Meet my nieces, Paige (left) and Hannah (right). They are the world’s cutest little girls, in my entirely unbiased opinion.
When I decided to start this blog, I knew I had to write about these beauties, not only because they are inspiring, but because they add up to being the complete opposite of depression.
Spending an hour with these two will leave you feeling pure joy.
The summer I was diagnosed, these girls and their parents came to Utah to spend a week with my family.
I was unemployed at the time, so their presence filled up each of my hours.
Every day our activities ranged from playing “Snow White and Crazy Bird,” wandering through the Treehouse Museum and swimming at Cherry Hill.
It was bliss.
One day, during a rousing game of “Snow White and Crazy Bird,” I was feeling particularly blue. Although I’d enjoyed my time with my little girls, I knew they’d be going home soon, and I’d be left friendless.
While 3-year-old (at the time) Hannah was busy playing, I said to her “Hannah, I don’t have any friends.”
I’ll admit, I didn’t think she was listening. I’d only said it to express one of my normally internal negative thoughts.
But when I said it, her head shot up, completely abandoning her toys.
“Yes you do!” Hannah said, “You have me and you have my mommy!”
These eleven words sent chills down my spine and caused me to tear up.
Because she was right.
How could I disregard all the people who loved me, calling myself friendless? How could I think that my absence in their world wouldn’t make a difference?
In that moment, I made a commitment to myself.
No matter how sad I was, no matter how much I wanted to give up, I wouldn’t.
I wouldn’t because there was a three-year-old girl who needed me to play “Snow White and Crazy Bird,” with her.
I wouldn’t because one-year-old Paige had looked at me with a toothless grin, holding her arms out to me in plea for me to hold her.
I wouldn’t because my family needed me.
I wouldn’t because my Savior, Jesus Christ, had kneeled in the Garden of Gethsemane, suffering for this exact moment of despair, memorizing my pain and writing it upon his heart, so he would remember how to carry me through this trial.
I still cherish the week I spent with my angels that summer, and our time together only gets sweeter.
This year, the LDS Primary theme is about believing in Jesus Christ, and my sister has been reading John 3:16 to Hannah, who is a CTR 5 this year.
The other day, my sister read the scripture, which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
When she got to the part “whosoever believeth in him,” Hannah became elated, and exclaimed “Hey, that’s me! I believe in Jesus Christ!!!”
This thought must have been with her throughout the day, because when she kneeled down to say her prayers that night, she said “I’m grateful I believe in Jesus Christ so I will never die.”
It may have been a simple prayer, one that our lips never utter. But those words give the most important thanks to our Father in Heaven.
Hannah may not yet understand it, but what she was saying to her Heavenly Father was, “Thank you for my Savior, who suffered for each of my sins and infirmities, who will one day stand before Thee and plea for me to obtain eternal life.”
I believe in being childlike.
Like Paige does every day, I believe in stopping whatever activity is currently consuming my brain and telling whoever is nearest “I love you.”
I believe in finding joy from a simple trip to the park.
I believe in making friends with everyone.
I believe in loving myself.
Like Hannah, I believe in Jesus Christ.