Stephanie Nielson’s travels to Rexburg, Idaho, to speak at a forum on campus Thursday was the first time she flew in a small airplane since her accident where 80 percent of her body was burned.
Following Nielson’s address at BYU-Idaho on Thursday, she wrote a blog post titled, “Flying with faith, not fear.”
“Yesterday I did something I really never thought I’d do,” Nielson said. “I flew again for the first time since my accident in a small airplane. It took me seven years to get the courage to face that fear.”
Nielson said a good friend offered his airplane and pilot to fly her and her family to the BYU-I campus to speak at the forum. She said she was so worried and anxious that she could not sleep the night before her flight.
“Our pilot Scott was amazing,” Nielson said. “He gave me a warm hug as I entered the hanger where the plane was waiting for me. He knew I was worried about the flight and made me feel so at ease and safe.”
Nielson said one thing that brought her comfort was the prayer that the pilot said before the airplane took flight.
“Sure I was uncomfortable at times during the flight, and sure I thought about my horrible accident,” Nielson said. “I remembered the fear, and everything that went with it. But I am learning and teaching my children that we have faith, not fear.”
Nielson said sometimes it is really hard and can take time, but she still seeks to overcome her trials.
“I want to confidently overcome my fears,” Nielson said. “I want to be able to conquer my hardest moments with faith and courage. But sometimes it’s really hard, and it takes time.”