Gratitude in all Things

It’s super easy to think life is grand and wonderful when everything is going your way, but what about the days when everything isn’t okay? It’s super easy to focus on everything that goes wrong, and be negative. It takes a lot more to be positive, and notice those blessings in our lives when everything is going wrong.

Sometimes, Ben and I stay up late and talk about deep stuff. Last night we were talking about the nature and personality of God. Somewhere during our talk, we expressed how small certain things may seem after we already experience them.
In high school, I was in band, and it was my life. I was obsessed with it, and all I wanted was to be the best, or to be around my friends. But now, after getting married, going to college, and becoming a mom, I realized how small those worries were. I didn’t realize that there was so much more than those things I was obsessed about, although in the moment it seemed like my whole world, it wasn’t and there was a lot more in store for me.

I feel a lot like that with Will, when I found out he was probably going to pass away, my entire world was focused on that and I couldn’t see past the sadness that had overtaken Ben and I. But, having faith doesn’t mean everything to going to go the way you want it to, having faith is knowing that there is more, this isn’t where it ends. As I realized that small truth last night, I was overcome with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for everything I have. Dieter F. Uchtdorf says in his talk; “Grateful in any Circumstance.” (This is such a great talk, I recommend everyone to read it!)

“It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.”

 

I think this also talks about being jealous of other’s circumstance. Ben told me last night; “It goes in a circle, we are upset because someone else has a healthy baby and we don’t. Then the people that have a healthy baby are upset that they don’t have enough money but their neighbors do. And then those neighbors are upset because they are struggling in their marriage but another couple has a great marriage, and it continues on like that.” We can’t be jealous of each other, or treat others badly because you feel you have it worse than them. It makes us bitter, more upset, and we only focus on the negative things about our lives instead of finding the blessings. I know for myself that when I depend on the Lord, and focus on being grateful instead of bitter I’ve felt peace and happiness in my life.

“Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be…This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.”

Even when everything is going our way, we should still be grateful, and have an attitude of gratefulness. And I also think that it means we are kind to others, respectful, and loving no matter our circumstance. I think being grateful even when everything is going our way, and having that same gratitude even when it seems the end is no where in sight, will lead us toward our goal to eternal life, to be with our family forever, and ultimately be with our Heavenly Father again.

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Some Updates on Us

I just wanted to post a little blog post on some updates going on in our little family for those who want to keep up-to-date.

First things first, we are getting a puppy!
As some of you saw on my facebook post, Ben and I decided to get a puppy to help us through this hard time in our lives. We spent a couple weeks doing research on how dogs can help with grieving and what dog breeds are best. Then we posted to our Rexburg Garage Sales page, and had so many people willing to help us find the perfect dog for us! We found a litter of lab puppies that we just fell in love with. We went over to the breeder’s house and were attached to the cutest little black lab puppy. He was playful, but cuddly and affectionate. We named him Blue because in order to tell the difference between the puppies the breeders put different color collars on them and the one we picked out happened to have a blue collar. He is currently only about 7 weeks old, and we are going to bring him home around 9 weeks! We’ve been watching dog training shows, and have been researching on training techniques and different things to prepare for our new puppy. Even just preparing for our new dog has been so therapeutic for us and has helped us so much.

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This isn’t an actual picture of Blue, but this was the closest picture I could find on pinterest that looked the most like him. When we see him I get too excited and don’t take pictures, sorry!!!
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Ben was really excited to set up the crate for our new dog!

Doctor Visits
As many of you know about Will’s diagnosis, we are needing a lot more doctor visits and a lot more specialists!  We are currently meeting with our regular Rexburg doctor, along with some doctors in Idaho Falls. Every time we go in for a visit we get to see our sweet little boy in an ultrasound. They check the progress of his head, and check is heart beat and growth in all aspects of his body as well. Because Rexburg is limited, we decided to visit with some more experienced doctors in Salt Lake. In the first three weeks of March we already have 6 doctor appointments scheduled. 1 in Rexburg, 1 in Idaho falls and 4 in Salt Lake at U of U hospital and Primary Children’s. We feel really good about the doctors in Salt Lake and have heard so many good things.

Update on Will
The latest update on Will’s condition is not very good, his chance of survival is extremely low, and his brain continues to grow outside of his skull. Our last doctor visit, we had the best doctor and she reassured us that the chance of a stillborn is very low. She told us that she thinks Will will survive a full-term pregnancy and either pass away shortly after birth of during labor and delivery. Because of this, we decided to meet with some more specialists in Salt Lake, and continue with the pregnancy and educate ourselves with as many options as we can. Along with this, Ben and I are having to make very big medical decisions while going to work and school, when did we become adults?

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I’ve shared this picture of Will before, it’s my favorite one of his profile because I think we looks a lot like Ben and it reassures me of how well be is doing even with this trial and deformity that he has.
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This is a picture of my preggo belly! (I took this on Sunday) I like sharing this, because it shows how Will’s progression is no different from another baby. He still grows at a normal rate, and I still am able to do normal things my pregnancy has been very normal, and a lot like other pregnancies. He moves, and kicks. I still crave different foods, and still need to buy pregnancy clothes. I have loved being pregnant with Will! Its been an adventure for sure!

School and Work
Ben and I are currently both working part-time, and going to school full-time. It’s obviously been a trial and hard for us but we believe that education is important, and our little Will wouldn’t want us to sacrifice our schooling for him. Ben is working nights from 3am-7am for the BYU-Idaho Security, and I am working in a call center for a wedding invitation company. When we first found out about Will we took a week off from school and work, and when we went back to our daily routine we were both really nervous. But to our surprise it’s been a huge blessing to us. I personally have been so blessed to work with such great people, and getting out of the house has helped me tremendously. Ben has also been blessed because he really likes to keep busy, and going to classes during the day keeps him busy and helps him to feel happier.

 

Some Advice
After going through a lot of different things these past few months, and continuing to make more decisions in our lives I have some advice for those who struggle with different things in their life. right
I got this advice from a friend that lost her baby after he was born. This was the best advice I could have ever gotten, and its true. You need to make decisions between you, your spouse, and the Lord. And if you’re not married, you and the Lord. You do what you believe is best for you, and don’t worry about what other people are going to say. As Ben and I are going to make medical decisions for us and our baby, we are focusing on making them between us and the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Don’t try to understand.

During this trial that Ben and I have been going through, something that I’ve noticed is how different we are in coping with the possible loss of our child. I think it is so interesting how two people can go through the exact same situation and still not understand how the other person is feeling. I like to talk about my feelings, and express them. That’s why I have this blog! I talk Ben’s ear off some days explaining my feelings and different emotions that I have. Ben on the other hand, likes to keep himself busy. He likes to do things to keep his mind off of the situation, its harder for him to talk about it. It has been very strengthening for our marriage to help each other and support each other while still recognizing our own needs.

But something I’ve noticed is how I don’t understand Ben. Ben doesn’t understand me. We are literally going through he exact same trial with the same people and the same baby, and we don’t understand how the other is feeling. In the New Testament, when Lazarus dies, Jesus comes to Mary and Martha. I love this part in the story, because you can see how different both Mary and Martha deal with the death of their brother. John Chapter 11: 21-25 we see that Martha just wants to talk, she talks and asks questions and wants to express her feelings by talking. In verses 32-36 Mary just wants to cry, and that is how she copes with her grief. And, I think the most beautiful thing about this story is the fact that Christ doesn’t try to understand them, he doesn’t say to them; “Oh yes, I understand how you feel, I felt the same way when John the baptist died.” He just mourns with them.

We cannot understand what people are going through. Even if it is the same experience because we are all different people, and we all deal with different emotions and feel different emotions. In Mosiah 18: 9 it says; “yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” It doesn’t say we have to understand others, or we need to tell them about our own experiences, but we need to mourn with them and listen and cry with them. We cannot fully understand what another person is going through, we can’t. But the Lord doesn’t ask us to try to understand, he already understands us perfectly because of the Atonement, he asks us to be present. He asks us to cry, and listen, and mourn with others.

When listening to others talk about their different heartaches, I know for myself I want to say; “oh yes, I completely understand what you are going through, this one time blah blah blah happened to me.” But, that defeats the purpose of allowing those to talk and allowing me to listen and can sometimes take the attention away from the other person’s experience. Ben is taking a class to teach him about conducting a counseling session, and he explained to me the purpose of self-disclosure which can be necessary when we feel prompted, or we want to express empathy to an individual so we can validate their feelings. But we need to remember the persons needs, and remember that disclosing too much can put the attention on us and then that other person’s needs are not being met.

Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we have someone who understands us perfectly, and someone who has taken upon himself to take our pains, and to walk with us through our trials. We need to depend on Christ to help us, and to understand us. It isn’t our job to understand others, Christ has already done that. It is our job to be present, to listen, to comfort, and to love others. I have a firm testimony that we cannot depend on someone else to make us happy, or someone else to take away our sadness and pain. Not our friends, parents, spouse or anyone else, but the Lord Jesus Christ.

Through our experience with Will, we have had so much love expressed to us from so many friends and family which have blessed us tremendously. But it’s not a secret when you can tell that people don’t know what to do or say, because they’ve never gone through anything similar to our situation. How can me mourn with those that mourn when we don’t experience the exact emotions that others are feeling? I think the answer come straight back to the example of Christ, in many ways he never took the attention off of the other person. He was just there, and he listened. I think sometimes its okay to say; “I don’t understand what you’re going through but I am here as a support for you.” One of my religion teachers says; “sometimes, I feel the most love when my wife grabs my hand just to reassure me that she is there.”

In President Henry B. Erying’s talk “The Comforter” he explains the experience that he had with mourning with others;

“Recently three generations of a family were grieving at the death of a five-year-old boy. He died accidentally while with his family on a vacation. I was granted the opportunity to watch once again how the Lord blesses the faithful with relief and the strength to endure. I watched the way the Lord made their great burden lighter. I was with them as the Lord’s covenant servant—as you will be often in your life—“to mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”5 Because I knew that was true, I was pleased and at peace when the grandparents invited me to meet with them and the parents of the little boy before the funeral. I prayed to know how I could help the Lord comfort them. They sat down with me in our living room. I had warmed the room on a cold night with a small fire in the fireplace. I had felt to tell them that I loved them. I told them that I had felt the Lord’s love for them. In just a few words I tried to tell them that I mourned for them but that only the Lord knew and could experience perfectly their pain and grief. After saying those few words, I felt impressed to listen with love while they talked about their feelings. In the hour we sat together, they spoke far more than I did. I could feel in their voices and see in their eyes that the Holy Ghost was touching them. In words of simple testimony, they spoke of what happened and how they felt. The Holy Ghost had already given them the peace that comes with the hope of eternal life, when their son, who died without sin, could be theirs forever.”

As we are all called to comfort others in times of need, we must remember the importance of comfort, and remember Christ’s loving example. And above all, remind those that are in need to depend on the Lord, because he understands and loves them perfectly. We are here to listen, express love and faith, and to comfort.

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Empty Arms

This was probably a bad idea, but I’ve been on Pinterest lately, looking up puppy things (Ben and I are getting a puppy) and I come across things about newborns, breastfeeding, baby clothes and other things. Which is obvious because I pinned that stuff when I found out I was pregnant. But now it just makes me sad. And I want to apologize for all those men and women out there who have to go through that. Anyone going through infertility, miscarriage, stillborn, or infant loss, this one is for you.

I don’t really know where to start, because I haven’t lost my baby yet and I’ve never gone through a miscarriage. The doctor says that the possibility of a still born is very low, but I do know what it feels like to be told that you’re baby isn’t going to survive, and I haven’t even gotten to know him yet. I guess what I want to say is that you’re not alone, and you don’t get enough credit. And, there isn’t a whole lot out there about this kind of stuff. I see more about normal pregnancies, and normal births because they are happy, and wonderful, but the world needs to know that its not always like that. And some people have a hard time getting pregnant, and some people don’t have happy, sparkly, rainbow pregnancies and births. Sometimes, people loose their babies.

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Infertility, Miscarriages, Still-births, and Infant loss.

I just want to first say that I am sorry to those dealing with any of these four things at this time. I want people to understand that it is heart breaking for a husband and wife to find out they can’t conceive children, or they did conceive but they lost the baby early in the pregnancy, or you have already felt the baby kick, and then the baby stops kicking and you have to go through labor and birth only to end with a life-less baby, or to hold a baby in your arms for only a little while before he/she passes away and you don’t get to put him/her in those cute outfits you bought.
Grief is something we all go through. I believe grief is when people have a dream, they have a life plan made out in their minds of what their life is going to be like and then something happens and those dreams shatter. Then you have to find a new dream, and I call that grief. Maybe that new dream is adoption, or infertility treatments, or trying to conceive again, or having another baby so you can take them home from the hospital. But its that middle part, between the new dream and the old one where it’s hard.

I feel that I should explain more about Will’s diagnosis to explain the dream I had, and how it was shattered. Here is the google definition of Encephalocele.

“Encephalocele, sometimes known by the Latin name cranium bifidum, is a neural tube defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. These defects are caused by failure of the neural tube to close completely during fetal development.” From Wikipedia.

Ensephalocele happens in 1 in every 10,000 pregnancies. It is extremely rare, and not the lottery I wanted to win. I will most likely carry Will through full-term, and then he will either pass away during labor or shortly after birth. My dream was that I was going to be a mom, and I was going to give birth in the little Rexburg hospital, with no complications. I was going to bring home a little baby, put him in a car seat, dress him up for church. Ben and I were already planning his baby blessing, and my mom had already bought plane tickets. Within about a minute my dream was shattered. When we came home from the doctor I took all my ultrasound pictures, and put them in the closet in our second bedroom. Ben and I packed up all the baby clothes, cribs, stroller everything that had to do with a baby and hid it so we didn’t have to look at it. Now, we have an empty second bedroom full of school books, and boxes.

That’s the biggest thing I notice with people who go through either infertility, miscarriage, still births or infant loss. It’s all about the dream, and then the dream is shattered. You don’t want to talk to anyone, especially those who have their babies, and get to be pregnant, and get to dress up their little babies. Because why do they get it and not me? Here is a quote from Elder Nelson;

“Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” (D&C 42:45.)
Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.”

I wanted to share that quote because I feel that even if we haven’t spent a lot of time with our little babies, we are still mourning their loss. I love when he says; “The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.” The reason why it is so painful and hard to go through these four things is because of love. We love our children, even if we don’t know them yet, or only had them for a couple weeks, or a couple months, or only a little while after birth. The love that a parent feels for their child is the greatest love this world has ever experience next to the love of Jesus Christ. Here is another quote from Elder Lance B. Wickman in his talk “But If Not.”

“First, please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father.”

I have only seen Will through tv-screens and I’ve only felt his kicks while I have been pregnant with him. Ben even feels his kicks and movements less than me. But we love him so much. I have never experienced the love of a parent until Will came into our lives, and it just amazes me to think that I love this little baby so much, and I don’t want to let him go, but God loves him perfectly and more than I do.

I want to write to those couples dealing with infertility, miscarriage, still-births, and infant loss to understand that your babies are God’s babies first. And even if your baby hasn’t come yet, or your baby has come and was only here for a short time, I know that the pain you feel is because of the love you have for your children. And, it’s not fair. I go on a roller coaster ride almost every day. One day I’m happy and I have hope, and the next day I feel jealous and upset at other mothers who get to keep their babies in this life. But I testify of the truth that peace that prayer brings, and the scriptures bring. Even if just for a little while, even if I don’t get an answer right away, at least its enough to help me through the day. Take it one day at a time, hold onto your spouse and depend on them, and above all depend on the Lord Jesus Christ and his atonement. He understands, and he knows the pains we feel. There is more than just this life, we will be with our loved ones again if we are faithful, and we depend on our Savior.

 

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As Ben and I were reading in our book “But If Not” by Joyce and Dennis Ashton I came across this quote;

“When you get pregnant, it’s like planning a fabulous trip to a place you’ve dreamed of all your life, maybe…to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make wonderful plans. It’s all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands The stewardess says, “Welcome to Holland.” “What!? I signed up for Italy…I’ve wanted to go there all my life!” “Well there’s been a change in the flight plan, and here you must stay!” It’s not a horrible place, just different than you expected. You must learn a different language. And everyone you know is talking about their trip to Italy, and how wonderful it is there. “Yes,” you say, I was supposed to go there too. The pain of this change will never go away, the loss of your dream. I will try and see the beautiful things in Holland. They have tulips and windmills!”

Although this quote is referring to a woman who had a child with disabilities, I felt very emotional when I read this. I had a very similar experience. One of my best friends recently had her little baby girl, while she was pregnant, I found out I was pregnant as well. After seeing her go through her pregnancy, and when she gave birth, I was so excited to visit Italy like she did. But, once I found out about Will’s diagnosis, I knew I wasn’t going to Italy, probably not Holland either. I have many friends who have had their babies and I envy their wonderful experience, and I wish I could have that.

But, if there is anything I’ve learned from any trial I have every gone through, is it that if I sit and feel bad for my situation and I’m jealous of others I feel worse about myself and my situation. The fact is, I am not going to Italy. I am going somewhere else and I don’t exactly know where, but I am going to try to find the wonderful things there. Sometimes it’s hard, and some days you get really sad and its almost impossible to find the positive things about your situation. But we have to. We have to find those little things that make our day a little better, that let us notice the hand of the Lord in our lives.

Today was one of those hard days, we had another doctor’s appointment in Idaho Falls to check the status of the baby, get any second opinions, and know more about what to do from here. Ben and I felt nervous, anxious, and uncomfortable on our way down there. The doctors are wonderful, everyone is so nice. But when you have a complicated pregnancy, you hate going to the doctor. It put me in one of those moods where I didn’t want to do anything. I wanted to lay in my bed and pretend it wasn’t real. I was talking to one of my friends at school one day; she was explaining to me how she had recently gone through a trail of her own and she just flat out said; “it sucks.” I had to laugh, because it is so true.

I looked at Ben after we got home from the doctor appointment, he was having a hard time. He felt sad, upset, stressed. He was explaining to me how he felt, and my emotions were pretty close to his. I finally looked at him and said; “it sucks.” He laughed a little bit and said; “yep, it really does.” It. Just. Sucks. It does, its hard, I didn’t sign up for this. No one does. And sometimes I have to tell myself that my situation is awful. Because it is! But does that mean I give up? Of course not. Life throws curve balls at you, and it’s easy to just crawl into your hole and be sad. Trust me, I’ve done it and it doesn’t help, it actually makes it worse.

We must face reality, we must say to ourselves; “this is the way it is, and it sucks.” And then say; “but, at least I am not going through it alone, but I have my husband.” Or whatever makes you happy, and whatever happy things you can find in that day no matter how small. I love this video because it really expresses the importance of taking it one day at a time, and depending on the Lord.

This Quote from Elder Holland always helps me when I feel like I want to give up; “Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

I can’t express more my testimony and my belief that this is true. That this life is not the end. That because of Jesus Christ, we can have hope that everything will be okay, and we can depend on him. I know I’m imperfect, I know that bad things happen. But I also know that this is not the end. And sometimes, my testimony is that happy thing I find in my days, and that’s enough.

“While deliverance isn’t immediate, and you may not see the end, still, you’ve got enough for today.” – Elder D. Todd Christofferson

 

Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.

Ben and I started seeing a counselor when we found out about Will, in our first session when we were talking about our diagnosis the counselor said, “I don’t think everything happens for a reason.” Which surprised me, I thought my whole life that everything did happen for a reason. The counselor explained, “I don’t think God makes natural disasters happen on purpose, I don’t think death, disease, abuse, divorce, and all horrible things that make us sad and upset come from God.” I thought for a moment about that, and I agreed with him. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I do believe that our trials make us stronger, and we choose what we do in times of distress, but I do not believe God is the creator of any heartache.

I believe that we live in an imperfect world where things happen plainly because of the fact that our world is not perfect. The tectonic plates sometimes just move and it causes an earthquake. The cold and hot winds hit at the wrong time and cause tornadoes just because it happens. Our bodies are imperfect, we catch colds, we get sick, we get cancer. Our loved ones are imperfect, they make choices that hurt us, It’s not God. He knows all, He knows what is going to happen, He knows how we will overcome it, and He helps us through it, but I don’t believe in a God who causes bad things to happen on purpose, I believe in a God who is merciful, and kind, and understands we live in an imperfect world and created all means necessary so we can be comforted by Him.

“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.” Moroni 7:13-14)

Someone told me a story when they were in church one Sunday; this lady got up to bare her testimony about her mother. Her mother was suffering from cancer and had recently over come and beat the cancer. She said in sacrament meeting; “God loves us so much that he took the cancer away from my mom.” I knew this lady was expressing her belief in God, but what about those whose mother’s don’t beat cancer? Does that mean God doesn’t love them? Of course not, God loves each and every one of his children, and it hurts him to see us suffering.

It is very natural though, to think; “Why me?” We all do it. I did it, and I blamed God. I told Ben; “Why do so many other people have normal pregnancies? Why does she get to bring her baby home from the hospital but I don’t? Why does God allow these things to happen.” The answer is not something I want to here, but it is simple, the reason Will is this way, is because that was the way he developed. Will has an imperfect body, it’s as simple as that. When my parents divorced I blamed God again, I said; “Why do those parents stay together but mine don’t?” And sometimes things are just as simple as “because that’s the choice they made.” Why did all these people loose there homes in an earthquake? Because that is just when the plates decided to move.

I hate to be depressing today, but I promise there is hope. God knew that because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, we would then live in a fallen world. We would live in a world that was imperfect, where bad things happen, and He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ.
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.” Alma 7:11-1

I don’t believe God is the creator of these trials, I don’t believe He purposefully allows things to happen to us. I believe that bad things happen, because they happen, because people are not perfect, the world is not perfect. I believe that our baby developed this way because his body is an imperfect body, and my body is imperfect. And as much as we want to blame God, blame others, or blame ourselves. We can’t. And we shouldn’t. We need to stop telling people “Well, this bad thing has happened to you because God wanted it to.” I know that bad things have happened to me, they will continue to happen to me. But I also know I’m not alone, and I know this isn’t the end. God doesn’t want us to focus on the trial, but focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and his atonement, and depend on him.

“Many of you are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause you to cry out as did one great and faithful servant of God I knew well. His nurse heard him exclaim from his bed of pain, “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?” Mountains to Climb by President Henry B. Erying (Link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/mountains-to-climb?lang=eng)

 

 

 

I don’t believe in soulmates.

This blog post is going to be a little different, for this blog post I want to talk about marriage. I have mentioned this before, but I am a Marriage and Family studies major and I LOVE learning about marriage and the family. Something I want to ask people is, do you believe in soul mates? Do you believe that there is one person out there that is meant for you and only you? Some will say yes, others will say no. You know from the title already that I don’t believe in soul mates.
Here is a video from the TV show FRIENDS. Monica and Chandler are married, and Phoebe thinks she found Monica’s soul mate.

The main part I want to emphasize is the last part where Monica says; “I don’t believe in soul mates, I believe we fell in love and we work hard at our relationship. Some days we work really hard.” I believe that there are many guys out there that I could have married and my life would have been perfectly fine. I would still be in the church, had kids, graduated from school. And there are girls out there that Ben could have married and our lives would be very different, but they wouldn’t be bad or destroyed. Its not about finding the “right” person or finding “the one” but saying; “I chose you, and I will work my hardest to make this work and make our marriage celestial, lets work together to achieve those goals.”

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church , and gave himself for it;” Obviously, marriage is hard. Lets just be honest for a moment, ya’ll are gonna fight, and ya’ll probably already do fight. It’s normal. Both of you grew up in different households with different families. Ben and I grew up in completely different states, and different families. I am the oldest of four, I have two sisters and a brother with autism. My parents divorced when I was 16, I grew up in my adolescent years with only my mother present in my life. Ben is the youngest of eight, he has four brothers and three sisters. His parents are still happily married, and both have great influence in his life. How can people with two totally different backgrounds live together, see each other all time, and be able to go through the most stressful and sad things they will ever have to go through? Although love, is huge, I don’t think its the answer. Love is just part of it, there is also willingness, hard work, forgiveness, and other actions that help with this. But the biggest thing is action. You can’t just wait for your marriage to work out, or for it to fix itself. Just because you were married in the temple doesn’t mean your marriage is safe. Okay, I said it. It depends on the both of you working together towards the same cause. Understanding that you both are different, you grieve in different ways, cope in different ways, feel love in different ways, and you are there for each other.

The night Ben and I found out about out baby’s condition we didn’t sleep well, if at all. I would wake up every 15 minutes to an hour crying. Ben was a great example to me of the importance of letting him help me. Even though I was feeling terrible and heart broken, I was grateful that I wasn’t alone. Out of all the heartache, pain, and sadness I am just so happy I have someone to go through this trial with. Marriage is meant to be an adventure, it’s meant to bring out the best in us. I know I’ve only been married a little over a year, but I have learned a lot from being married, and from Ben.

I love this video for a lot of different reasons, but one quote I want to emphasize is when Elder Scott says; “I am confident that when, in our future, I see her again beyond the veil, we will recognize that we have become even more deeply in love. We will appreciate each other even more, having spent this time separated by the veil.” There are a lot of wonderful things about marriage, but I think the most interesting and wonderful thing about it is how after years and years of driving each other crazy, going through trials, children, grandchildren, job loss, and other hardships people become more and more in love. I don’t think it happens without us knowing, I think it is because after all those trials and hardships, and fights we still try hard to understand each other, stay together, and love each other.

“As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the lord – really, my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.” [President Gordon B. Hinckley about his wife, Marjorie]