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“Ouch?” I thought to myself while doing a stretch at our ward’s Relief Society yoga class.  The pain in my hip continued to increase, and yet I foolishly attended the next session. During the same stretch the following day, I determined that it would be unwise to return.

Persisting in my normal activities around the house and yard, the pain was unbearable.  After standing for a few seconds I would quickly resort to sitting.  It was a week before a doctor could see me.

Watching me hobble in and out of stake conference and squirm on the bench during the meeting, my ministers (affectionately called Reverend Frost and Pastor Chugg) were waiting in front of our home when we arrived.  They announced that they were going to give me a blessing.  I offered no resistance.  As they placed their hands on my head, I was strongly impressed that I needed to focus and pay attention to the instructions that were being given.

Later in the afternoon, I went to the Diamond Valley Stake Center to lead a Come Follow Me discussion as per Elder Cook’s instructions: “…it would be completely appropriate for young singles, single adults, single parents, part-member families, new members,10 and others to gather in groups outside the normal Sunday worship services to enjoy gospel sociality and be strengthened by studying together the home-centered, Church-supported resource.” (Ensign 11/2018, Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”) I sat on a walker which had a fold out padded seat. Half way through the discussion I realized that the pain in my hip was gone.  We were studying Christ’s miracles.  Seizing the opportunity, I testified to class members that I was experiencing a miracle.  At the conclusion of class, I carried the walker out to my car and drove home. As the sabbath day continued, I noticed the pain gradually returning.

 Tuesday morning I decided that I could sit through our Relief Society Sister’s Temple Session. They provided a little stool which greatly eliminated my pain.  Worried that I might be confined with surgery for some time in the future, I decided to ride the elevator up to the 3rd floor and complete fifteen sealings.  Kneeling at the altar, I knew I was in trouble.  I didn’t know how I was going to endure fourteen more.  I shifted, writhed and grimaced as they continued. An attentive sister sitting behind me requested that the brethren remove the cushion and replace it with a chair.  What a relief.

I departed and ridiculously headed for the baptistry with five cards in my hand.  I could see the stream of youth arriving and knew that I would not get preferential treatment.  I headed 1 1/2 blocks to my car.  Unlocking the door, I plopped down, reclined the seat, and relaxed until I felt strong enough to journey home.

While traveling up Highway 18 from the St. George Temple, I distinctly heard: “Nihla, it is time for you to visit the widows; you’ve not been to see them for awhile.”  “Are you kidding me,” I almost shouted. “Surely You know how much pain I am in.  Besides, I just don’t want to.”  I drove home, plopped on the couch, and slept for several hours.

The following morning, repenting of my disobedience, I went to visit Mabel who has MS.  She is confined to a wheel chair and has great difficulty using her hands. Golda is 93 with neuropathy.  I was unable to mop their floors, scrub their toilets, do their dishes or even run their vacuums.  All I could do was sit on their couch and listen to their stories.  

Why is it that I do not feel I have served unless I’ve use my hands and feet?  As I sat listening to Mabel, I realized that my hip was tingling; it felt like the pain was being gathered and collected.  At Golda’s home, I could feel all that had been gathered exiting from my hip.  After hearing Golda’s experiences, I hugged her goodbye, picked up the walker, carried it to my car, and drove home.  I vacuumed my neglected floors and have felt little pain since.

Serving the widows doesn’t require hands and feet.  They simply want someone to listen, share the latest news, and ease some of their loneliness.  Golda asked if she could call me.  Certainly! Mabel already does.   She can do little else. I learned that my eyes and especially my ears are very serviceable for shut ins.  

While reviewing the findings of my MRI, my orthopedic surgeon explained that I had a herniated disc pressing on my sciatic nerve.  He listed options:

  1. surgery – with a 40% success rate 
  2. injections 
  3. physical therapy which he said would probably light things back up.   “And by the way,” he asked, “why aren’t you in pain?”

“Do you want to hear the long, or the short story?”

“Ah, just give me the Reader’s Digest Condensed version.”

“I got a blessing and followed the instructions I had received earlier to serve the widows.”

“I strongly recommend that you take option #4 and continue serving the widows.”

Each time my hip lights up, I look for a neighborhood need.

Jill’s husband is confined to a wheelchair with ALS.   Their water pipes broke.  A portion of their yard was dug up so the pipes could be replaced.  There was mud all over the driveway.  When I awoke the next morning, my hip pain was noticeable.   I went to Jill’s and hosed off the mud. Walking home, I realized the pain was gone.

Friday I had some slight pain.  Lonnie had had surgery on both hands.  I plugged the crock pot in and loaded it with things I knew they liked.  When making the delivery I noticed that a weeks’s worth of dishes were pilled in the kitchen.  I simply washed the dishes and headed home –  the pain diminished.

My Catholic neighbor, June, came to visit.  She queried after my well being.  I shared with her bits and pieces of my story.  She kept probing.  Finally,  I said, “June, would you like to hear the whole story.”  

“Absolutely!”  I revealed all of the details while watching her eyes.  I wanted to tell her that I had experienced a miracle but did not want to offend her or sound like an uppity, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ corner on the market know it all.

“Nihla, it’s a miracle,” she exclaimed. I was so pleased that she was the voice, that she discovered the truth, and that she proclaimed what I wanted to shout out loud.  She recognized what I so desperately wanted her to know.  It is a miracle.  I didn’t know that such things could happen for me.  I had been healed through faith, a priesthood blessing, and obedience to promptings of the spirit to minister.  God loves all of His children.  He wants us to be His Hands and Feet and even His Listening Ears, Attentive Eyes and Understanding Heart to His widows.  We can do these things even in our pain.  Their couches are comfortable.  We can “rest” while we minister, and He will heal us!