Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coincidence or Tender Mercy of the Lord?

I believe that Heavenly Father blesses each of us with his tender mercies and miracles everyday.  Whether or not we recognize them as such, or identify them as coincidences or fate, they indeed remain a blessing to all participants.  I had the wonderful fortune of experiencing what I truly believe to be a sweet and simple testimony that God is aware of us all, and that He sends people into our lives, if only for a brief moment, to bear us up and brighten our day.

On February 14th I decided to go to the mall to find a cute shirt for the evening, which was of course, Valentines Day, but specifically for a concert that we would be attending. I love going to the mall and browsing the stores, seeing people, seeing different styles, and just getting out and being social (yes, I'm the creeper social butterfly who will talk to you in line, or ask you about who cuts your hair, etc).  I was in Sephora, looking around and picking out some makeup when I noticed one of the cutest girls ever.  Her entire outfit was darling, her hair was amazing, and she just had a glow of 'niceness' to her.  I love seeing people like that! I continued to shop, and look around at makeup.  I was debating whether or not to buy the 2 items of makeup in my hand.  They were kind of expensive, and I wasn't sure that I needed them.  I decided to buy them anyway.  I went to get in line when to my dismay, it was really long and looked like it was moving slow.  I literally turned around to set my stuff on the shelf so I could leave, when for some reason I felt like I should get back in line.  So I did.  I waited for it to finally be my turn.  I also had Conner with me in the stroller, which was another reason I was about to leave, because the stroller was a little annoying to weave through the line.  While in line, the cute girl I had noticed earlier, was waiting near the check out line for her mom who was making a return.  It was finally my turn to check out, so I bought my makeup, and noticed the girls mom next to me with another cashier.  I had to pass her to leave, and as I was maneuvering with the stroller behind her, her daughter, the girl with the cute outfit, was standing right there as I turned to go out.  As I started to pass her, she stopped me and gave me the sweetest compliments about my own outfit and how she thought Conner's stroller/car seat cover were cute too.  I immediately told her that I, in fact, had been adoring HER outfit, shoes, hair, etc, and was so flattered that she liked MY style! As I walked out of the store I felt so great that a high school girl as stylish as she was, had complimented me and liked what I was wearing! I continued to shop around, and saw her again in another store, and we exchanged smiles.  I left the mall a short while later to go home and get ready for the night.

The concert that we attended that evening was the Paul Cardall benefit concert that he holds every year to raise funds for his foundation for Congenital Heart Defects.  Paul Cardall is the beneficiary of a heart transplant, (he received this blessing about a year ago) and is a wonderful and talented musician.  At the concert, he performed all of the songs from his new CD that just got released.  Just before the intermission of the concert, Paul Cardall brought onto the stage two different high schools study body government officers. When the Brighton High study body officers had walked onto stage, they were all boys except for one girl.  To myself, I thought "man, she has great hair!".  Each high school had taken on the project of doing fundraisers for his foundation.  They each explained all the different fundraisers they had done and all the fun things they did to raise money.  It was amazing how much money they each raised! Each school had raised about $15,000 to donate!!  There was an intermission during the concert, so Paul (my hubby, not Paul Cardall!) and I went out in the foyer of the high school to mingle and look at the auction table.  I really wanted to find some of my heart mom friends, to say hi.  I also wanted to find one of the student body officers to personally tell them thank you for what an amazing thing they had done with raising funds, and how much I appreciated the awareness they put out there about Congenital Heart Defects.  As I was walking around, I turned and noticed out of the corner of my eye, who I thought was the same mom from the was her for sure, and so I darted my eyes around to see if her daughter was with her!  Just a few short feet from the mom was the girl with great hair, who was one of the student body officers...I walked up to her, tapped her shoulder, and INDEED, it was the same girl from the mall who I had met just hours before! I couldn't believe that the SBO (Student Body Officer) girl was the same girl I met at the mall!  We laughed about how crazy the coincidence was that we had first met at the mall, and now were meeting up again at a concert that we both happened to attend!

Since I had wanted to say thank you to one of the SBO's, this was the perfect opportunity! I proceeded to tell Natalie (the cute girl) and her family, and another SBO that was standing there, how thankful I was for their fundraising efforts.  Tears came to my eyes as I told them that I had a 'heart baby' and truly felt so much gratitude for all their hard work.  I explained about Conner's heart defect and our journey with him.  I felt so connected and interlinked with these sweet people whom I had just met.  You know that feeling that you feel deep inside every so often when you connect with someone, despite differences, background, race or religion?  ...When you feel the spirit of humanity and it makes your heart feel so tender, and you just feel peace and satisfaction, and that we are all brothers and sisters living on this earth to help one another?  That is how I felt.  Natalie's mom pulled out her camera and took a picture of Natalie and I together (the picture included in this post).  I gave them my information so I could get the picture, and also my blog address so they could see Conner's story here.  We hugged and laughed and said thank you to each other.

Seriously, how cool is this experience? Even now that a month and a half has passed since that day, I still marvel at that wonderful opportunity.  This is when I think about how it was such a coincidence that when I turned to put my makeup away and leave because the line was too long, how instead I just 'felt' like I should get back in line.  And I realize that perhaps while describing it as a coincidence, that it was indeed the quiet, delicate whisperings of the Holy Ghost that urged me to stay in the store, so that our meeting could take place, that I could once again see her, and know her at the concert, amidst hundreds of people who attended.  Some people may call it coincidence, but I call it a tender mercy of the Lord.


EBeauty03 said...


BECKY said...

very sweet

Stephanie and Such said...

Whats a sweet experience! That was no coincidence. Heavenly Father is so good to us!

And i LOVE Paul Crandall. I listen to him every sunday before getting ready :) I am sure his concert was amazing.


Jake & Stephanie Ellinger said...

I think one of the blessings of having a heart baby is feeling that connection that you described with complete strangers who you instantly feel bonded to. Its much easier to bare your burdens when you know that there is someone else out there who truly understands what is going on and how frustrating and rewarding having boys like Connor and Nathan can be.

You need to post some more up to date pictures of Connor!

I'm sorry that I didn't get to see you at the concert, but for sure we need to catch up at the Heat Mom lunch in April!

Melanie said...

That is a great story Annie! It really does show that Heavenly Father really is constantly with us and his presence is always interwoven into our lives.

(And now you have proof that the Spirit NEEDED you to go to Sephora... I'd remember that one for the future! ;))

Winning My Battle said...

Hi Annie! I just wanted to come over and say "hello" and say thank you for introducing yourself on my blog! I loved reading abt sweet family so much! are such an amazing example for the young women! Im so glad they have some one like you to look up to! And I also wanted to just say how sorry I am to hear about your miscarriages. I just adore you and think you are so cute, stylish, strong, AMAZING! Well, i hope you are having a great day!


Melissa said...

That is an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing!! I hope to see you at the Heart mom lunch too!

Sara Shoemaker said...

thank you SO much for your sweet comment! I literally squealed with excitement as I read it. It truly has made my day! :) tell me when you get your fashion blog up and I'll come check it out!

Kristy said...

That is so awesome! I was just talking to Abe about this same thing the other day. I was telling him how miraculous it is that the lord puts people in our lives when we need them. And how it is like a miracle that it all works, how everyone's life's are intertwined so we can bless one another. That takes some pretty good organization. :) I love reading your blog you write so well. I just thrive off of every word. Does that make sense? Any how, I love you and hope to see you soon.