Monday, March 1, 2010


“God does notice us, and He watches over us.
But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs."
--Spencer W. Kimball

A few weeks ago, Mike's parents were in Nebraska helping Grandma Behan go through her estate before she moved into an assisted living home. She had been driven all over the place, staying with Barb, Wayne, Marlene, and Diane for stretches of time since she's no longer able to care for herself entirely. She finally got fed up with all the traveling and made the decision to find a place to stay put. She found a really nice home to go to where the ladies spend their days playing Pinochle, and welcomed her right into the group...perfect!
We got a phone call in the midst of all this, asking if we wanted Grandma's minivan. With Mike's Aunt Diane also wanting the van, it was decided that whomever wanted it would have to buy it from Grandma, with the money going toward her assisted living costs. Although we were in the market for a vehicle, it was a little more than our budget would allow, plus we REALLY didn't want to get in the middle of a family feud over a van. We were a little disappointed, but life goes on, right?
Then last weekend, Barb called again from Nebraska, asking if we still needed a van. Mike told her we were waiting on our tax return, so we hadn't bought one yet. She could hardly contain her excitement as she said, "Good. Because your Dad and I just bought Grandma's van and he's driving it home for you right now!" To say that we were surprised is a complete understatement. We weren't quite sure what to say or think at this point, because we knew we couldn't afford to pay them the entire cost of the vehicle. Then she said something even more astounding. "It's a gift from us and we won't take a dime for it."
With that news came several different emotions.

Relief. The financial burden we'd been carrying for months had been somewhat relieved by this one act of immense generosity. While we had planned on spending to purchase another vehicle, that money is now freed up to meet other needs. No more illegally or dangerously cramming all 7 of us into the truck, or driving back & forth to drop off & pick up Mike at his worksites.

Guilt. The financial decisions we'd made up until this point contributed to our situation, therefore, did we deserve a gift of this magnitude? What are they sacrificing in their life in order to meet OUR need? Will their other children harbor bad feelings in not receiving something as well? How do we make it up to them? How will they perceive future spending on our part, and will they regret their choice to help us now?

Gratitude. We are so grateful to belong to a family that sees a need and chooses to meet it. We are so grateful that we are loved enough to be found worth sacrificing for. We are so grateful that Heavenly Father has been watching over us, and is blessing us, though at times those blessings seem hard to find.

What it all comes to is the fact that helping someone (for me) is so much easier than accepting help from someone else. Especially for one as stubborn and independent as I. However, I've had the blessed opportunity of helping someone in need, with great sacrifice to myself, and I've never regretted making that sacrifice. Something profound happens that enlarges your soul when you sacrifice to help another, and that growth cannot happen by any other means. Perhaps the same can be said for those who allow another the opportunity to make that sacrifice. My soul has been enlarged and my humility deepened. Even though we are determined to repay Mike's parents in one way or another, we've all benefited from their selfless generosity. Their example leaves me more determined now to find ways that I can help another, whether by small means or great. I'm relieved. I'm humbled. I'm grateful.

1 comment:

julie said...

That's so great Amanda! Nice to hear!