Illustrations by Iker Ayestaran
When I married Matt, he came with a hand-me-down, beat-up, rusty old car, a couple of worn-out mission suits, some other clothes, his own toothbrush, and three semesters of school under his belt. We went on our honeymoon in a borrowed car to a teeny lodge room in West Yellowstone, ate food his aunt had given us, spent almost no money—because we had almost no money—and had a great time.
Our first apartment was less than ideal—it was only 500 square feet and smelled bad—but we lived there because we could independently afford it. We worked hard in the jobs we could find, scrimped and saved, and looked at life on our college-student budget as a fun adventure.
When we were expecting our first baby, a girl, we had no idea how we would pay the bills, but we believed that it would work out. Around this time we received an unexpected $1,000 check in the mail from Matt’s grandma. At that point in our marriage, $1,000 was more money than we had ever had at one time. Grateful, we thanked first God and then Grandma for it, and we set it aside to put toward the impending baby bills. Another day Matt got an odd job fixing a pothole—another $250. The blessings kept coming.
Two weeks before our baby was born, I called Matt at work and told him that even though I didn’t know how we were going to pay for it, we needed a crib for the baby. I told him I would pick him up at work and that we were going to go get a crib. While on my way, I pulled my car over to answer a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.
“Hello, Liz? This is Katherine Anderson. I live around the corner from you.”
“Oh! Yes! How are you?”
“I am fine. I am calling because this morning I was praying and I had a feeling that you needed a crib. I have one here for you. I had five babies and couldn’t have lived without a changing table, so I have one of those for you too.”
I sat in stunned silence.
“I know your car is small,” she continued, “so I’d like you to come over and use my car to get these things over to your apartment.”
Tears and more silence.
I still think of how much God blessed us through that wonderful woman!
Even though we did not start our marriage with things—not even a dresser or a bed—what we did start with was a lot of faith and a lot of dreams. We started our marriage with the determination to always trust in God. We started our marriage with faith that if we worked hard, we would enjoy the blessings of providing for ourselves through the Lord’s help. Even now I look around my home and see that almost all of our furniture has been handed down to us. None of it matches. All of it is old. But it is so beautiful to me! All of it reminds me that when I needed a crib, Heavenly Father sent me a crib.
We have trusted in, sacrificed for, and served God. It has been good for us. It has made us happy. It has made us grateful. We have found that we can utilize the talents God has given us and that we will be blessed for moving forward in faith. We learned to be creative and have fun on a Friday night without spending money on a movie or takeout. We learned to be happy in a rented apartment. We know that when we are faithful and determined, Heavenly Father will give us what we need, when we need it.
Matt and I have now been married for over 10 years, have four amazing children, and are enjoying living in our first home. I will forever treasure the love I felt as I answered the phone call from a neighbor that day in my car. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father continues to bless us, just as He promised, for trying to follow Him. I have a strong testimony that while the road ahead of us may not be free of challenges, it will be a happy one, as long as we trust in Heavenly Father and continue to try to live as we know we should.