I thought about you when we visited my baby brother’s grave this weekend. He would have been 18 on Saturday. I know I don’t feel the loss you do as Goodwin’s mother, but I wanted to tell you that it gets better. At first when we visited, we would tell our stories of that fateful day, over and over. We needed that. But we also remembered how grateful we were that Mom was still with us and that we had the promise of seeing Thomas John again. I feel like Thomas John is and continues to be a blessing in my family’s life because he brings us together to remember how much we love each other and the sweetness of God’s promises. He’s part of our lives because of these memories we’ve made over the years, visiting him, thinking about him, wondering what he might be like if he’d lived, wondering what he’s doing now, and looking forward to reminiscing when we see him again. Hold on, Stephanie, because there is nothing so wrong, so painful, or so broken that God can’t make it into something breathtakingly beautiful, given a little time and trust.
These thoughts of yours resonate with me a different way, too, because my life definitely hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would (so far, anyway). I don’t know how much God’s will factors into the details of that. But I DO have a good life – a very good life – and I believe God has a plan for me. I know He hears my prayers, and I’ve seen enough answers to know He still hears the prayers I’m still awaiting answers for. And like you said, no matter what happens, I know He’ll be there to help me through. I think maybe He can give me new dreams. I’m choosing to trust Him and keep moving forward.
Something Pres. Monson said in the last conference really heartens me, and I hope it helps you too: “Such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were – better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.”
Love you, Stephanie.