I met Stephanie Nielson and her husband, Christian! As I waited in line to get her new book signed, I took a moment to look at her. I noticed her arms and hands, so badly scared from the burns she sustained in a plane crash a few years ago. I watched her fingers as she struggled to hold a pen to write. And here she was, signing hundreds of books for people she doesn't even know. Her husband was right there by her side supporting her, loving her, and radiating happiness (he too was burned in the crash). My heart was immediately filled with love. I felt Christ's love coming through her and into my heart. Here she was, nine months preganant, about to pop, not to mention the pain and challenges of being burned over 80% or her body, hardly able to hold a pen, and yet she was happily signing books and talking with each person individually. She was so gracious, so loving, so real, so happy. That is what life is all about. That is was love is all about. That is what Christ's gospel is all about.
When my turn came, I introduced myself. Stephanie said, "I hope you like the book." While she was signing I turned to her husband and said "I'm so glad you are here too." He replied that he always goes with her. Stephanie piped in an said "I don't go anywhere without him" and he replied that he didn't go anywhere without her either. They have such a beautiful relationship. I have been touched by their love and devotion for each other as I have seen and read about their relationship.
I got a quick photo with both of them. Stephanie said, "It is so nice to meet you." I thanked them, though a thank you seemed hardly enough for what I had just experienced and felt.
It was 30 seconds of "heaven." (Her new book is called "Heaven is Here." I'm so excited to read it!) My heart was full. And when I feel full of love, I just want to share it. I even hugged my new friend I had talked to while waiting in line (who was a total stranger just 30 min. before). The Spirit of Love was so strong as I pondered on my drive home. Life is hard. We all have trials and struggles, some are more visible than others. But we can find joy and happiness as we live the gospel of Jesus Christ and as we take the time to love, serve, and reach out to the people around us: our families, our friends, and even people we have never met. Life can be heavenly.
God is good. Life is good.
-March 31, 2012
P.S. I'm even in a picture on Stephanie's blog! Check it out!