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Lesson of Life
My Life Has a Plan
What Season Are You In?
Gratitude in Trials
Teach the Children
Love of Others
Following the Promptings
Garbage In, Garbage Out
Needs vs. Wants
Wickedness vs. Joy
Love of Others
The Least of These My Brethren
Small Miracles and Answered Prayers
Power of Prayer
Did You Think to Pray
Death, Life, Joy, and Regrets
The only faith that wears well and holds its color in all weathers, is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience.
Dreams grow holy put in action; work grows fair through starry dreaming. But where each flows on unmingling, both are fruitless and in vain.
Lesson of Life
As I was pondering what experience I would choose for my first Lesson of Life, one immediately jumped into my mind.
I have been married for 9 years, and my husband and I have been unable to bear children. Although I would be thrilled to adopt, the Spirit has spoken to me very clearly and told me that adoption is not the path to parenthood for me and my husband.
Last summer we were pursuing advanced treatment for infertility, and went through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Two healthy embryos were transferred into my womb. The morning of the transfer, as the doctor and labtechnician left me alone in the room for 30 minutes to rest after the transfer, I felt the presence of the Holy Ghost more strongly than I ever have before. I spoke to my children, called them by name for I knew who they were. It was a very holy period of time.
Less than five days later, I lost the babies.
It was the most difficult experience of my life, one that I had never imagined would happen to me. When I first started spotting after the transfer, I felt a calm sense of peace that everything would be all right. Because I had been praying fervently for this procedure to work, and because of the counsel I had received in priesthood blessings, I thought that the feelings of all-rightness would be that I would be able to keep these babies. I literally did not think I could bear to live should the procedure fail.
But once again Heavenly Father showed me how I am stronger than I think. In the days and weeks after the loss of my precious babies, I struggled from day to day and sometimes even from moment to moment just to breathe. I received an outpouring of love from my family and from a group of sisters that I met on the internet (email@example.com, if you're interested).
One day in November I was sitting in sacrament meeting. During the sacrament hymn, I listened to the words, "the courage to accept Thy will." I wondered if it was Heavenly Father's will that I continue pursuing treatment for infertility, or if I should give up and accept the fact that I will not be a mother in this life.
The speaker who was scheduled to give the second talk was ill, and someone else had filled in for her on short notice. I tried to listen, but found my mind wandering again, asking the same question I had been asking while the sacrament was being passed.
Suddenly knowledge and understanding was being poured into me. I was told not to worry about whether I would become a mother in this life. I was told to think of things that I have dreamed about doing for years, and make a list of them. I frantically pulled a slip of paper out of my purse and started listing things, including finishing a book that I had been writing, going to Egypt, various other things. Then the Holy Ghost told me to find out who I was, to live life to its very fullest, and seize every moment to live. He told me to have joy.
My whole life changed in that brief moment. I saw all the ways that I had suppressed my own desires, my own personality, in a desire to fit in with the other sisters in the ward. A desire, I might add, that was futile, because I never have fit in, no matter how hard I tried.