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Monday, July 4, 2011

Hey Wait....Where'd They Go?

Everyone in my family has played soccer at one point or another growing up.  Usually it is the first sport my parents sign us up for.  This may be because my dad is obsessed with soccer (seriously though, he watches it on the Spanish channel (he doesn't speak Spanish....)), but also because it's just plain awesome.  When my family moved from California to Utah, one of the things my parents made sure to do was to sign us up for soccer.

Game day.  You know what that means; put on the uniform, socks, shin guards, cleats, hair up, war paint, and game face.  Okay, no war paint, but the rest is true.  We loaded into the stereotypical soccer mom van and headed out.  On the way there it was the pep talk: "remember what you practiced this week."  "Doesn't matter whether you win or lose, as long as you have fun."  And all the good parent pre-game talks.  There was an addition to the regular talk.  This was "now, your soccer coach will be taking you home.  So be sure you remind him." 

I'd like to say I remember the game, but I don't.  Cut me a break, I was eight.  But, I think it went well.  After the game we high fived the other team before getting the long awaited treats!  For better treat enjoyment, we had to eat them while playing on the playground equipment.  Every child knows this.  What treat doesn't taste better as your hands touch all the play equipment? 
As I played on the playground, the other children started to leave.  Slowly but surely the numbers dwindled down to maybe four children.  When I looked around, I realized that my coach wasn't there.  No one from my team was.

To this day I am still not 100% sure how that happened.  Clearly I wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been, but still.

Now, the Sister Nestman of today is much different than her eight year old self.  This talkative loud mouth used to be an extremely shy person that didn't talk to anyone.  Being this shy, my first instinct was to hide so that no one would kidnap me.  It was getting dark and that's when all the kidnappers came out.  (Or so my young self thought.)

I hid by an elementary school window.  There were bushes in front of it, but there was a space right by the window that had enough room for me to sit and hide.  As I hid there, I had another thought pop up: "If I'm hiding, no one will find me." 
There I was.  Scared and crying.  Trying to decide what to do.  Stand up and be visible so someone will find me, but risk being kidnapped in the process?  Or should I hide and stay safe, but risk not being found and spending the night in the cold streets of Bountiful, Utah?

All of this happened very shortly after I had been baptized.  At eight years old I had one of the most powerful tools/gifts one could ever posses.  That is the Holy Ghost.  I remembered being taught how he could guide us and comfort us.  I vividly remember what happened next.

I got on my knees and prayed.  A simple but fervent prayer to the Lord to help me get home somehow.  As soon as I said "Amen", I heard a soft and gentle voice say "stand up."  I obeyed.  Not more than a minute passed when a van pulled up and rolled down the window.  The passenger was one of the boys in my school class.  His mom called from the window and asked me if I was lost.  In the end, this family was able to get me home to my family.
This experience taught me a number of things.  1) God hears our prayers.  No matter how small the prayer may seem.  No matter our age.  He does answer them.  2) We are never alone.  There is always someone there looking after us.  3) I knew I was loved by the most powerful being in the universe and that He knew my needs.

To end, I just want to remind all of you that God loves you.  He is always there when you need Him.  Call to Him in prayer.  He will answer. 

Now I would like to pose a question: How have you seen God's hand work in your life?  And how has that helped you recognize His love for you?

5 comments:

Elder Brian Menasco said...

God's Hand has been a huge aspect in my whole life. I remember a situation regarding my leg where this HUGE surgery was avoided after many prayers and fasts on my behalf. I know that is God's love, because it would have been the worst, it would have had long lasting effects, and it was all avoided. I am Menasco, because God has led me here today and helped me every single step in life!

Muffin said...

Sister nestman! Are you a bountiful brave? Copaceticlife.blogspot.com love your soccer blog post!

Katrina said...

I remember when you first told me this story. I thought it was awesome. God answers prayers. We can attest to that can't we?! :D

wnymissionary said...

I have personally relied on the Lord for strength to make it through new and difficult situations. At one time I was attending college full-time while working overnight 3 nights a week. Eventually I came to a point that semester where I honestly did not know whether I could continue working and going to school. I made the decision to pray to know what God wanted me to do.
My answer was an overwhelming feeling of peace and love. I felt that I would be able to finish that semester while still working. And that's what I did. I knew the Lord knew that I could do it and that was enough for me.
I know that God loves me personally. He knows my strengths and weaknesses and what I am capable of.
I know that God knows each of us and loves us each personally.

Sister Brittany Nestman said...

Muffin, I'm not a bountiful brave haha! My family moved to Riverton when I was in 3rd grade. I am actually a Bingham Miner (awe yeah!)
WNY missionary, thank you for sharing your experience. That is incredible!

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