Earlier this week my church group put together a group activity for Blankets for Brianna. We collected 38 blankets and 9 beanies for these precious children. I spoke during the activity. Here is what I said and some pictures to share.
I am honored that you would have a RS Service project/activity centered on this charity, Blankets for Brianna.
Thank you to all the ward members for the prayers, comfort, meals and friendship during this extremely trying time in my life. My testimony has been strengthened by every one of you.
I am sure that many of you have already heard the story of Brianna's birthday or read the talk I gave at MOPS on my blog so I will not repeat what you have already heard. I wanted to just share tonight a couple of minutes on what I have learned from my angel, Bree.
Brianna has definitely changed my life and it wasn't so much during the pregnancy as the day she was born. That day, I learned what unconditional love is. I now have a teeny tiny glimpse of how our Heavenly Father feels about us. His love is immeasurable. He is hurt when we are hurt. He is happy when we are happy. Having a love that is so strong for Brianna has carried on to others. I feel sorrow and hurt on such a different level. Before when I heard about unfortunate things happening I just went about my life, now I am immediately adding these people to a revolving prayer list in my heart. I am constantly praying and pleading for help for everyone from a homeless man I see walking down the street to my best friend's husband who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer 3 weeks before Brianna was born.
This love has opened up charity into my life like never before. Of course, the blankets are a given but I am open to any kind of charity. I have met so many amazing people and have been able to give of my time, talents and resources. I am so grateful that I have the desire and ability to do this. My prayers every night mention my attitude in charity and my gratitude for that.
Brianna has also taught me patience. The whole time I was pregnant I was trying to be patient for her to come, but that is nothing compared to the patience I have for the time that I will be reunited with her. I consider her to be a best friend of mine. Many of you may think of her as a baby, but I always think of her as she is in the spirit world-an adult. I wonder what she is like, what her hobbies and desires are.
Most of all she has taught me to trust in the Lord. Joe and I bought this little card that has her name on it. The card has the meaning of her name and a scripture. Not until she was born did that card mean so much. Her name means "high, noble, exalted" and the scripture is Proverbs 3:5...my new favorite scriptures. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Some of you may have already heard this story, but it has touched my heart and continues to touch it daily. As we all know everyone wants to put in their two cents and advice before first time moms have their baby and I got plenty of advice. My last day at work, before I went out on leave a coworker came up and solemnly say down by me. She reminded me she was in her mid 30s, single and had no children. She said that even though she didn't have any experience with being a mother she had some advice for me too. Her advice was for me to trust in my God. This hit me hard. This woman is of the Hindu faith. She is faithful, but has a different faith than my own, but she still felt it was necessary to remind me to trust in God. I’ve talked to her since this experience and I believe that she followed promptings she received to give me this message. It stuck out to me more than if one of you gave me that same message. I thought about this every day while waiting for Brianna and I still think about it today.
Many people have asked me what happened the day she was born and most of the time my answer is you just have to trust in the Lord. It’s true. If you trust in the Lord the rest isn't as important. There is a reason it was Joe and I that got to be Brianna's parents and I have to trust the Lord and maybe someday it will be revealed. Until then that's when patience comes in.
One way I cope with Brianna being gone is think that she is just on a mission. If any of you have friends or family on mission you know they can't call and you understand they are busy and their work is important. Well as many of you know Je is a convert. His family has been waiting years for their work to be done. I am sure Brianna is there teaching them and showing the gospel, she is our missionary and we are trying to do our duty to take those names to the temple and do for them what they can’t while they are on the other side of the veil.
I am grateful for the lessons I have learned from her and know that I still have a lot to learn from her. I do know that while I am on this earth I will keep my focus on the celestial kingdom so that I will be reunited with her once again. I am grateful for temple marriage and the happiness that eternal marriage gives me and Joe. I am grateful for the progress this charity has made and the families that we will touch with comfort and peace through these blankets. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.