My New Life

Uploaded by MormonMessages on 03.05.2010

(Stephanie Neilson) Today it snowed--a lot actually.
We picked up the children from school
and drove to our driveway.
The children want to play in the 6-plus inches of snow outside.
That means I have to help them put on their snow gear.
Claire was fairly easy.
I readjust her boots.
Jane is next with most of her snow gear on.
I just need to zip.
Alli is done, and I fix Jane's glove.
Nicholas is next.
He lays like a dead fish as I try to pull up his bibs.
Claire asks me to zip up her coat again.
I'm laughing, this time in frustration.
The cold hurts my burned skin and makes me feel achy.
I start dinner; five minutes pass;
everyone is back.
On August 16, 2008,
my husband and I were in an airplane crash.
I was in a coma for three months.
We both survived.
I am Stephanie Nielson, and I am not my body.
I remember when the airplane crashed.
I remember rolling under a tree and looking up at the leaves
and thinking, you know, just having sort of a feeling
that things would be okay, that it would be okay,
and I didn't know the extent of my injuries.
(Husband) I remember the therapist working with me
and challenging me to get better because they said,
"You need to get better and be at Stephanie's bedside
when she wakes up."
(Sister) Their hospital rooms were definitely a sacred place
because, you know, there were miracles happening
in there every day.
(Mother) Notes and cards from everywhere were on the walls,
and so when you walked in you felt a real feeling of love
and prayers.
(Husband) It's a remarkable thing to be on the receiving end
of so much faith and love and effective prayer.
(Stephanie) I remember waking up in the hospital.
Coming out of the coma was really hard and painful.
I just had the feeling that I knew it was
because of all of those prayers that I was--
that I was awake and that I was going to get better.
It was one of those things I had never felt before
until this accident.
(Mother) Then when Stephanie was able to come out of her coma,
didn't want anything to do with a computer,
didn't even want to talk about a blog
because she wasn't able to type or anything,
and then her story evolved.
(Stephanie) I first started my blog in 2005,
and I was living in New Jersey.
I think it all started with Elder Ballard's talk that
he gave about the Internet and how we can use it to good use,
and it sort of set the scene for ultimately what I really
wanted to do with the blog.
It's been good, sort of therapy for me to write my feelings
and what I'm going through and the pain.
It's Jesus Christ that has inspired me
to do certain things and given me the ideas to do things,
and so none of it is me.
I don't take any of the credit;
I know that I'm just doing what I'm told.
I just do it--I pray and get answers and then I do it.
Today I woke up to rain.
I got up and did the routine--
breakfast, making lunches, trying really hard to do
my girls' hair.
I was in the laundry room folding clothes
and I went to the closet, touching all the clothes.
A wave of emotion took me over for a few minutes.
I missed me again; I mourned for that woman again.
I felt that familiar sadness.
But then it was followed by a beautiful, spiritual
confirmation that this is my new life.
It is good.
It is oh, so good.
And then I felt I should bring home me because it is still me,
and those clothes will still fit.
It's hard to pick up the kids from school and
all the other kids are staring, or going to the grocery store.
As women we want to be beautiful and attractive,
and you know I struggle with that,
but I also know that it's not everything.
I'm just grateful that I'm here on this earth
and I have the opportunity to be a mother
and do the things that I love and enjoy.
And I just, I don't know, I just view--
I view my role now as more divine.
It's something more-- not just a mother
who wakes up and makes her kids food.
It's a mother who enriches and teaches about
the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it's a privilege,
and I see it more as a privilege than anything.
To me, beauty and motherhood are one;
they're the same thing.
There is a plan for us, and it's a plan that will ultimately
give us the greatest joy and happiness
that we will ever experience, and it is only possible
through Jesus Christ.
And I am grateful for this trial, and it's a blessing,
even though it's hard and it's challenging,
and it will be for a while.
(Husband) It's our spiritual nature, though, to turn to our God,
who gave us life and has given us this mortal experience--
to turn to Him either to thank Him for the happy times
or to pray for His help in the hard times.
(Stephanie) I think my relationship with Heavenly Father
before was really good, and it still is really good,
but spiritually now I have a better sense of who I am,
what my divine purpose is, what I'm doing here on earth,
why I'm still here.
Life has a different meaning to me than it did before.
There are moments in my life when I feel like my spirit is
tapping my heart to remind me just why I still mortally exist.
Today I had more of those tapping moments.
It was in the deep brown eyes of Nicholas
laughing and tackling Jimmy over and over and over again.
It was in Claire's desire to help me with anything.
Today it was groceries.
It was Mr. Nielson, who I watched outside my window
early this morning ride his bike to school with the girls.
Their faces beamed like they were the luckiest girls ever,
and they are, including me.
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland) When suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God
than we have ever been in our entire lives.
That knowledge can turn every such situation
into a would-be temple.
Regarding our earthly journey, the Lord has promised:
"I will go before your face.
"I will be on your right hand and on your left.
"My spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels
round about you to bear you up."
That is an everlasting declaration
of God's love and care for us, including
and perhaps especially in times of trouble.