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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc

American Faces #67 - There is hope!

What does hope, healing, and the face of determination look like? It looks like Abigail Nielsen my American Faces #67 subject. She appeared earlier in my series during the onset of the Covid lockdown. She appears again now not because she is my daughter, but because she has endured one of the hardest trials of her young twenty-something life. She has endured divorce and dismay in 2021. Oh, but that is just the beginning of the story! It just gets better. I have watched her navigate this unwanted path with a determination that often leaves me, as her dad, breathless. She has taken so many steps forward with grace when there are tears in her eyes and the unknown is all she sees in front of her. Abigail finds peace these days in that unknown, her family, her calico cat Gertrude, and in a reborn and growing trust in her Savior. Sanctuary is also found in the apartment she has etched out in the loft of my studio as of late July, 2021. The apartment is genuinely her and quaintly appointed to reflect her clean, simple decorating style. The excruciating changes in her life rekindled a passion for adventure and an excitement to reclaim those joy-inducing loves that life had forced to be put on hold. There are so many smiles of even joy on her face. She carries a love for her fellow human that is palpable as you look into her eyes. Her heart may have weathered a battering and gained some battle scars, but that doesn’t stop her from caring for others who navigate a similar path. If you asked her, she would tell you her capacity to love, empathize and encourage has only increased.

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Letting go of what lies behind is never easy, but pressing on without malice for the one who hurt her has brought her incomparable freedom. Maybe it is how she embraces the unknown that truly is remarkable. Abigail and my son Isaac will be embarking on a multiple month adventure to the south and west, navigating lands in a 2011 Honda Pilot and sleeping in the comforts of an A-liner camper. They call themselves the Daring Dawdlers.

This journey will help her say goodbye to 2021 and all it handed her and say hello to 2022, the year of the Grand Unknown.

There were three phrases I said to Abigail when divorce was thrust upon her. I believe we all need to believe these:

You are Loved. You are cherished. You are worthy to be loved.

My hope is that as you read about Abigail’s journey you see a woman defined not by divorce, but as one who emerged from heartbreak with grace, joy, continuously-increasing faith, and an unshakeable identity in Christ.

Here are a few links to check out:

Hope Reclaimed

The Daring Dawdlers:

IG @daring_dawdlers

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