We invite readers to submit a story from your life when you saw a tender mercy from the Lord. that time when you felt particularly noticed or loved by the Lord. You can send your stories to [email protected]
I have been very touched by the Tender Mercies stories published during the past couple of months. I decided to share a story about a time my family experienced the tender mercies of the Lord. It is not dramatic, and some might just call the events a few intersecting happy coincidences, but I have always felt God was showing his tender care through this multitude of small events.
Several years ago we were basically financially secure, but did have recurring expenses that kept us to a somewhat strict budget: Our oldest child attended a public university located out of state; our second child was on a mission and planning to return to college also at an out of state university; our youngest was a Junior in high school expecting to serve a mission and attend a university; and I had recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune health condition requiring regular medication, the use of medical devices and supplies, and more frequent doctor visits in order to work with specialists as well as regular preventative care.
We had always had very good, inexpensive health insurance through my husband’s employer, but some changes were being made to the plan which would result in us being responsible for a higher portion of the monthly premiums and much higher co-pay amounts for services. A couple of years earlier I had increased my own work hours enough that I qualified to join my employer’s group for health insurance. It had similar premium payments to my husband’s insurance plan, but had better benefits for the disposable medical devices/supplies and a lower copay for services. So that fall we decided to switch our insurance, effective January 1 of the following year.
In the same week that our new insurance became effective, before we even had a chance to have our introductory visits with new physicians, my husband started having intermittent episodes of blurry vision. After telling me about it, he decided to contact his new doctor during a break at work the next day. As he was driving to work, he had another episode with his eyes and was concerned his lack of focus could create a hazardous driving condition in rush hour traffic.
He was able to pull onto a side road out of the busy traffic and park at the curb where he could not even focus enough to dial his cell phone correctly. He passed out in his car, in the below freezing weather. Someone driving by noticed him slumped over the steering wheel and, rather than assuming he was just sleeping off a case of extended New Year celebrations, called 9-1-1 and had an ambulance dispatched.
One of the responders drove our vehicle to a safer location, while the other got my husband ready for transport to the ER where doctors determined he was experiencing a TIA (sometimes called mini-stroke). A member of our Ward was a medical resident working in the hospital complex that day and he sat with me after I arrived and waited for the doctors to tell me what damage the tests were showing. He and a friend gave him a blessing as soon as they were permitted by the medical staff. 3 days later, my husband came home with only a little problem focusing his eyes and some small issues balancing as he walked. Therapy resolved the balance issues, and the insertion of prisms in his glasses helped his eyes focus together. We now enjoy a rich life together, with him able to do about anything he wants.
So many small mercies came together during that time: Due to my opportunity to join my employers group insurance plan, we had access to the best hospital for stroke treatment in the area and had no additional costs or copays to create issues with supporting our chidren’s educational and mission opportunities. An anonymous Good Samaritan angel noticed his condition and called for help. The responders made sure both my husband and our auto were cared for appropriately. Worthy priesthood holders were nearby and able to provide extra comfort and assurance that he would recover. Others may call it a lot of unrelated lucky events that came together, but I see the hand of God in those matters. He was aware of our needs, and prompted us – and others – to take the actions required to help us.