Last night, I decided to just bite the bullet and go shopping today for the girls "Christmas dresses". I decided to hit Clackamas Town Center because it's in OR, so no sales tax, and it has the best selection of stores that is closest to me.
I decided to go to Target, which is across the street, first. I actually found a couple of cute dresses there and decided that since they were such a great price that I would just go for it. So I paid and left.
When I got in the car, I was organizing my bag. When I pulled out of my spot, I realized that someone had been waiting for it and I felt bad that I'd taken so long, so I waved an apology and she smiled and waved back, which I thought was a nice gesture. As I was driving away, I realized that my Target receipt, which I had put into my wallet after paying, was on the edge of my driver's seat. I went to slip it back into my wallet and realized that my check book (with all my credit cards) was missing. I frantically searched the sides of my seat and the back while stopped at the stoplight, but could not find it. So I flipped a U and hurried back to where I was parked. I knew that since it wasn't in the car, and I know I put it back into my wallet after I paid, with my receipt, that I had to have dropped it in the parking lot.
I didn't see it in the spot where I'd parked (I recognized the car still in it that had parked there after me). I went into Target and no one had turned it in. I was FRANTIC! I kept thinking that I wouldn't be able to make the 30 minute drive home fast enough to cancel my cards and checks before someone might start doing their Christmas shopping on my dime!
On the drive home, I kept going over it in my head and kicking myself for even going shopping in the first place. I knew this was my "punishment" for spending unnecessary money. I was praying that it would be found by someone honest, that wouldn't use my identity or spend our money, and I promised that I would return the dresses and they could go without this year. They don't need them anyway.
After I cancelled my debit card, checks, and credit cards, I was sulking on the couch when my phone rang and an angel was on the other end. The gal asked for me by name and told me her name and said she found my wallet in the Target parking lot. I thanked her vehemently and asked her if she by chance had turned it in to Target. She said "No. Honestly, I used to work for Target and I've seen what those 'girls' behind the counter do to lost wallets. So I thought I'd take my chances and try to find you myself. I was the one who pulled into the parking spot you were in and when I got out of the car, I saw it on the ground. I hope you don't mind, but I had to go through your checks to find your number." Of course I didn't mind. I told her that the funny thing is that just a couple of weeks ago I had gotten new checks and my old checks had my HI number on them. She said "Well, when I was looking, I noticed that you made a check out to a ward. Are you LDS?" I laughed and said "YES! Are you?!" and she said "Yes!" We both laughed. I told her she was a direct answer to prayer. I thanked her a million times over and we agreed to meet back up by Clackamas Town Center, which is where she lives.
I had made these little baskets with a candle for my visiting teach-ees for Christmas and I had an extra, so I put a thank you note inside and took it to her.
I have such a strong testimony of the power of prayer already, and after today it is strengthened 10 fold. I know that He hears and answers all of our prayers. Sometimes those answers don't come as immediately as we like, but if you live righteously and listen to those simple promptings, you will hear your answers.