Today’s Tender Mercies story comes from Mindset Mastery participant Stephanie Lee. She writes:
Something interesting happened to me this week.
Over a year ago I had started a business making baby clothes. A lot of thoughtful preparation went into launching it – product prototypes, professional photography of said products, website set up, etc. It felt so divinely orchestrated and I was excited about how it could grow.
It did pretty well initially and I was excited. Without getting into all the details, I soon lost my excitement and coincidentally my sales decreased. I had ideas of new products I wanted to make but they would have required a very specialized and expensive machine. I couldn’t justify it and so my excitement and drive just sort of fizzled out. However, before the fizzle-out, I had very detailed visions of owning this machine. I would “see” the products I was making with it and feel them in my hands.
But I never went so far as to actually create any sort of plan for how to acquire it.
For some reason that makes no sense in the context of what I’m busy with in my life right now, I jumped on FB Marketplace the other day and searched for this machine not EVEN expecting to find one locally, let alone at a price I could afford. They are so specialized and if people have them they usually keep them so imagine my shock when I found one!
One year old, in mint condition, with $400 worth of expensive accessories. The very exact specialty accessories I would need to purchase additionally if I were to buy this machine new. The exact brand I had wanted.
I was shocked.
I messaged the woman and asked her about it. We arranged a phone call and there was something in her voice that felt so familiar. She had what I affectionally call “the Utah Lilt”. I said, “This is a super weird question…are you by chance LDS?” (It’s a rare thing here in many parts of Oregon).
She said “yes! Why do you ask?”
I told her it was her voice – that it sounded to familiar and peaceful and happy. She said that was the nicest thing any one has ever said to her. 😉
We chatted some more and made arrangements for my sister to pick it up. (She lives two hours north of me but my sister just happens to be coming down from even further north next week and can swing by and pick it up.)
She even told me that if I ever needed lessons using the machine or help of any kind, to call her or come for a visit and that she’d be happy to help me. She was feeling so sad to get rid of her machine (downsizing) but told me that all her sadness is gone and that she is THRILLED that it’s going to me!
We’ve messaged each other quite a bit since our phone chat and have become fast friends.
The night after sending her money via PayPal, I started to feel so guilty for buying it. I just “happened” to have made the exact amount of money for the cost of the machine in art sales the few days before finding the machine. It wasn’t earmarked for anything but I still felt like I shouldn’t have spent it so spontaneously on something I didn’t even have a really solid plan for.
I took this guilt to my journal and discovered how habituated I am to feel guilty for spending money. Even in things that will make me money or that I saved up for it that will allow me to expand my creativity. I felt prompted to write a list of all the “proof” that this purchase was exactly the right thing to do with that money including points like “It was for sale for nearly 1/3 if it’s value that also was exactly what I had made in sales the days before”. It felt like I was journaling what God’s reasons and ways of giving it to me. It was an awesome journaling experience and I felt so much peace about it.
Here’s what’s weird…
This machine doesn’t actually make sense in my life right now. And that feels, surprisingly, completely okay. It feels like one of the tumblers in the lock Leslie talks about and because I understand that analogy and the laws it relates to, I feel at peace knowing the other tumblers will continue to turn in perfect time and the reason I got this machine will become more evident. AND bless our family!
I am so grateful for the peace I feel at God’s pace. It hasn’t always been easy and tomorrow morning I might wake up completely unmoored from that peace for whatever reason and feel the impatience I have made into a living art form. 😂 But for now, I trust.
She later added this:
I was reflecting on many thing this morning and thought of the adage “just take the next right step” kept bubbling up. I’ve always assumed it meant the next logical step. It occurred to me that MY experiences have included a lot of steps that, at the time, seemed very out of order. So I’m reframing “the next right step” to mean “the next step you are being called to take even if it doesn’t feel like the next logical one.”
Wise words, Stephanie. I’ll end with this reminder: “…behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes . . . (Alma 37:6-7).
This has been another installment in a series of articles about Tender Mercies. Stay tuned for more coming soon…
What about you?
Maybe you’re not a millionaire. Maybe you haven’t yet realized that big vision for your life. Maybe your relationships aren’t what you want them to be. Maybe you’re still waiting for that breakthrough that never seems to come. Maybe you struggle with your health, or maybe you’re caring for someone else who is. But even so…
Have you seen God’s hand in your life today? Have you noticed Him sustaining you from day to day?
“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in ALL things, and obey not his commandments,” (D&C 59:21, emphasis added).