Brianna Battles, a CrossFit instructor and life coach for health and fitness, spotted a woman in need and didn’t hesitate to step in and help. Others were passing by, pretending not to see the woman’s tears – either out of respect or a lack of empathy, we’ll never know – but Brianna just couldn’t ignore them. She posted the story on Facebook, and it went viral in just minutes.
Tonight, sitting at the airport in Salt Lake City, I met a 19 year old young woman who was in tears when we came to sit near her. Jared and Cade went to fill up their water bottles and I sat alone, listening to this young girl cry.
I had to say something.
I’ve been the young girl crying in the airport.
I said, ‘I’m really sorry you’re having a hard evening.’ And before I could say more she told me how tonight she was leaving for her mission in Guatemala. She won’t see her family for nearly 2 years and she told me she already missed her mom so much.
She was scared. She was nervous.
I just tried to tell her how strong and brave she is, and how a life of service is an honorable one. Transitions are always hard and in order to feel the reward, we have to feel some hard emotions, first.
We kept chatting and I realized how nervous she was about the airports and solo travel. I tried to give her some reassurance and guidance.
And then I asked her if she would like me to pray with her. I am not Mormon, nor am I “deeply” religious. I was nervous, but I knew she would appreciate that offer, as I watched her flip through her scriptures.
We prayed, and I asked God to protect her, to help her learn from this opportunity and allow her find a whole new version of herself during this exciting chapter. And then, we made sure she could pre-board with us for some peace of mind.
Emily, I’m so glad we crossed paths. If you were my daughter, my sister or me 10 years ago, I think I would appreciate the well meaning crazy lady who couldn’t let you cry alone this Tuesday night.”
Two hours later, Brianna showed the woman, whose name is Emmalee, that thousands of people were rooting for her and praying for her. These complete strangers were wishing her the best, and lending her their strength as she went out on her own on a new journey.
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