While enjoying a family getaway in Utah for a few days, Briana Battles, a mother and a wellness coach, ran into an LDS missionary at the Salt Lake International Airport.
Right away, she noticed the missionary was distressed. "I am not Mormon, nor am I 'deeply' religious," Battles clarifies on her Facebook page Everyday Battles. But that didn't stop her from reaching out to this missionary in the sweetest of ways:
Tonight, sitting at the airport in Salt Lake City, I met a 19 year old young woman who was in tears when we came to sit near her. Jared and Cade went to fill up their water bottles and I sat alone, listening to this young girl cry.
I had to say something.
I've been the young girl crying in the airport.
I said, "I'm really sorry you're having a hard evening." And before I could say more she told me how tonight she was leaving for her mission in Guatemala. She won't see her family for nearly 2 years and she told me she already missed her mom so much.
She was scared.
She was nervous.
I just tried to tell her how strong and brave she is, and how a life of service is an honorable one. Transitions are always hard and in order to feel the reward, we have to feel some hard emotions, first.
We kept chatting and I realized how nervous she was about the airports and solo travel. I tried to give her some reassurance and guidance.
And then I asked her if she would like me to pray with her.I am not Mormon, nor am I "deeply" religious. I was nervous, but I knew she would appreciate that offer, as I watched her flip through her scriptures.
We prayed, and I asked God to protect her, to help her learn from this opportunity and allow her find a whole new version of herself during this exciting chapter.
And then, we made sure she could pre-board with us for some peace of mind.
Emily, I'm so glad we crossed paths. If you were my daughter, my sister or me 10 years ago, I think I would appreciate the well meaning crazy lady who couldn't let you cry alone this Tuesday night.
Since creating this post on Tuesday, Battle's message has quickly gone viral, with nearly 10,000 reactions and 1,000 shares. It just goes to show how an act of compassion can touch hearts, cross faith divides, and reach thousands.