A Testimony

This morning as I was brushing my teeth a song came on the radio that reminded me of my mom. And that intense feeling of missing her got caught in my throat. Sometimes it just happens and I miss her, as I am sure I always will. Recently however I have realized something I want to share. The Lord has been moving mountains in my life, so slowly that I barely realized it. Then one day I looked up and the mountain was gone.

But let me tell you the story. 

I do strange things...
We know this.

For almost 8 years now I have had a pictures of my mom's accident tucked into my scriptures. Weird I know, don't ask me how it got there or why I haven't taken it out. When I have looked at the picture in the past it has always made me very sad. That picture, to me, represents those few minutes that changed my life. I would look at it and worry that she felt alone, worry that she had been in pain, any emotion that could possibly be felt was mine as I looked at that picture.

Right after mom passed away we were swamped with so many sweet letters; so many people with good intentions would tell me that things were going to be okay. They would tell me how grateful I should be to know that families are forever. That they knew the pain would go away, and the atonement was real. While I was grateful that they cared so much, I kind of just wanted to punch them in the face. Because I knew those things were true but none of it fixed how I was feeling right then. I was just hurting and I didn't understand how the atonement was going to make any of that better. Because my family is a forever family but I had been robbed of my right nows, 50+ years of them. 

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a Sunday school class when the picture once again fell out of my scriptures and fluttered to the floor. I picked it up to put back in my scriptures and I glanced at it. Then I stared at it as I realized all that old pain was gone.

And it wasn't that the pain was dulled, or that I felt numb, or that I didn't care anymore. I miss my mom, I miss her so much. But as I looked at the picture it was almost like I didn't recognize it. It was no longer a picture from my life, not even a picture I was familiar with. I just kept staring as the spirit pierced my stubborn heart and I realized that none of it was mine anymore. Absolutely all of the pain was gone. I realized then that my Savior had taken that pain and not only was it gone but it honestly feels like the pain was never mine to begin with.

Then the teacher asked "How do we apply the atonement in our lives?"

To be honest I don't know how I got to where I am today. I think it started with the first tear I cried. Then the first time I raised my voice in prayer to say "I can't do this on my own. It's your turn." From there He took over. Not all at once, because I needed to grow. I needed to learn to move forward with faith. I needed to learn to trust Him completely. I needed to begin to learn how the Atonement works. I know that in this life I will probably never have a full comprehension of the way the Atonement works, or it's true power. I know however that through the atonement the impossible became possible in my life and heart.

Loosing mom was an experience that is mine, the pain however, belongs to my Savior. 


  1. Annie Hall, I LOVE YOU! I just happened to decide to update my blog or rather start one really then I saw your post and started reading it. It was EXACTLY what I need right now. As you know already, I lost my dad about when I met you and it was and is the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I miss him so much still everyday. Especially, right now I wish he was here to give me a blessing and guide me. I am struggling with my decision to go back to church and having to distance myself from my old life and friends. Thanks so much for sharing this and being a great example.

  2. I would like to second the previous comment. You are an inspiration! It's amazing to see how your greatest trial has become a way of shaping your testimony of the Savior and His atonement for us. Thanks for sharing and for being so strong. I'm sure when your mom reads this, it will bring tears to her eyes and joy to her soul. ;)

  3. Annie,
    I hope you don't mind me reading this. I just saw your blog attached to Leah's. Although this was a very tragic time in your life, I love how you wrote about the atonement and how it has taken your pain away. Leah says you are an amazing person and this is another reason why. Thanks for sharing this.