This blog is mostly about having the courage to move on after losing my daughter Laney. But I wanted to mention my other blessings. My other kids. I have four other daughters and a son who are amazing in their own right.
They are all struggling in their own way over losing Laney. But they, too, look forward to the future when we will all be together again. They have faith that if we trust in Him, we will be ok. We can even be happy again. His promises are sure.
So, I am going to introduce you to my family. Alyssa is my oldest. She and Laney did everything together growing up. We had Laney as soon as we did because Alyssa needed a friend. They are 18 months apart. They played sports together until Alyssa graduated from high school.
Kaden is my only boy. Laney was his champion. I wonder if his disability is helping to shield him from some of the pain of losing his sister….
Brynna has been Laney’s best friend for the past several years. They did everything together. Laney’s friends were Brynna’s friends. They still are.
Ally is just like Laney. She not only looks like her, but she acts like her, too. She loves the same things Laney did. Her sisters tell her that she even laughs like Laney. And she loves every second of it.
Addisyn is Ally’s twin sister. She is very witty and likes to help make rough situations light. She is probably doing the best of everyone. She misses her sister, but is also very quick to point out that we will see her again.
See what I mean when I say my kids are amazing? I love them very much!
While visiting with one of my ecclesiastical leaders ( a.k.a a member of the stake presidency, President D) last night, he told me how much my family inspires him. And that we inspire a lot of other people who are watching us. I was completely blown away. I told him that we are just plugging along, and that we are taking it one day at a time. We aren’t doing anything that should inspire others. But he quickly told me otherwise.
He said that our faith and willingness to put our trust in Him is an inspiration to many, many people. I am still confused. I am just living my life the best I can. I think that is all we can do. What choice do we have but to keep putting one foot in front of the other? Before we know it, we will find that by enduring to the end, and enduring it WELL, we will have made it.
I still wonder why we had to lose Laney. Why I had to learn a different perspective this way. President D told me that there are people who envy our perspective, but would never want to go through what we have to get it. I don’t blame them. I don’t want to go through it either. But I am. I guess I was given this life because I was strong enough to live it, after all.
Whatever things we find ourselves going through each day, we have a choice to make. Are we going to let it get us down, or are we looking at the bigger picture? Do we despair over what we are going through, or do we have hope that things will get better?
It is not always easy to choose hope. Sometimes it is hard to just think, let alone make a conscious choice to have hope. But I want you to know that through this trial, I choose hope. I choose to hope in the promises that have been made to us that if we trust in Him, we can make it through. And if we are looking, we can see and feel Him there, comforting us. Lifting us. He will carry us until we have made it through our darkest nights and reassure us that He is there.
With the new perspective that I have after losing Laney, how can I not do everything I can to align my life with the plan that God has laid out for me? How can I not see His hand in this entire tragedy and realize how much it has allowed me to grow in ways that I wouldn’t have otherwise? I am still not ready to admit that I am glad for this particular trial. I am not sure I ever will be.
But I will tell you this: My testimony is stronger now than it has ever been. I think a lot of it is my new perspective, but a lot has to do with the fact that I choose hope. Hope is on my mind all the time, and hope is what is helping to get me through. So whatever you are going through. Please, have the courage to choose hope.