Three years ago, I went to visit my good friend in Arizona. My friend and her mom know how to thrift shop. While I was there, they were going to take me to their favorite second-hand store and teach me their ways. Before we went, Sister G. told me the story of her new scriptures: She was wanting a new pair to take with her on her mission to Nauvoo. Scriptures can be pricey. She found a nice, barely used triple combination at the thrift store one day so she bought it hoping she would find a Bible that matched. She told me that if she is in need of something specific, she will put in an order with the Lord. It may not always be there when she goes the first time, but she will eventually find what she needs and she eventually got her Bible. The Lord always provides. I have remembered this story and it came to mind today.
For the last month, all I have been able to think about is shoes. Not in the way most girls are thinking about them, though. I am trying to find a couple good pairs of shoes for the mission. I'm going to be walking more than I ever have or ever will the next 18 months and I actually hate shoes. I have semi-wide feet and I tend to blister easily. Also, when my feet hurt, my demeanor changes. I am not a happy person. AND I don't like spending the big bucks on shoes. So this has been my dilemma.
I have read so many blogs of girls that say "Don't get the ugly sister missionary shoes! There are better options like oxfords." First, these girls have never served missions -- they are generally about to go and have no idea what they are in for. Asking returned missionaries is a different story. All of them tell you to get good shoes. Not only do you want them to feel good, but you also want them to last. Now don't get me wrong, I want to look nice, but comfort > fashion for 18 months is not going to kill you. Wearing uncomfortable shoes just might. Also, have you ever tried on oxfords? They may be cute but they aren't very sturdy or comfortable. Those aren't going to last more than 1 month walking the dusty roads of Mexico. Just sayin'...
After hours of research, reading customer reviews, talking with RMs, scanning missionary blogs, etc., I decided I wanted to get a pair of Clarks. I read that they were probably the least ugly and most comfortable walking shoes. I also read that one girl found a pair randomly at Ross for way cheaper than retail. So my quest began.
I went to Ross last weekend with high hopes of finding a pair of Clarks but I had no luck. I was bummed but didn't give up. I remembered Sister G., put in an order and decided I would be patient and go to another Ross on another day.
This week has been very emotionally and spiritually draining. Some very sad things happened close to home and my shoe issue didn't seem like a very big deal anymore. I wondered if it really even mattered. Maybe I would just have to spend $80+ on a pair and forget about finding them cheaper.
Today after work I had some time to kill before I picked up mom. Luckily there is a Ross right across the road from her work so I hopped right in there to peruse the shoe section. I was scanning the aisle of size 8s when what did my eyes behold? A pair of Clarks just for me! I tried them on and as all the reviews said, they were very comfy and my feet felt happy. They aren't the cutest, but again I'm going for comfort. Just for fun, I checked to see if there were any other pairs in different sizes. I didn't find a single pair in another size. Just one pair of black Clarks in size 8 for $30.
Now some people might just chalk this up as a coincidence, but to me it was a miracle. It was the Lord confirming to me that He does care; big or small, my problems, concerns, successes, failures matter to Him. We matter to Him. He is our creator and we are His children. I can't help but imagine Him smiling to Himself as he heard the thankful prayer in my heart in the middle of the shoe aisle of Ross.
The most beautiful pair of ugly shoes I've ever seen. Miracle shoes! They aren't THAT bad right?