When I was pregnant with William and we found out about his deformity, Ben and I had many decisions to make. One big decision we had to make was if Will should be delivered via c-section or a vaginal delivery. Every one of our doctors advised us to have a vaginal birth. The reason for this was because since Will’s chance for survival was extremely low me having a c-section would cause too much risk on me when Will would die anyway. We didn’t have a single doctor advise us to have a c-section even though we felt that was what we should do. Ben and I had decided to take a week to pray and converse with the Lord on what we should do. We took time to go to the temple and Ben and I both had the impression to have a c-section. We all know how William’s birth turned out. In the ultrasound doctors diagnosed him with encephalocele which wasn’t what he had, and he was rediagnosed after birth. We were even told that if we were to have a vaginal delivery William would have most likely died.
This lesson has taught me many things, one thing it has taught me is that when we go through trials we are not alone. We are provided with help from our Father in Heaven, Jesus Christ, and from others on both sides of the veil. It has taken me a long time to realize that God won’t take my trials away, but instead he will help me to face them. In Jeffery R. Holland’s book; For Times of Trouble he says:
“Some paths we feel we just can’t walk. Some mountains seem just too high to climb. Some steps are just too difficult to take. When that is so, heaven does intervene, but often it is not to smooth out the path or remove the mountain or shorten the steps. More often than not, God sends help in a different way. He makes us stronger and more sure-footed. In effect, he gives us bigger feet, stronger legs, a firmer back, more stiffened shoulders. He deals with us rather than with the problem we face.” -Jeffery R. Holland
I love how he says; “He deals with us rather than with the problem we face.” I was a little bitter about this idea at first. At the beginning of this trial with Will I would have done anything to take his deformity away. To have him be a “normal” baby like many of my friends. But when I look at how far I’ve come, how far Ben has come, how far our relationship has grown, and how beautiful our family is; I can’t help but be grateful for the trial I have been given. When I look at my overall goal in this life, which is to return back to my Heavenly Father and live with him, I know that everything I have gone through in my life has helped me to reach that goal.
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” -Ezra Taft Benson
Trails and adversity as hard and painful it might be, we can’t help but see how it has shaped us, and made us better people. Going through this trial with Will has made me more knowledgeable about the human body and special needs children, it has made me more sympathetic and empathetic for others, I have become more patient and loving towards my husband and son. I have increased my faith in Jesus Christ and have discovered my own strength. Those things I have learned and developed make me grateful for where I am and excited for where I am going. When we allow God to work on us rather than our problems, we become the best of ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, adversity is hard and we all have those days when we wish everything is okay. Where we break down and have bad days. That’s normal and okay, everyone does it. Don’t forget the eternal truth of Christ’s atonement where one day all will be made right and all this will be for our good. That of we endure it well we can be reunited with our families, and with our Eternal Father in Heaven.
“Our purpose in this life is to grow in godly ways, to be enlarged in such virtues as faith, hope, and charity, patience, perseverance, and strength. If that growth must come through sorrow or distress or grief, then so be it. It will be alright in the end … We are pursuing a divine plan that will one day lift us above all distress, but it will take many prayers-and many answers to them-before we are victorious.” -Jeffery R. Holland.