“They Set Aside Their Trials,” Ensign, July 2020
We all experience ups and downs in life, but 2013 was a particularly difficult year for our family. We experienced many unexpected and costly home and auto repairs. My husband, Ryan, lost his job, and our youngest son was born with complications and had to spend a few weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. I also struggled with postpartum depression. These circumstances, combined with being parents of four young children, strained us financially and emotionally.
Ryan found new employment, but he worked long hours and was out of town for weeks at a time. Our five-year-old son, Wesley, began having anxiety about his dad being gone so often. He constantly woke up during the night from nightmares.
Our extended family supported me when they could, but I still felt exhausted and alone most of the time. I knew that Heavenly Father loved and was aware of my family, but I felt like we were drowning.
One afternoon, while Ryan was out of town for work, I drove my kids home from school and desperately prayed for help. Later that night, my neighbor Kendra knocked on our door. She knew about our situation and asked how I was doing. I had no intention of complaining to her, and she was the last person I would have asked for help. Her husband, Brent, had been battling cancer for the past four years.
I told Kendra I was fine, but she sincerely asked again. Tearfully, I opened up to her about my struggles. When I told her about Wesley’s anxiety and nightmares, she asked if I would like Brent to give Wesley a blessing.
A while later, Kendra, Brent, and their oldest son, Tyson, came to our door dressed in church clothes. Brent was frail. I’m sure it took all the energy he had to come to our house. He gave Wesley a blessing, and Tyson gave me a blessing.
That day, Kendra, Brent, and Tyson were true examples of Christlike ministering. They set aside their own trials to sincerely offer us love and compassion. I felt blessed that Heavenly Father answered my prayer in this tender way. Brent died two weeks later.
That day in our home, Brent stood as a witness of God through righteously exercising the priesthood (see Mosiah 18:9). To me, it is sacred that his ministering to our family was one of his last acts on earth.