I remember the day I heard former LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley say, “ Things have a way of working out.”
It reminded me of my favorite quote, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
Isn’t that the essence of faith?
I recently spent a week in Utah with my family and had proof that President Hinckley was right.
My proof was undeniable, irrefutable, gorgeous, and soul satisfying.
Sometimes we get stuck in life’s dark tunnels and have to grope our way around until we find a tiny, hopeful sliver of light.
But eventually, the sun bursts out in all its magnificence and almost mockingly seems to say, “See, I told you so!”
Almost 25 years ago, after only about 18-months of being married to her high school sweetheart, my sister’s marriage abruptly ended. She discovered her husband wasn’t the man she man she thought she married.
She boldly forgave him for breaking their marriage vows, and told him she wanted the marriage to work. He said he wasn’t ready for the responsibility of marriage. And since one person cannot make a marriage succeed, they separated.
He had been part of our family for years so we were all heartbroken.
Just after they decided to separate, she found out she was pregnant…
She hoped he would step up and take on the responsibility of a being a husband and a father.
So she moved in with our parents, and took on the new life and title of “single mother.”
She lived at home until she could afford to move out on her own.
She enrolled in college, took on every kind of part-time job imaginable to pay rent, buy groceries, diapers, and formula for two growing babies. (I remember when she buckled them in their car seats, and took them with her to deliver Chinese food at lunchtime.)
She graduated from college, and eventually ended up working for the State of Utah as a case worker, helping women just like her.
For all those years, she dreamed of owning her own home. Every time I visited her, we drove through neighborhoods trying to find a home she could afford. But with the costs of raising two kids alone, owning a home was impossible.
But, on my last trip home, I sat in her beautiful home, one that is better in every way than any of the homes she thought she could afford.
It is in a neighborhood and a town she loves, and it fits her lifestyle perfectly.
Even better than owning her own home, she has two responsible, wonderful grown children that she raised to be respectable, loveable, happy, amazing adults. (One of them is serving a LDS mission in Uruguay. The other completed a mission in Africa and is now working, and going to college.)
As a single mom, she spent more than her share of time in the dark-tunnel part of life, eking out a living, and balancing motherhood with a full-time job.
As I sat in her living room a few weeks ago, I felt like she is proof that President Hinckley was right.
Things have a way of working out.
(I saw this video and sent it to her as my tribute to her as my hero and super woman.)
Second Proof (Shared with my brother’s permission.)
My brother called me on his cell phone.
“Congratulations!” I squealed into the phone when I heard his voice. “I’m so proud of you for having your own phone. That’s excellent progress!”
He giggled and said, “I think you’re more excited than I am.”
He has been drug-free ever since, and is slowly, steadily reconstructing his life.
The next bit of proof came on that same trip when I visited my younger brother at my mom’s house.
He was mowing her lawn. He turned off the mower, and said, “Guess what I did today? I bought a cell phone.”
I gave him a high-five and said, “That is amazing!”
And, “amazing” hardly captures the miracle that phone symbolizes.
About three years ago, after years of drug abuse, he became homeless — literally without a place to sleep, shower, or make a meal. With no alternative, my distraught mom told him if he became sober and never used again, he could live with her until he could rebuild his life.
With no other options, he agreed to her terms, and moved in with only the clothes on his back.
Having a cell phone means he’s inching his way back to being a man who actually owns something.
Three years ago I was certain he would die under a culvert or end up in jail.
In June of 2011, he called me on his cell phone. He is alive, healthy, and starting to accumulate things again. He is a happy, contributing member of our family. He has goals, dreams, and plans again.
Things have a way of working out.
I have beautiful, deeply reassuring proof all around me – proof that sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in the form of a perfect red brick home, and proof symbolized by a simple cell phone.
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. And if you can just hang on long enough, I promise you’ll have proof.