Happy Easter everyone! I was sitting her reading through some friends' blogs while my husband and son are sleeping, and felt like I had some thoughts I should write down on my own blog.
We are at such an interesting stage of life right now. Matt is graduating in four short weeks, and we are starting to apply to jobs literally all over the country. It is so crazy to have no idea where we'll be in a few weeks, but I am SO grateful to know that Heavenly Father has a plan for our lives, and that no matter where we go that I'll have my sweet husband and our precious Ian. If I have them with me, I will be alright. I'm grateful to know that wherever we go will be what will be best for our personal growth and learning.
I feel like the past year and a half have been full of those growth and learning experiences for our family. One that is especially for my growth is our struggle to have another child. Ian is now 3 1/2, and he brings such joy to our home! We love him so much and just cannot get enough of him. I love those sweet moments when he'll kiss my cheek, or say, "Mommy, you're my best friend! You and Daddy and Ian are best friends!" It warms my heart to hear my sweet boy say, "You're a princess, Mommy," or "Mommy, you so pretty!" Or those moments when I've been impatient with Ian, and I'll apologize to him, and he'll hug me and tell me, "It's okay, Mommy! Jesus loves you!" What a tender mercy to have been blessed with this sweet child!
Then, there are those moments when Ian wants so badly to play with someone, or asks me if I have a baby in my stomach, even going so far as to stop and fall to his knees to ask Jesus to help there be a baby in Mommy's tummy. There are those moments when I think of all the fun he is missing out on by having a sibling close in age to him and my heart aches for him.
I'll be honest with you. There have been some times in this past 18 months that I have really struggled with this. I felt like both Matt and I had known it was time to start trying to have another child, and I struggled with why it was taking so long. I struggled when I was pretty sure I miscarried two or three times, and cried tears of heartache. I struggled when I heard of family or friends getting pregnant so easy, trying so hard to put on a happy face, an "I'm-not-aching-inside face." I have struggled when people tell me we should be having another child, or thoughtlessly asked "Why don't you have another one yet?" or "When are you going to have another baby?"
But you know what, I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't trade this trial for anything. I know it sounds cliche, but I am SO grateful for the things I have learned by going through this. I feel like I've learned SO many things. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has changed for the better, and my understanding of His plan for us has grown and deepened. There is no doubt in my mind that He loves me, that He knows and wants what is best for me, and He knows what circumstances to put in my life that will help mold me into who He knows I am capable of becoming, and though that growth and change hurts, I welcome it. I know that through it, my understanding of the eternal perspective grows and my faith and trust in my Heavenly Father grows. I have come to trust that His timing really is best in our lives. We cannot see the future, but He CAN. Maybe Ian needs this time with just Matt and I, or maybe we'll have multiple babies, or maybe our next child will be special needs and need extra care and attention that I couldn't have given if our children were closer in age. Maybe His plan for us is that we wait 10 or 20 years like Abraham and Sarah, and you know what, I am totally okay with that. I have been blessed to feel peace. I have been blessed to feel the joy of trying to live as He would have me live and the joy and peace that comes from trying to fully, truly submit my will to my Father's will.
I have come to better understand and appreciate what our Savior, Jesus Christ went through in Gethsemane. He asked, "Father, please remove this cup from me, but nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done." I have felt to pray as Jesus did, to please let this cup pass from me, please let us have another child. But, this is what I want, and I want more what Thou dost want for me, because I know that that is what will be best for me and my growth. I have poured out my soul, and felt the peace that the Comforter brings. That peace is like balm to my soul, it heals me and fills up the aches in me. It buoys me up so I can look to the future with hope in my heart, for I know that whatever the Lord promises, HE WILL FULFILL IT! That doesn't mean right now, or on our timetable, but when it is truly best for us.
I feel like there have been times in the past 18 months when I have come to a crossroads in life, crossroads that you never think will happen to you. There were times when I really wondered if I had a testimony, if I really knew that Heavenly Father was there, if I really believed that He had a plan for me. Though there were soul-wrenching times of anguish, I WOULD NOT CHANGE A THING!! I have grown so much, and my testimony has been fortified. I know without a doubt that my Father in Heaven knows me, He loves me, and He is in control. As a parent, I know that there are times when Ian asks for things that aren't good for him, or times when I have to say no or not yet. It's hard to see him keep begging for something that is not in his best interest, or for something he cannot have yet but that I can give to him later. Recently, those moments have given me a glimpse into how our Father in Heaven must feel when we ask for things that He wants to give and knows He will grant us at a later time, or that really wouldn't be what we need in life to become who He knows we are meant to become. He loves us so much, I'm sure He feels an ache for us and is full of sorrow to see us anguish so much over something. But, I know that He sees the bigger plan. Father in Heaven knows that if He gave us what we wanted all the time, right when we wanted it, we wouldn't learn the things we needed to, and that He would be depriving us of critical learning experiences. Just like any loving parent, He knows He has to let us fall and get hurt sometimes, but He is right there with us through it all, already reaching out to comfort us and lift us back to our feet. I am grateful He loves me enough to tell me not yet. I am grateful my loving Father is helping me to grow, and opening my eyes to new understanding through the Spirit of the Holy Ghost.
I am grateful that my experiences have helped change the way I view others, to be slower to jump to conclusions about what is going on in people's lives, and quicker to be understanding. I am grateful my trials have helped me be more empathetic to what others are going through, and better able to offer comfort and an understanding heart. I have been amazed at how many other people are struggling with the same thing as I am, and I just want people to know that they are not alone in this, though sometimes you feel so isolated and alone as seemingly everyone around you is pregnant and having child number three or six. You are not alone! The neatest thing to me is that the Savior knows how I'm feeling, and He knows how to comfort me and offer me peace, if I am willing to turn to Him and accept His help. I'm so grateful He is always there for me, always reaching out and willing and wanting to be there for me. I just have to accept His help.
So, as cliche as it may sound, I am grateful that a loving Father sees fit to try me, to test me, and to teach me. I am grateful for these learning experiences, and I'm grateful that He tailors my experiences perfectly for me, as I know He does for each one of His children. I hope I'll always be able to look at my experiences with the attitude of using those circumstances to grow closer to my Father in Heaven and my Savior, and to try to see what He wants me to learn. So as we come to yet another crossroads in life, with a destination I can't yet see, I know that if we go act and do, and follow the Spirit, we will end up where He knows we need to be, wherever that may be.