I Felt Alone
    Footnotes

    “I Felt Alone,” Ensign, Sept. 1995, 66

    I Felt Alone

    The experience of becoming single after years of marriage was a shock to me. Burdens I once shared with an eternal companion were now mine to bear alone. The joys of togetherness, the pleasant conversations, and the happy times became only memories. Struggling with deep loneliness, I felt lost and abandoned.

    Of course, the needs of my five children did not diminish. The load of single-parenting was overwhelming. My workday often stretched from six o’clock in the morning to after midnight.

    In that desertlike time of hectic, backbreaking, nerve-jangling days, the Sabbath was my only oasis of peace. It was a joy to sit quietly in sacrament meeting and partake of the Spirit of the Lord. The inspired lessons taught in Sunday School and Relief Society gave me many helpful ideas about how to live my life successfully, both as a single adult and as a single parent.

    But even with all of this help, my heart would sink when the meetings were over. I knew I would be going home to face another scary week.

    During the week I would try to capture the same spirit I felt in church, but to no avail. I would always conclude my search with the thought When I am at church, the Savior’s there. When I am at home, the Savior’s gone. I’m going to have to wait until the next Sabbath before I can feel that special peace again. Sometimes I hungered so much for this comfort of the Spirit that it was all I could do to hang on from week to week.

    Then, for an entirely different matter, I needed a priesthood blessing. I was surprised when, in the middle of the blessing, I was told, “Sister Lewis, it grieves the Lord when you think that he is gone. He wants you to know that he is not gone. Even when you think he is gone, he is not gone!”

    That priesthood blessing literally turned my thinking and my life around. Although my days are as hard as ever, the weeks are less scary now. I no longer feel abandoned. I know that the Savior is watching over me all the time and that I am not alone.

    • Shirley Lewis serves as Primary president in the Arlington Second Ward, Jurupa California Stake.