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.
To say that I have a different perspective on life would be an understatement. Because of the different trials I have been through in my life, I see things a little differently. I have for a while. I like to think that my trials have made me more compassionate. But nothing could have prepared me for the perspective I have now that we have been though such a tragedy as losing Laney.
I cannot look at the news and see that someone else lost their child without my heart breaking. I look at the things that I used to worry about and realize that they just don’t matter anymore. The little things just don’t matter. I can see how much more important my family is to me. How those I hold dear, I try to hold a little tighter to.
But I also see the suffering of others more clearly. Feel the need to lighten their burdens. I find joy in things that I didn’t take the time to notice before. I pay more attention to those around me that may need a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. I have had some of my friends say, “You don’t need to listen to my cares because you are going through so much.” But to them I say, I do need to listen. I need to help. It helps to bring me peace and comfort to help others.
So, don’t be afraid to talk to me. Don’t be afraid to talk about Laney. I absolutely love to talk about her. To keep her memories alive. And because she isn’t really gone. She is still my daughter.
I hate that I lost my daughter. I hate that I have to learn how to live without her. I even hate the new perspective I have. But I love the peace I feel when I serve others. When I reach out to strengthen another person. When I put my arm around someone who is struggling and let them know that they can make it through another day. Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else. Just a little added perspective.