When I was a child, one of my favorite parts of the day was waiting for my dad to come home from work. I would look out the window and see him coming, and I would count each of his steps toward the house, looking forward to the joy he brought. I never thought I would have to do without that feeling.
One day when I was seven years old, in my father’s place came a man with a somber face who stood at the door and told us that my father had been killed in an accident.
That day I was silent. I looked at my four-year-old brother and my mother, so young and alone, and I did not cry. I didn’t think it could be true, so I went to the window and stared at the street. I began to feel an unbearable force pressing down on my shoulders, a weight that would not let me breathe normally, a pressure that oppressed me.
Not long after my father’s death, I went into my room alone at the fading light of sunset and, as I had been taught, prayed to my Heavenly Father. I pleaded with Him to let me see my beloved father again, just to hug him. In my heart I was certain that Heavenly Father could give me this miracle.
That day I didn’t get to see my dad or hug him, but I was given much more. It was as if I felt the hands of the Savior on my shoulders. His presence was almost tangible as He removed the weight that pressed down on my chest.
Now, over 20 years later, that relief has never left me. At times I have felt sadness but never emptiness at the loss of my father. I can look back and see how many times the Spirit has come to console me, help me, and show me the way to follow the Savior’s precious steps. I can feel His presence in my life thanks to that first trial, which helps me see everyday trials with an eternal perspective. I know it is the gospel in our lives that allows us to feel the invisible caress of the Savior’s hand.
I have married for eternity, and now my husband and I have three little girls, who bring a taste of heaven into our home. When I see them, I rejoice in the peace and knowledge that every sorrow, trial, and challenge in their lives can bring with it greater faith, new witnesses, and wonderful miracles. I rejoice in the profound certainty that when they need something beyond what my husband and I can give them, they will be protected, consoled, and saved, just as I was.