As a mom I spend more time at the grocery store than most other places. Thank goodness that it is literally down the street from us. Another blessing: Princess Pea LOVES going to the grocery store. Having a child who thinks grocery shopping is just as fun as going on a nature walk is fantastic. I love going up and down the aisles and talking to her about each item on our list.
What’s not fun about the grocery store: my encounters with other people at the store.
A few weeks ago, Princess Pea and I had finished our shopping. We headed down the aisle to the check-out stations when this lady darted in front of us. Her cart was over flowing with groceries. She cut us off (good thing I was walking slowly, otherwise I would have given her a bad case of shopping cart ankle on accident) and sped into the shortest check-out line. The other lines were much longer, but I didn’t want to be next to her. I weighed my options of being next to the lady who was so rude and getting in a longer line when it was getting close to nap time. I got in the longer line. Somehow I ended up getting out of there a few seconds before her. Crazy. But her rudeness put a damper on my mood.
A few days later in my institute class we talked about forgiveness. This sent me on a very long guilt trip. I had dwelt on that lady cutting me off at the store much longer than I should have. I needed to forgive her.
Fast forward to a few days ago: Pea and I had to do a quick last minute shopping trip on a Saturday. I hate going to the store on Saturdays. But we made the best of it. I let her help push the cart and we got our items and ended up in and out in a good amount of time. We moseyed on down to my car, loaded up our one bag of groceries and the Pea before heading off.
As I backed out of my spot, I checked behind me several times. I do this because I have had the embarrassing experience of backing out without looking and almost hitting someone. I do not want to hit anyone, especially with Princess Pea in the car. Anyway, I checked, double checked, triple checked, then backed out. I drove at normal parking lot speed towards the exit when Mr. Jeep Wrangler started backing up without looking. He almost hit me. My mom instincts sprang into action. I slammed on my breaks and the horn at the same time. Mr. Jeep continued to back-up without notice that I was honking at him. I stacatoed my horn as I put it in reverse and rolled out of his way a bit (there were no cars behind me thank goodness). He still backed-up without looking at us, got out of his spot and then drove off like it was nothing. I was all sorts of anxiety. I turned and looked at Princess Pea.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes, that was scary. Are you OK?”
“Bad guy.” (She’s been learning the difference between good guys and bad guys lately).
At that moment, I didn’t feel like he was a bad guy, just a bad driver. I tried to explain to Pea that he wasn’t a bad guy necessarily, he just made a bad choice, but she insisted that he was a bad guy the rest of our two minute drive home. I texted Superman to let him know what happened (when we got home). He checked to make sure we were OK.
As I sat in our living room thinking about what had happened and trying to stop my endless anxiety and adrenaline rush, I realized that I wasn’t being as cautious as I usually am in the parking lot. If I had paid more attention to the taillights rather than getting home, the entire situation would have been avoided. I realized I had no idea what was going on in his mind. Maybe he was freaking out and thought he was handling the situation the best way possible. Maybe he was in a hurry and couldn’t wait.
This made me think of the lady a few weeks ago. Maybe she was in a hurry. Maybe she had something happen and was rushing to get there. Maybe she was lost in her own mind full of concern about someone else. I don’t know.
I do know that there is someone who does know. Our Savior, Jesus the Christ knows. He suffered all pains, sorrows and afflictions of the world so that He could help us. He paid for our sins, our mistakes, our tiny offenses. He’s felt our heartache, our depression, our discrimination. He has felt it all and He understands.
For a long time now, whenever Princess Pea sees a picture of the Savior she excitedly squeals “Jesus!” or will reverently whisper “Jesus.” She is just beginning to see and understand who Christ is, but I am much older. I need to know Him beyond the painting, beyond the words on a page. I need to see His works in my everyday life. I need to be His example.
As soon as I forgave Mr. Jeep, my anxiety vanished, my adrenaline calmed, my view on the situation changed. As soon as I forgave the lady in the store, I saw her as my sister, a daughter of God. When we remember who we are, who others are, when we remember to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives, we can handle the hardships better.
I love that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers it all. He didn’t say “I’ll take on the sins, but not the sorrows. If you’re suffering, you’re on your own.” He took it all.
Dallin H. Oaks said “And so we see that because of His Atonement, the Savior has the power to succor—to help—every mortal pain and affliction. Sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to endure our infirmities” (Oct 2015)
Christ did it all, it’s already been paid. We are the only ones keeping ourselves from it. There is this well-known story about a woman who saved all her pennies to go on a cruise. She finally saved enough. She carefully packed her suitcase and included enough cheese, crackers, and other meager foods that she could store with her. The cruise was wonderful, but every time it other passengers would go to the dining room for the wondrous meals, she would go to her cabin and eat the meager food she brought. On the last day of the cruise someone asked her why she did not come to eat with them. She admitted that she could not afford the meals in the dining room. He told her that the meals were included in the cost of the trip.
We can spend our mortality using our own strength and own ability to get through it, or we can ask, seek, and find the Savior who is waiting to help us. His Atonement is included in the price of life. His sacrifice was so great not using it would be dishonoring Him.
I love my Savior. I know He lives. I know that he went into the Garden of Gethsemane and took on the pains, sorrows, afflictions, and ailments of the world. I know that He died on the cross at Calvary.
I know that on the third day he arose and broke the bonds of death. I know that He loves each of us personally and doesn’t want to have us suffer alone. I know that through Him, we can return to our Father in Heaven and be with our families again. I am so grateful. I strive every day to be more like Him. I fail, but I get one step closer.
Please remember Him this Easter. Remember it isn’t about eggs, bunnies, chicks, it’s about Christ making it possible to return home.
P.S. Please click on the links for awesome videos about our Savior and Easter.