I Believe in Guardian Angels

This was written by Susan several years ago as a class assignment while she was in the BYU-I Pathway program. Her teacher felt it was good enough to submit for publication in the Ensign, one of our church’s magazines. Susan didn’t submitted it because she’s a little too shy and didn’t believe it was good enough.

I recently convinced her to submit it to church magazines after a bit of editing. I don’t know if they’ll publish it, but I want to share it here regardless.

I Believe in Guardian Angels

I believe in guardian angels. I know this may sound foolish and perhaps even childish, as many people place guardian angels in the same category as the Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, and the Tooth Fairy. I believe that guardian angels come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, such as a stranger that stops to help someone change a flat tire or a good neighbor who noticed a need and is quick in coming to the rescue.  While guardian angels are usually ordinary people following promptings from the Lord, my guardian angel really did have wings.

Many years ago, when I was a young wife and mother with three little ones in tow, the Lord sent me a guardian angel that saved my life. At the time, my life was falling apart around me. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we lost all our earthly possessions, and were left with an enormous debt looming over our heads. Prior to my latest maternity leave, I was working long hours at extremely low wages to help support my family. 

While working outside of the home, it seemed impossible to adequately care for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of my two children. I barely had time to get them dressed in the morning, then fed, bathed, and tucked in at night. I was utterly exhausted! It took sheer determination to get through the demands of each grueling day. Now, with three children, I was faced with the reality that daycare costs exceeded what I brought home.  All this added more pressure to an already strained marriage.

Consequently, I was feeling like a complete failure in the most important areas of my life — that of a wife, mother, and homemaker. My youthful expectations of marriage, family, and lifestyle dreams had all been shattered by reality. My life was nowhere near what I had hoped it would be. I felt so trapped, with absolutely no way out of the stressful dark tunnel I had somehow wandered into. How could I feel worthy to be honored on Mother’s Day with these feelings of failure weighing so heavily on my heart and mind?  

I could hear the joyful sounds of my children coming from the kitchen as they “helped” my husband prepare breakfast for me. Breakfast in bed is a wonderful Mother’s Day tradition which should have made me feel loved and appreciated, but on this occasion I could feel nothing but guilt and sorrow. My heart was so heavy that I could not stop the tears that washed over my face and soaked my bedding. 

As I pondered my options I began to feel even more trapped and then a dark thought suddenly came into my mind. Could ending my life be the best option for everyone concerned? But how could I do this without emotionally harming my children? These thoughts swarmed through my mind forming a heavy black cloud that blocked the brightness of the sun streaming through the open window of my tiny bedroom that was barely big enough for the bed. Somehow I uttered, “Oh God, please help me!” 

At that moment a tapping sound drew my attention, and the warmth and brightness of this unusually hot Spring morning pierced through the darkness that had filled my soul. The tapping sound was coming from my second story bedroom window?! I wiped the tears from my face, and as my eyes regained focus, I found myself staring at a scrawny robin perched on the window sill. 

We studied each other for a moment. It appeared that winter had not been kind to the little guy. He looked malnourished. His feathers were dishevelled and dull-colored, and he had a bald spot on the left side of what should have been a bright red chest. I wondered if this apparent injury could have been the result of a narrow escape from a hungry cat.  

As I looked at this little bird, I felt a strange bond with him. I too felt somewhat beaten up by life and its challenges, and while I was not physically malnourished, I was in desperate need of spiritual and emotional nourishment. 

The robin then hopped over to the open side of the window and peeked in the room, looked at me again as if to say, “hello”, then flew off to the power line that extended across the back yard, and back again to the window pain. Tap, tap,,,,,tap…tap, tap…I giggled thinking that perhaps he was trying to communicate through Morse code. The problem was, I didn’t know Morse code! Did he? Then he went back to the open side, but this time was leaning further into the room. 

He repeated this routine over and over again even after my noisy little brood came into the room with their version of breakfast and bounced on my bed with excitement at seeing my little visitor. This little bird was fearless and undeterred by the commotion that was happening inches away from the window sill. What curious behavior for a robin!? 

The distraction lightened my spirits making it possible for me to enjoy and appreciate my children and the effort my spouse had made on my behalf. The little bird also drew away the attention of my family so they never noticed my swollen tear-stained face. 

The darkness I had been feeling only moments earlier was replaced with light, love, and laughter. At that moment, I knew that my Father in Heaven had heard my plea for help. I felt His loving embrace and knew I was not alone. 

The story doesn’t end there. My little feathered friend continued to visit me every morning with a cheery tap on the window as he waited for me to say “good morning!” in response.  It was as if his mission was to start my day out with a smile and a reminder that the Lord was mindful of me. The children and I enjoyed his company when we were outside working or playing in the yard. It was so comforting to know my special guardian angel was close by. 

My cheery little friend did not remove any of the issues that weighed so heavily on my heart, nor had he inspired me with any new ideas of how to resolve them. But he did give me the needed assurance that the Lord was aware of me and my circumstances. 

Three months later, my husband obtained a job that required us to move away from the area. It was hard to say goodbye to my little friend. My guardian angel had fulfilled his mission by pulling me out of a deep depression. I was not alone, nor had I ever been. I just needed a daily reminder. I was not alone and I was loved!  My prayers were being heard! This knowledge gave me confidence that the Lord, in His due time, would guide me to find the answers I needed. 

I will forever be grateful for the lessons I continue to learn from my three month friendship with my little guardian angel. He flew out of his natural comfort zone to bravely interact with me and my noisy family in order to bring me a message of hope, love, and a peaceful reassurance that all would be well. I have learned that I too could step out of my comfort zone to lift another, or to overcome hard things.

I believe that everyone, at some point in their lives, faces insurmountable odds that seem impossible to overcome — heartaches so heavy that it’s hard to breathe, think, or even perform simple daily functions. The enormous effort that life sometimes demands of us can seem more than we can bear, …but with the help of our Savior Jesus Christ nothing is too heavy, painful, or hard — NOTHING! 

We were never meant to go through this life alone. God the Father, His beloved son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are available to us, if we but ask. 

by Susan Horning

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