In my 17 years as a journalist, few people’s stories have impacted me as profoundly as Stephanie Nielson’s.
I recently had the amazing opportunity to interview the blog star and plane-crash survivor for our July/August issue, and with each hour I spent writing the article (titled "Sharing Her Hope"), my admiration for her grew.
I feel privileged to share some of her emotional and spiritual journey following a horrific plane crash in 2008. With burns on more than 80 percent of her body, the vibrant mother of four was unrecognizable, and life as she knew it ceased to exist. But because of her faith, courage, and indomitable spirit, she was able to overcome her darkest days and tremendous physical pain to reclaim her life with her family and find joy in the little things that many of us take for granted.
Let me tell you, it’s hard to complain about a few extra pounds or the beginning of crow’s feet after hearing Stephanie express gratitude for skin that stretches, or for the fact that she has ears and a nose—things she would not have today were it not for skilled plastic surgeons. To say she has given me a new perspective on beauty is an understatement. But most importantly, she has helped me, and I dare say millions of others, recognize how precious even the everyday moments of life are, especially moments with our loved ones.
This spring Stephanie celebrated another triumph—the birth of her fifth child, Charlotte. And we thank them both for gracing the cover of LDS Living. If you want to look at your life in a new light, I invite you to read Stephanie’s story. I promise you will be a better person for it.
To read Stephanie’s inspiring story in her own words, don’t miss her new book, Heaven Is Here.
Jamie Lawson is managing editor of LDS Living magazine. She has two adorable boys who help her stay up to date on the latest technology, fashion trends, and catch phrases.