Four months ago Christian and Stephanie Nielson were severely burned in a plane crash. Out of that crash hope was born, community was born, a stronger belief in miracles was born. Christian (burned over approx. 30% of his body) and Stephanie (burned over approx. 85% of her body) survived, continue to heal, are rehabilitating their bodies, and are supported not only by their families but by their community in Mesa, Arizona and Provo, Utah and all across the blog world from places as far away as Australia.
Their family has been with them through it all showing solidarity, strength, hope, all the while spreading their story. Through spreading their story they have showed thousands of people an incredible example of what family can be and what is possible with hope, love, and prayer. In their time of need they have continued to give whether they recognize it or not. Stephanie's sister Courtney, a new mother herself, took in Stephanie's three oldest children, her sister Lucy took in her youngest child, and together they make sure the children see each other every day. After consulting with Christian, Stephanie's sister Paige bought a house for Stephanie, Christian and the children very close to Stephanie's family in anticipation of the help Stephanie will need and her sisters want to be there to give when she is well enough to come home from the medical facility. As evidenced by Courtney's blog, in spite of everything, the children are happy and are still being allowed to be normal, well adjusted children without adult worries or adult responsibilities and that is wonderful and thrilling to me and a testament to their family.
Their faith is evidenced in all that they do, but most obviously through their simple request for prayers. The strength of faith is most obvious when tested. The Nielson's and Clark's have most certainly been tested, but seem not to have wavered. Instead they seem to have leaned on their faith and each other to help them through and help them remain positive. I do not even know them, but when they Fasted and asked others to fast for Stephanie and Christian, I did. I also find myself saying little prayers a various times of day when people come to mind. The example set by Christian and Stephanie's family caused me to begin volunteering my time with two organizations which is something I have always wanted to do, but have put on the back burner in the past. Faith is powerful and the Nielson's and Clark's have reminded me and reinforced that truth for me.
Family and Faith. One could not ask for more. The Nielson's and Clark's are a testament to that. This holiday season, especially with all of the economic concerns, I think it is important to remember what really matters. Family and Faith.
A ginormous thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Nielson's and Clark's and all of you in Blogville.
To read more about this remarkable family visit CJane, Lizzy Writes, and AliceKind.
To see the still recovering Stephanie's Posts of Christmases Past click here, here (December 2005, scroll through for lots of posts), here, here (December 2006, scroll through for lots of posts), here (December 2007, scroll for lots of posts), and here.
CJane posted photos of Christmas 2008 on NieNie's blog here.