on the receiving end of such thoughtful charity.
But I saw the Lord's hand in those bags of groceries. It was an anonymous thing, and I wondered who my benefactor was as I put the contents of the bags in my cupboard. Boxes of macaroni, a huge bag of rice, applesauce, and other food replaced what was once almost bare (my average college diet). This random act of kindness reminded me of God's mercy and love. It reminded me of the goodness that is still in the world. It also reminded me of the responsibility that I have to help those whose needs are so much greater than my own.
I am so grateful to those who have helped me get through the beginning of this semester (which is going to be amazing, by the way). Thank you, anonymous friend that was willing to go out of your way to make my day. Thank you, parents who taught me the value of paying a full tithe. And thank you, Heavenly Father for showering your blessings upon me when I proved you. I do not have the room to receive all of the blessings that He has given me.