Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unseen Things

september 23, 2014 we lost our last baby.
The vases representing the children we've lost.

That was the 4th loss we'd gone through, and I wasn't sure how I was going to get through this one. I was further along than the other 3, and I had asked Quenton for a priesthood blessing when I thought that things were not going well. The blessing mentioned that everything was going to be okay, that the baby would be fine and that I'd be fine. Then I lost my baby. After coming home from the hospital, I did my best to avoid thinking about what happened, and, more specifically, what the blessing said. What was more difficult for me to deal with, was that with our very first baby that we had lost (back in 2008) I had received a priesthood blessing that said the exact same thing; the baby would be fine, I would be fine, everything would go as planned. So, with baby #4 no longer with us, I was angry. I did NOT understand what I was supposed to do. Why were we receiving these blessings when I wasn't understanding what Heavenly Father was trying to tell me? What I heard was NOT what happened. 
Then Quenton and I talked. 
We talked about our babies, the ones we had lost. We talked about the blessings, we talked about if they were waiting for us. I expressed my frustrations and my doubts, and we shared our feelings. Quent is the best husband. Ever. I love talking to him about anything and everything, because he is so honest with me. If he has the answer, he'll tell me. If he doesn't, he'll tell me that too. Anyway, the conclusion that we both came to was that our kids are okay, those that are here in this life and in the next. I also received a personal confirmation of this that is very close to my heart. We believe that the big picture helped us to see and understand the blessings I had received. I didn't get it before, possibly because I wasn't ready for that knowledge. Quenton and I have grown a lot spiritually in the 8 years we've been together, and I believe that the knowledge we've gained especially through that last loss was for now. We had other lessons to learn before. We had to rely on faith.

To a lot of people that can be a very difficult concept. When I think about faith, I think about the confirmations I've had when I've relied on faith to see me through trials in my life, or to look at the results from relying on faith to make major decisions in my life; getting baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, moving to another country, serving a full-time mission, dating someone who had fallen away from believing in God, marrying that same someone, etc. Obviously I had ideas of what would happen when I made these choices, but relying on God to see me through, and asking for guidance in doing my best to make the right/best decision for me really did help me along this path of my crazy life. No, I don't always receive an answer, and I rarely receive an answer that I want or am the most comfortable with, but THAT'S OK. I've come to learn that without these trials in our lives, without having a higher accountability for our actions, how else are we to grow and stretch and progress? I believe know that I have a loving Father in heaven who knows what's best for me, and especially when I don't understand why things happen, I must rely on that faith that I've learned about in the Book of Mormon in Ether 12:6, "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." I have seen that. It wasn't until we suffered through the trials of losing our babies, and could do nothing more than believe in a God who loves us and our children, that we received a very distinct, very clear understanding of where our children are, and that Heavenly Father has indeed kept His promises.

Fast forward to last week.
We had found out in December that we were expecting again. January held a lot of stressful appointments, and ultrasounds, but by the end we saw a heartbeat and believed that everything was going to be ok with this baby. Then, last Tuesday I had an ultrasound to get proper measurements of the baby, and we were told that they couldn't find the heartbeat anymore, and with some more blood work it was confirmed that our baby had died.
We were not ready for this.
We now have 5 children in heaven.
Deep breath.
This is not a club that one aspires to belong to, but one that we've been inducted into nonetheless. For us, this isn't new territory, but it's still a devastating loss. It's been almost a week and I still have not miscarried, which adds to the stress and the sadness that keeps threatening to take over my emotions. Yes, I still get sad. I am still fighting with depression. Most days I would rather lay in bed. Not just to sleep, but to avoid everything else. Having faith has not made me immune to the darkness that I have felt during difficult times, but it has allowed me to see past it, even if it's just for a moment, and get a glimpse of the eternal perspective. I also have my loving husband to support me, my 3 beautiful children who are truly helping me make it through each hour of each day, and my belief that there is something more than just this life. We are not here to suffer loss and heartache with nothing to show for it.
God knows us.
I. Know. This.
 I have felt His love and comfort. Does that mean that because I have faith, nothing horrible or tragic will happen to me or my family? Most definitely not.

"Expecting a trouble-free life because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian."
- Jeffrey R. Holland

I know that when I have had hope in things unseen, believed that Heavenly Father would guide me, had faith that I would make it through the struggles in my life (even if that means just barely keeping my head above water most days), that I will receive knowledge line upon line. It is almost never when I want it, but it is most definitely when I need it.

The greatest blessings in my life. :)