Sometimes, we have to face tough things in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have a tendency to think that whatever we are going through is going to be that way forever. But it won’t.
One of the things that I have learned over the last several years is that if we do our best and then leave the rest to the Lord, He will take care of the rest. I have seen this repeatedly in my own life. In the life of my family. Even in trying circumstances, He is there, lifting me up, guiding my life. Even in the midst of this particular trial, He is there.
I lost my job in February. Having that job was where I was supposed to be at the time, I have no doubt. I wasn’t there very long. Just long enough for the people there to help me through the loss of my daughter. Because I know He is guiding my ship, I wondered where my next destination was. I love being home with my family. Doing all of the mom things that I can’t do while I am working. Having time to do some remodeling, too. But, my ship is being steered in another direction.
I got the most amazing job yesterday. It is doing what I know I will love and the best part is that it will be making a difference in the lives of people. What else could I ask for? I am excited about the new opportunities I will have and the new people I will meet. Because I did all I could do and then waited on the Lord, He rewarded us tremendously.
I have no doubt that He is allowing Laney to help bless us as well. She probably had lots to do with this new opportunity. I know she is excited for me, too. I just wish she were here to put up a poster for me like she did the last time I got a job. That would have been the icing on the cake.
This weekend, Laney would have turned 21. On the 21st. So as I have been thinking about her short life, and her arrival, I can’t help but smile. You see, Laney shouldn’t have made it. But she did. And instead of having her for just a few hours or days, we got to have her for 20 years. 20 years that were amazing.
I wanted to share a few things about Laney that you may not know. She thought that birds shouldn’t walk because they had wings for a reason. She loved grammar, and if you didn’t use it correctly, she let you know. She disliked caramel, barbecue sauce, and hot fruit (cobblers, etc.). She loved sports from a very young age. She loved to go to the desert, and she loved to clog. She loved the movie Contact. She loved everything to do with space. She loved Garth Brooks and Steve Tyler. And the Green Bay Packers.
She loved Hershey’s chocolate bars. She would often wake up in the morning when she was younger and the first thing she would say was, ” I need chocolate!” She also loved to help me with my DIY projects. When she was 9, she helped me paint our entire house. Just the two of us. She was so creative, that she often came up with her own projects along with helping me with mine.
But one of my favorite memories is one we laughed about just a few weeks before her accident. She always watched her feet when she ran down the basketball court. We were reminiscing about that, and she burst out laughing at the fact that she STILL did. She never stopped watching her feet when she ran.
While taking this week to especially remember Laney, I want to point out that she didn’t just have things that she liked. But she had things that she loved. She loved going to the temple. She loved Jens. Loves him still. She loved that she was going to marry him. She loved hanging out with her friends. She loved writing in her journal. She loved helping others. She loved to encourage them. She showed that in everything she did. So this week, I am concentrating on the things Laney loved. And maybe in the process it will make things a little easier.
From the time when Laney was about 15 years old, she wanted to be an organ donor. In fact, she had a life goal to donate a kidney. And she was completely serious. She reminded me all the time that she wanted to be an organ donor. So last June, I told her about a cousin that was in dire need of a kidney transplant. What she said to me was, “Ok. Let’s make it happen mom!” But the doctors didn’t want someone who was so young and hadn’t had her own family yet to donate. She would have to wait.
Laney did get her wish to be an organ donor, but not in the way she thought it would happen. Even though we knew what she wanted, making that decision on such short notice and without really having time to process losing her, was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We are okay with it, though. We think it is pretty amazing actually. To think that not only her legacy of temple work, missionaries, and her testimony living on and helping others, but she is as well. And it is just like her.
When unexpected things arise, they tend to catch me off guard. Like the day I came home from work to find a letter from the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. I wasn’t thinking much about it because we get mail from the University of Utah regularly. When I opened the letter, though, it took my breath away. It said that because of Laney’s gift and our decision for her to be a donor, two people who were blind can now see. How incredible is that? But it wasn’t really our decision to make. It was Laney’s. And she made it years ago. And we are so incredibly proud of her.