by the Church News | December 13, 2018
I have been fortunate not to have lost a family member so tragically in my life, and don’t know how I would function if I did. I would like to think that I could hold it all together as much as possible and that at some point I would find it in me to forgive. Truthfully, I don’t want to find out. However, I do know one thing that would bring me some comfort is the knowledge that I will be reunited with my loved one(s) someday. This brings me hope and strength and a joy that is hard to describe. ~ Emilia
Collapsing on the floor in his youngest son’s room after another exhausting day, Jacob Evans was at a loss. For months he had been trying to balance the responsibilities of being both father and mother, provider and caretaker while bearing the weight of comforting his six children amidst all the challenges their family faced.
After putting his kids to bed, Jacob felt the weight of his situation crashing down on him. But in that moment, in what he described as his “darkest hour,” he did the only thing he could. Kneeling there on the floor, he prayed to his Father in Heaven.
“I was just at the end of anything I could take. There was nothing left, I was so tired and I didn’t see a way forward,” Jacob said. “I didn’t see how we could possibly survive this.”
Four months earlier he lost his wife, Katie Evans, in a tragic car crash caused by a young drunk driver. The collision happened less than a mile from the Evans’ home late at night on Oct. 6, 2017, when Katie was on her way home from visiting their twin baby girls who were still in the hospital after being born 12 weeks premature.
“But what’s interesting is, looking back, I am confident that I was not alone,” Jacob said, his voice trembling with emotion.
For Jacob, there is no doubt that the Savior has been with him every step of the way as he has navigated the unpredictable and rocky terrain of beginning a new life following the loss of his beloved Katie.
“He never faltered in his faith,” said Bishop Drew Adams, bishop of the Saugus Ward, Santa Clarita California Stake, where Jacob lives. “He might have questioned how many more trials he would be able to endure, but he never questioned whether Heavenly Father was watching over him and taking care of him, and he never doubted whether the gospel was true.”
But it’s not just Jacob that has shown great strength and faith. Despite the numerous trials the Evans family have faced, faith and a sure understanding of God’s love for all His children have been their defining characteristics throughout all they have endured.
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