I always say that it’s the things we don’t expect that make life tough. We can mentally prepare ourselves for many types of life situations or circumstances but still there will be things we don’t see coming and those things always seem to be the most difficult.
For some reason, I was called to do this and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Whether that’s to help someone else, or strengthen my faith, this is my story—the moments that make me, me. It’s God’s plan and there is beauty and love in every moment and phase of life, if we are open to receiving it. God has not forsaken us.
I did not get to do everything we usually do during the season; among many things gingerbread houses didn’t get made and Santa had a plate of store-bought cookies on Christmas eve, but it didn’t matter. I got to watch my other children serve one another and help me. I watched as my oldest helped the younger ones wrap their presents and get them under the tree. I got to have quiet moments rocking and caring for a newborn baby as I thought of and celebrated the birth of my Savior.
After I had my baby, more and more of my friends ran across trials of infertility, miscarriage, and losing babies. I realized that in a very small way I knew how they felt, I could empathize. Any time a woman is denied that greatest gift of motherhood, it is agonizing.
In that moment, crying on the bed in my foster home, I needed so much. I felt like a whale in a desert and there was no chance of rain. I worried that there was nothing I could do to change my life trajectory. I worried I would end up the same as the other kids in foster care and my family– with so much hurt, wrong choices, and only the mirage of love. I wanted to give up. But, in that darkest moment, I started to feel something change in me.
I was devastated by what I was hearing. By the end of the meeting, I was sobbing across from him, feeling so defeated.
I had worked so hard and so long all year, and my boss had no confidence in my ability as a teacher. Of course I did not like hearing those words after giving everything I had, but even more so, I felt so disappointed in myself and in God.
I felt like my relationship with Him was becoming more personal. Though I knew I loved Him, I never thought about how much He loved me. I never thought about how He knows me and knows the desires of my heart. My heart began to swell within me.
My sweet gift is now with our Savior—our greatest Gift from God. Through Jesus’ life, ministry and sacrifice, we can be made whole as mothers, as daughters of God and as a family. We look forward to the day when we will see our little Nathan again, because we will see him through our Savior. Christ has given us the greatest gift of all—a family united for eternity.
As I have looked for His helping hand in these seemingly small life moments, I have been able to see how Heavenly Father has guided and led me to be where I am for a bigger purpose than I could see through my mortal lense. I have not only seen that motherhood is valued by God, but more importantly I’ve learned that what I do is not who I am.
We were praying, and fasting, and paying tithing. We were faithful and diligent, so where was our overflowing of blessings? At this point we would have been happy with even a trickle of the blessings we sought after. But the job inquiries went unanswered and the interviews led to polite rejections.
I have experienced in my life that as I have become comfortable and appreciative of who I am, faults and all, my ability to more freely love others has increased. I have been able to replace fear of others with an appreciation for others as I have rid myself of judgements.
He spoke all of 35 english words and yet had zero problem communicating with us, had a gigantic scar across his neck he got from a guy in the sewer trying to steal a phone he had, and had countless missing teeth. He seemed like the jackpot in Romanian homeless tour guides.
I had no idea how priceless this man would actually be.
This to me is one definition of faith – moving forward without knowing everything, when you feel the weight of self-doubt, the conflict between the concern of a mother and obligation to a deadline. Moving forward because you heard an answer in your heart and you knew you had to do it.