On August 16, 2020, two sister missionaries serving in Houston, Texas were stabbed by an intruder. Now, Sister Lauren Willardson is sharing her story of that night and the miracles she’s witnessed since.
Sister Willardson recounted that a man broke into the apartment she and her companion shared as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He attacked the two missionaries as they slept with a knife. “We found and prayed, struggling for our lives for about fifteen minutes,” she said. “After the struggle, through the power and mercy of God, the man left. My companion and I called 911 and were then rushed to the hospital. We found in the ambulance that I had sustained nine stab wounds. At the hospital, I had a life-saving surgery and then received treatment for many days.”
Throughout her story, Sister Willardson recounted some of the miracles she experienced. Though hospital restrictions were in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, her mission president and her parents were able to visit her. Both she and her companion felt they inspired each other to keep fighting for their lives. After receiving the necessary medical attention, a surgeon told her that if the attacker had stabbed her shoulder even a degree to the right or the left, it would have sliced a main artery and likely caused her death before the ambulances arrived. But, no matter the miracles she experienced, the miracle of a Savior remains the greatest of all.
“If these miracles do not convince you of the great and miraculous love of our Heavenly Father, then I beg you to consider the Greatest Miracle of All, even the gift and life of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ,” Sister Willardson said. Below is her concluding testimony:
It is with this opportunity that I would like to conclude: by bearing testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. On that dreadful morning of August 16th, after the man had gone, I remember waiting for the ambulance to arrive while my companion was on the phone with 911. I remember noticing for the first time all the places I was cut because we had been fighting with too much adrenaline to notice the wounds previously.
As I sat there with my limbs tensing up to the point I could not move, not knowing if I was going to bleed to death, I remember looking down at my hand and seeing that it had been stabbed through the middle. While you may think that this would be an alarming sight to behold, I remember feeling the greatest peace as my mind instantly thought of a similar wound in the hands of One much greater than I. As more wounds were discovered on me in the ambulance and procedures following, I soon learned that my intestines had been pierced near my side, and my ankle pierced through as well right above my foot.
With these three wounds, I have learned more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ than I had ever understood previously. As I thought of His pierced hands, and feet, and side, and felt the pain of my own wounds in similar spots, I finally understood a microscopic proportion of just what Christ went through to save us. There are no words that can describe the amount of agony Christ chose to endure to save us. I do not possess the ability to describe what it feels like to have your hand stabbed through, the searing pain that follows wounds like these, or what it feels like to almost bleed to death, but because I have experienced these things I now can say to all the world: NEVER DOUBT HOW MUCH HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST LOVE YOU!! I went through this because it just happened to me, but to think that Christ CHOSE willingly to feel everything I felt, an eternity more, and eventually die just so He could be there for us even when we sometimes choose to turn our back on Him…..I cannot help but exclaim like Pontius Pilate, “Behold, the Man!” I testify that He suffered excruciatingly so that when you go through your own Gethsemane, you do not have to suffer. He will carry you when you cannot walk. He will take away the pain when you cannot bear it. He will bring you peace when hope seems lost. He will do this for you because this is what He has done for me. None of this is unique to me. He does it for all of us. I just had to have a little tougher experience to finally learn it, but I hope and pray that each of you will not have to do the same. That you will use my experience instead and learn it now. Please learn and never forget JUST HOW MUCH YOUR SAVIOR LOVES YOU!!!
Sister Willardson is currently at home recovering but hopes to resume her missionary service as soon as possible. In the meantime, she will continue to share her story on a special missionary Instagram account.
Follow her for more inspiring stories and testimonies.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.