There's a woman I have recently met who I greatly admire. Together, we work with the Young Women -- me on a ward level, she on a stake level. I have only had contact with her a few times, but each and every time, we had a discussion. She was delightful. In fact, we both chaperoned a stake dance recently and had a lengthy discussion about family and children. I asked if she was going to Girls' Camp this summer, and she said she wasn't -- because she's pregnant. She's young, educated, strong, beautiful, and just a solid, great person.
Yesterday, her husband died. It was completely unexpected. And my heart just aches. So many thoughts have run through my mind. I shouldn't, but I imagine the pain of that moment -- rushing to the hospital, hearing what the doctors say. I think about the day her baby is born, a day when her husband should be there. A day of joy will also be a very painful day for her and her small family.
I called the temple to have her name and her family put on the prayer roll. I have felt the power of prayer in my life -- being buoyed up by the prayers offered on our behalf -- and I pray that she feels that same love and strength. Today I have a deeper gratitude for my testimony and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And evenstill, my heart aches for Stephanie.
All day I thought about Marcus -- how much I love him. At one point I thought "I'm so grateful for his health" and then stopped me as I realized that Stephanie may have said that exact same thing before going to bed hours before her husband passed away.
Stephanie and I weren't close friends. But I can't shake these thoughts I've had all day. I tear up every single time I think about her and her sweet little boys.
While I was on my mission, people would ask "If God exists, why do bad things happen to good people?" Good question, but I was, and still am, confident that not only does God live, but He loves us more than we can fathom. Lately, though my faith in that hasn't wavered, I can sympathize with their questions -- especially if they don't already have a relationship with Heavenly Father. But yesterday morning I had a clear reminder that none of us are immune from pain.
So this morning, I'll kiss Marcus before he leaves for work. I'll tell him I love him. I'll send him an email just because. I'll welcome him home with a hug. I'll stop what I'm doing to fully listen to stuff about work, or basketball...or football. And I'll pray more sincerely about how grateful I am that he wakes up each morning and comes home from work everyday -- because I know that now, at least one person will be missing that for a very long time. And my heart aches.