Waiting for the Sunrise
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“Waiting for the Sunrise,” Ensign, Apr. 2014, 79

Waiting for the Sunrise

Julia Wagner, Ohio, USA

Shadows wrapped the room in darkness as I lay awake listening to my husband breathe, trying to determine whether he was sleeping. It had been only two days since our 12-year-old daughter had passed away from a sudden traumatic accident. I closed my eyes again, but sleep evaded me. My heart yearned for my daughter. All the knowledge of the plan of salvation couldn’t ease the ache of missing her.

As dawn neared, I felt a sudden, intense longing. The sun would be rising soon, and in my mind I saw the sky bathed in soft pink light. Our daughter loved the color pink. A pink sunrise would be just the thing I needed to feel close to her again.

“Let’s go watch the sunrise,” I whispered to my drowsy husband.

We stood in the driveway, faced east, and waited … and waited. Though the sky lightened, the sun did not push through the low-lying clouds.

I leaned my head on my husband’s shoulder and sighed, trying to pretend it didn’t matter. But I wanted more. I needed more. Surely Heavenly Father could have granted me this desire after taking our sweet girl home to Him.

As my husband turned to go inside, looking behind us toward the west, he said, “Look!”

I turned. Behind us the clouds were bathed in a delicate blush, golden light surrounding them. My breath caught, and tears crept to my eyes. It was more beautiful than I could have imagined. It felt like a hug from our daughter. I knew Heavenly Father was aware of my aching heart and was sending a promise of hope for the future—a gentle reminder of eternal families and all the beautiful moments yet to come.

I have thought often on that beautiful moment and the new perspective it gave me. Who looks for a sunrise in the west? And yet that is where my miracle was waiting. How many blessings and miracles do I miss because they come from unexpected places? How many times do I focus on what I think should be and miss the glory of what is?

We had prayed relentlessly for a miracle that was denied, but as I looked around with my new perspective, I saw the miracle of the four lives bettered through our daughter’s organ donations, the miracle of family love and ward unity, and the miracle of service. I have felt deep sorrow, but I have also felt powerful hope fill my soul with each blushing sunrise, each rosy sunset, and each pink flower that crosses my path.

Now as the sun rises, I look east and then turn to look west. I smile with the realization that there are always miracles and blessings to be found—and that the sun will always rise on our sorrows if we let it.