If you've been following my story, you have probably heard me concur with Jeffery R. Holland when he said, "Angels are still sent to save us." There was no doubt heavenly and earthly angels were with me and my little sister in our dark basement as our attacker tried to take our lives. I believe there is a God who loves us and knows the details of our lives, even down to the second.
Although, better now, nighttime was my biggest trigger for months after the attack. As soon as the sun went down, my thoughts went to the night I was almost murdered. As soon as I said "Goodnight." to my family, my thoughts convinced me my attacker was going to come back. As soon I my eyes would start to close, I saw the veins in my attacker's arms as he held himself up to come in my window.
Nighttime made my body shake, my tears roll, my heart pound, my mind wander, and my soul ache. (I wish I were exaggerating)
On one of the most eerie lonely nights, where I started to doubt the reality of the loving God and angels I knew were once with me, I found Jack + Jenna.
"I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, "Why? I know that feeling! I know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father's perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time." - Russell M. Nelson
With a single post on Instagram, Jack + Jenna reminded me of God's broader perspective, His power, and His love. All fights are hard in their own way, but losing a husband and daddy has to be one of the hardest. Their hope, faith, and fight saved me and turned the most eerie lonely night into one of hope and healing.
Jenna's ability to keep fighting has continued to inspire me and so many others. She is real about her feelings, faith, and fight. I spent the last few days with her and Jack and saw a little more of her fight in action and am still in awe with how she does it all, especially while heartbroken from losing her sweet husband.
Although all of our fights are different, there always seems to be a common denominator; we all get to the same point where we have to choose to keep fighting or to give up. Whether you get to that point by the loss of a loved one, an illness, infertility, sexual abuse, depression, anxiety, addiction, or an attempted murder you, like Jenna, have to choose to keep fighting. Hope doesn't take away hurt or magically make life perfect. Hope helps heal. Hope helps us understand somethings, like Jack losing his daddy and Jenna losing her husband, hurt so badly because they loved so much.
I remember playing sports when I was little and my dad telling me to appreciate losing so I could fully enjoy winning. The same principle applies to our fights- if we don't recognize the hard at times almost unbearable, we won't recognize the good at times miraculous.
When I asked Jenna how she does it she said, "I just do it." "Do" is an action word- fighting back takes work, hard work. It isn't easy for Jenna, it hasn't be easy for me, and it wont be easy for you.
We can and need to help each other fight. I learned from you and so many others, little acts of kindness, offered prayers, mailed letters, delivered flowers, or a simple, "I'm thinking of you." goes a long way. Spending time with Jack and Jenna as we both try to keep fighting was healing for all of us.
Reach out to someone you know is fighting. Be someone's angel. If you are fighting something and feel like you can no longer do it on your own, let people help. We need each other as we "just do it."