'Nevertheless' Who is Noelle?

By Angie Killian

https://youtu.be/MplA7x_p_8g

The lyrics of this song were inspired by a woman named Noelle Hope Leishman Tomco, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2020. Ironically, I never had the pleasure of meeting Noelle, but I felt like I knew her. She was married to Abe Tomco, whose parents, Dot and Bob Tomco, were my neighbors when we both lived in Springville. I was lucky enough to serve alongside them in primary for several years.


Sometimes Dot would bring Abe and Noelle’s children to primary with her, and she would periodically give me updates about Noelle and their family. I will never forget the love that sparkled in Dot’s eyes as she spoke of Noelle’s optimistic, energetic, and magnetic personality. I remember her telling me that “Noelle’s hobby was people,” which I thought was awesome, and that Noelle was someone who made other people feel special, important, and loved. The way Dot described Noelle made me want to be friends with her and be a friend like her. She was someone who loved fiercely and was fiercely loved.



When Dot moved from our neighborhood to be closer to Abe, Noelle, and their four children, I was able to see snapshots of Noelle’s journey through updates on social media. My heart broke for their family when I saw Noelle’s body succumbed to her ailments and her spirit returned to her heavenly home. A few days later, Dot shared part of an address Noelle had given in a stake conference shortly before she died.


These are those words:


“The concept that Elder Maxwell vocalized so perfectly and that was most powerful to me in answering my desire to let go of the fear and anger was ‘as we confront our trials and tribulations, we too can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, that we “might not shrink,” meaning to retreat or to recoil. Not shrinking is much more important than surviving! Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus.’


“I began to realize that I can be perfect like Christ in one way –I CAN, ‘not shrink,’ and I CAN ‘not become bitter with the bitter cup.’ It was okay that I asked to be healed. It was okay that I asked God to save me, but as when Christ asked for the cup to pass from Him, it was done with meekness. He did it knowing God knows ALL and that He would submit to whatever His father asked of Him.


“I needed to let go and trust the Lord. I knew that I could testify of the goodness of God for the rest of my life, no matter what was happening, because of: 1. the answers to the prayers that I have received, and 2. because of his atonement and ability to heal. Perhaps not to heal my body, but to heal my mind, my fear, my hurt, and my family’s hurt. And, if I did not survive, I would know that I did not shrink from the Lord, that I built my testimony on that which is eternal.”


Noelle’s message pierced my core and lingered in my heart throughout the day. That night, as I stirred with sleeplessness, I started writing the lyrics for Noelle’s song, ‘Nevertheless.’


Nevertheless

(Noelle’s Song)


1.The Savior in Gethsemane

Once pled, “Remove this cup from me”

Then lifted to his lips and pressed

The chalice brimmed with bitterness.


Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.

Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.


2.At times when trials overflow,

My shoulders bend beneath the load.

I find my faith on fallen knees

And plead, “Remove this cup from me.”


Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.

Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.


(Bridge)

When bitter cups are not replaced,

I seek my Savior’s gentle face.

Like angels in Gethsemane,

He lends his strength and comforts me.


4.The bitterness will not define

The love that lives in heart and mind.

With faith and hope, I’ll meekly bear

My burdens seeking grace through prayer.


Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.

Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.

Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.

Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.