Thursday, May 5, 2011

I needed a friend...what I got was a Tender Mercy! by Judi

“But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Ne. 1:20).

Remember how I lived in a Hotel for an entire year???  How could you forget, I mention it anytime I get the chance...but by the small chance you did forget, we lived there because my husband was on a temorary job in Vegas that was supposed to last 2 months and ended up lasting an entire year.  Well, for the most part it was a fun adventure we will never forget and always be grateful for, but on the other hand, I struggled with loneliness.  
Las Vegas.  Our home for a year.

Here I was, living in Las Vegas, away from all family, in a HOTEL, and I had just brought home a brand new baby boy (we call him our Vegas baby...not many people can say they brought home a baby from the hospital to a Hotel).  I didn't know anyone (the maids don't count).  I was lonely.  I was SOOO lonely.  I remember calling my mom one morning crying because I was just so lonely.  Did I mention I was lonely? Ha.

Thomas Jefferson Coburn a.k.a. "Mr. President" a.k.a "Vegas baby."

Of course I had wonderful Mike.  But lets face it.  He was at work and I was sitting in the hotel with two little boys feeling entirely alone.  My mom was trying to make me feel better (aren't moms awesome) and encouraging me to get out and try to meet people.  The conversation went something like this.

Mom:   Isn't there anyone at Church you could be friends with?

Me:  Well yeah, probably, but I am a nursery "worker" and I don't really have the chance to meet anyone. Plus, when people find out we live in a Hotel, they think we are visiting or something and so they don't really make an effort to befriend us.

Mom:  Well then, you make an effort to befriend them.

Me:  I know I should, but I am just so shy.  There is this one girl I have seen who has two little boys just like me.  She seems young and fun.

Mom:  You go call her right now and invite her to a playdate.

Me:  How can I invite her to come to a playdate at a HOTEL?!?!?  Plus, I have never even really talked to her.  If I called her she wouldn't even know who I was.

My mom went on to encourage me and built me up and after a few tears I hung up the phone.  Life goes on and I couln't pout for long so I put the kids in the car and we headed to the grocery store.  I was juggling kids and food and came around the corner and literally ran smack dab into the very girl I had just been telling my mom that I should try to be friends with.  She smiled and said hi and I introduced myself and we chatted for a minute and then we went on our way. 

I went around the corner stopped my cart and started to cry. 

In fact.  I am crying right now as I think about this experience. 

This was my tender mercy.  How small.  How insignificant.  How meaningless to anybody passing by.  No body knew what had just occured.  Tara probably didn't even know she was being prompted to go to the grocery store that morning and come around that corner at that very moment to chat with me.  But the Lord knew.  He knew me and he cared.

I went home and got straight on my knees to thank my Father in Heaven and then I got out the ward directory and called Tara and asked if she wanted to come over for a playdate (yes, at the Hotel...I am sure she thought that was weird, but she came anyways.)  We became friends for the next few months and my loneliness was lifted. 

I'm going to get a bit churchy here...(my secret dream is to be a pastor of a church and live right next door in a cute old house, so bare with me.)  I know that the Lord knows us.  I know that he CARES about little things in our life.  He cares about you and your worries and your failures and your successes.  He listens to your prayers and he will answer them.  I know this!  He is a merciful God and his "tender mercies...are over all those whom he hath chosen."


Natalie said...

Oh judi!!!! So many times I felt like I wanted to come see you and your Vegas baby. I have a hundred excuses why I didn't, but I know none of them are important now. I'm so sorry that I didn't come, and that I didn't listen to the spirit prompting me to go to Vegas (bet not many people get that prompting!!!). Seriously, judi, I'm here if you need me. Ever.

Tara said...

Judi!! I had no idea! You know the funny thing is I thought the exact same thing about you.. I needed friends too! I remember feeling so thankful when you called me for a playdate. You are awesome! Thank you for the shout out. I hope you know that whenever we drive by the hotel Drew will say "there's William's house!" :)

Rindi said...

That was such a sweet post! I'm so thankful for all of the times you came to visit us...we loved having you. And I am so sorry that I didn't come visit you in Vegas. All of my excuses of the long drive, the kids in school...(like Natalie said) they don't matter now! I'm glad you made that friend and I have felt those exact same tender mercies of the Lord when he has placed friends in my path when I have needed them most! I love you and love this story!
Love, Rindi

Eardley Family said...


You are making me cry. I love you so much and that post really touched me.


Jennifer said...

SO true! I can't tell you how many times the Lord has given me exactly what I needed at the exact moment I've needed it while Adam has been deployed.

I only wish I would have known you then. A bunch of my in laws live in Vegas and my one sister-in-law is really fun!

Katie said...

So sweet. That same thing happened to me butwith a seventy
Year old woman. Best friend ever.

Anonymous said...


I remember that day well. I,too, prayed that you would find a friend. I am so thankful that we have a very loving Father in Heaven who watches over us.

I love you and I am so happy that you know how to pray. Love, Mom

Em Russ said...

Oh Judi, what a great post!I am so glad you shared it!!! Making friends is sooo hard!! I love your sweet testimony too!

Burch Family said...

thank you so much for that post! I Am having a similar experience right now. We just moved to Alaska and I had been dreading it because I would be the only wife in our whole group. I prayed and prayed months in advance that I would be able to find a friend and friends for my kids and the first week we were here, at church, 2 sisters gave me their numbers. I was also invited to the park that week. I knew my prayers were answered. I am thankful for the church and for the opportunities it gives me and the people it allows me to meet. Oh how I can relate to this post at this exact moment in my life. Thanks Judi.

Judi said...

Thanks everyone for the comments!

Lisa Michelle said...

Judi, I feel awful for not being a better "friend" (I feel like I can hardly call myself that now). For what it's worth, Bryan and I planned a trip to Vegas back when you were still there, but by the time our trip came around in January, you had already moved. But I realize that doesn't count. I should have called more but I felt like my life was so boring and not worth listening to. Now I realize how stupid that was--we're friends! Who needs anything to talk about? I especially want to apologize because you were so in tune with the spirit and such a tender mercy answer to my prayers! (you know what I'm talking about). Judi, thank you!!! I love you!

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