"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
Last night, I lay awake in my bed thinking about Amber, as has become routine the last three weeks. I started thinking about when we first met and the many adventures we had together as missionaries. I pulled out my mission journal and pulled up the document on my computer with all my mission emails home and reminisced, smiling and laughing all by myself.
|This has been the background on my desktop for the last six months. I just love this photo.|
16 July 2004. Lithuania.
Amber and I knew we would be companions before we ever met. We knew there were reasons we were together. I won't go into details because some of them seem too sacred and personal to share, but suffice it to say, we knew without a doubt, that it was meant to be and that there was a greater purpose for our companionship than just the fact that we loved being together. Looking back now, I can see even more things that seem to have fallen into place to paint a more glorious picture (in hindsight) of Heavenly Father's plan for each of our individual lives. I will be forever grateful for the twelve months we shared and the countless memories we have from Lithuania, as well as the friendship we still have today and the countless memories we've made since stepping foot onto American soil.
Amber taught me about faith, in word and in example. She truly is a woman of unshakable faith. Honestly. I'm not just saying this to make this post more flowery and inspirational. She really is a remarkable woman whose spirit seems to instinctively just know the right thing to do, the right thing to say, the best way to express love, how to be selfless. She knows and she acts upon it. Her faith seems instinctive, but it has also been earned. It by no means can be confused with naiveté. Her faith is genuine and powerful because it has been tested and tried over and over again and she has withstood her trials with grace and with full faith that Heavenly Father knows her and knows what is best. She has been blessed with the strength to stand firm and believe in Heavenly Father and in His plan for all of us.
As I was praying the other night, on my knees pleading with God to heal her and allow her to have a full recovery and return to her husband and babies, I had the distinct impression and the words just flowed out of my mouth, "I know that it is no coincidence that Amber is the one in a coma." As the words exited my mouth, I was a little shocked and felt like those words should not be coming out of my mouth. As I knelt there, I began to realize what I had said and what it meant. God was telling me that He knows her. He knows her faith. He knows of her example of true Christlike love. He knows that she is the type of person who could rally together a group of people like us and cause us to unite in prayer, love, and faith.
This week has been a tough week. We've been watching and waiting to see some progress with Amber. I'll admit that a couple of times late at night when I was tired and at my most vulnerable, I began to feel a little nervous. But then I would quickly think if Amber were able to be here right now, if the roles were reversed, she would have unshakable faith. It was almost as if Amber was speaking to me saying, "Emery! FAITH. That is not faith and you need to have optimistic, hopeful thoughts. Faith, Emery. Faith." So that's what I can do for her since she can't be here at this very moment, and believe me, it has been a blessing. As our mission president said in a letter to me earlier this week, "the miracle of divine communication blesses our lives."
JP is so lucky to have Amber. And Amber is so lucky to have JP. I'm not sure I've ever mentioned that JP served in our mission also. He was my district leader for five months. He quickly became one of my favorite people on my mission. He was a great leader. He is an incredible man, honest, kind, strong, and genuinely interested in you. The bond you share with the people you work so closely with as a missionary is unlike any other bond. Serving side by side, day in and day out, there is an eternal nature about those relationships, a connection you have that just can't ever be taken away.
I have been praying this week, harder than I think I may have ever prayed. Reminiscent of when I prayed for baby Bronson recently. Only this time, I've been praying for someone a little closer to home. I just know Amber will pull through this, if it is God's will. I know He hears each of our prayers and knows of our desire for Amber's full recovery. I feel like we will witness a miracle, but I know that she is in God's care, in His hands. And quite frankly, that makes me feel at peace.