Last night as Dust and I were about to climb into bed, something sitting quietly among the sheets caught his eye.
"Where did you find this?!" He exclaimed as he scooped a white envelope into his hand.
"I didn't!" Disbelief filled my voice as I snatched it from his grasp to see for myself. I turned it over in my hands. I simply could not believe my eyes.
I flashed back to the few days after Dustin's accident. I was frantic to find this exact envelope to verify the only words that had us all clinging to the hope that Dustin would see again.
"What if it didn't say what I remembered it saying?!" I cried.
My mom and I had torn the house apart, searching for the contents of this envelope. Even Dustin's sister Stacie had come over to look for it after we had failed to turn it up.
When nobody find it ANYWHERE, I texted Dustin's dad Kirk in a panic to see if there was any way he could quickly get his hands on it.
Kirk emailed Bishop Davies from the Presiding Bishopric of the church (who he knows through work) to see if he could email Kirk a copy ASAP.
The next day, Bishop Davies showed up to the hospital waiting room with a copy of it in hand. I graciously received it and opened it as quickly as my shaking fingers would move, scanning every line until I came to THE sentence. The sentence our Heavenly Father had given to Dust for this moment in time. The sentence that had me holding on to every bit of hope in the world. The sentence that had Dust holding on. The sentence that had everyone we loved clinging to the possibility of a positive outcome.
The events that followed are a hugely important part of Dustin's story. As I read over the contents of this envelope, I realize that the day Dustin's vision returned might not have played out the way it did if we had just found this envelope immediately. I'm not saying that Dustin wouldn't have been healed. But the day that Dustin was healed had many sacred and spiritual moments that were brought together by the presence of this man of God who carried in his hands a similar envelope with a copy of the words I've read countless times since that day.
After speaking with Kirk for a minute, Bishop Davies asked if he could see Dust. As he approached Dustin's bedside, we could feel the strength of the spirit surrounding this good man. Dustin quickly asked him for a blessing. Bishop Davies paused for a moment and asked if he could fast for a day and come back in the morning to give him a blessing.
That night, Dust was blessed to be able to receive another powerful blessing from another great man. Our stake president.
The next day, most members of our families gathered for this promised blessing. Bishop Davies pronounced a sweet blessing upon Dustin and we had much hope that he would see again. At some point. The blessing was laced with words about the beautiful world that God created for us and how The Lord desired for Dustin to be able to see these things.
After he closed his blessing, Dustin's sister Stacie suggested we have a family prayer. We all knelt around Dustin's bed and with broken hearts we offered up all we had. United in faith and love for Dustin, we pleaded for Heavenly Father to heal our Dust. The spirit permeated the room in a way I had never before experienced.
Two hours later we were given the greatest miracle and gift my eyes have ever seen. The way the entire day played out was simply magical. As if our Heavenly Father sat down and wrote exactly how he wanted this to happen to give us the most lessons and the biggest benefit.
As part of His plan, the original envelope needed to be lost so this good man could come and bring everyone together for one of the most sacred experiences of our lives. You'll never convince me that this was coincidence.
Lost. For 15 months.
Well, last night we had our family home evening on gifts. We talked about how Jesus was the very first Christmas gift ever given. How the wise men brought precious gifts, full of meaning and symbolism to our Savior. We talked about the many amazing gifts Jesus gives us all the time. And what we can give to Him. We talked about giving gifts to others in a way that they can feel Jesus' love through us.
Then after tucking the kids into bed, we go into our bedroom to find one of the greatest gifts we were given to help us survive this life and the trials we would face. A sweet, heavenly gift that gave us light in our darkness. It has been there to lift us up when we get scared and to assure us that this was all a part of our plan.
Just lying there. On our bed. With scribble marks as evidence of the munchkin who found it and placed it there unknowingly.
Resting in a place we'd be sure to find it, as a reminder of the gifts we were given over the course of a few days and beyond that, this whole last year and a half. As proof to us of our Heavenly Father's love for us, His plan for us, His hand in every part of our lives.
There, below his pillow, a gift full of symbolism and love that would speak right to our hearts.
Dustin's original patriarchal blessing.
There couldn't be a more perfect Christmas gift for us this season.
"Some may count this as simply a nice coincidence, but I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence... and it is often the Lord's timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings." Elder David A. Bednar.
As a side note, and because I have been slacking on writing, everyone is doing great around here. Our house is almost done and we are nervous and excited all at once to make our move. We love you all and hope you have a very merry Christmas!