I will never forget the day one of my college besties, Jayne (who we middle-named Lucy after because she's that great of a person), sent me an e-mail pleading for us to pray for her cousin Stephanie Nielson, otherwise known as Nie Nie. The e-mail stated that Stephanie and her husband had been in a plane crash and their likelyhood of survival was unknown. Please pray for them she plead.
I remember hearing that news and instantly feeling so heartbroken for their family and their children, as most of the world did too.
Last month I had the pleasure of listening to Stephanie and Christian tell their amazing story of survival, struggle, testimony in their Savior, and ultimately the virtue of HOPE.
It was uplifting.
Earlier this week, I heard news that my cousin Laura's husband had been in a plane crash in Utah. His outcome was not one of survival. He leaves behind two beautiful boys and a wife who undoubtedly loved him more that anything! The last time my husband and I were together with Laura and Jared, we commented on their love and respect for one another.
Our family is aching for Laura and her boys. I cannot imagine an earthly trial more challenging than losing a child or spouse. I was moved to tears on Wednesday in the middle of my treadmill run at the gym with the thought of Laura and how she will move on.
But then I thought about Nie Nie and her message of HOPE. And I thought about my cousin who I KNOW has a deep love of our Savior and a belief in the Plan of Salvation. I know she is going to make it through this because she has faith and HOPE.
One of my favorite apostles of our church said this of Hope:
"Hope . . . is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father."
I know she will be reunited with Jared again one day.
I believe that with all my heart.
Laura, we love you!