Monday, September 30, 2013

I know.

Yesterday as I sat in my Sunday meetings I was compelled to speak and didn't. It seems like every 1st Sunday I feel the need to get up and bear my testimony that He lives, loves us, and understands more than we could ever imagine about where we are going and who we are and what we truly need; yet month after month I get nauseated by the thought of the long walk up the aisle of the Chapel and wearing my emotions on my sleeve for all to see - friends, family, strangers alike. Bearing my testimony is hard for me. Which is why in the past two years that we have been together my husband has never seen or heard me bear witness of the things I know and feel to be true. That is over 24 opportunities and promptings I have lost and suppressed. From moments of protection and gratitude, loss and comfort, to the joy of my beautiful daughter and the blessing she is - none of these have been expressed to those around me.

I want to create my own opportunity and share that with you now.

This past year has been full of emotions - I became violently ill while pregnant and was filled with the fear that we may be losing our baby. I prayed so fervently that she would be spared and safe. That I would be given the chance to meet her and care for her in this life. I wanted so badly to be her mom. We both came out of the operation safely and I got my baby girl I am so lucky and couldn't picture any day without her. She is truly what keeps me going and getting up each day.
However, a few months later - we had terrible loss in our family as my sister who was also pregnant, and due just 2 weeks after me, lost her baby girl, Caroline, at about 31 wks. My heart could not be more broken. I didn't know what to do, how to comfort, or what to say. Yet I was comforted. I was blessed.
One night as a new mother with PPD, unable to nurse or find joy in my baby.
I was blessed.
Our little hobbitty was up ALL night and my husband had finals in the morning; so I let him sleep
and I rocked and I sang as she cried and cried, refusing to eat (or anything else).
And I cried and cried as we rocked, out of ideas and out of energy.
Then I began to pray and I kept praying; I needed help. Any kind of help.
Then as clear as if my husband were saying it to me. I knew. That she was God's and that I was God's. I am loved. and that Christ's Atonement was for me. He understood how I felt
and would have done it for me alone in THAT moment as a hurting mother
with a crying baby just as much as He loved and would've done it for my sister who
was bearing a lot greater pain.
And I was crying again, but this time for all the right reasons, I knew that He is real
and that God's plan is real and that families are eternal.
I am depressed. It isn't something I have quite come to terms with but I am dealing with it and I am trying. Everything post-partum hit me 1,000,000 times harder than I imagined. I pictured motherhood as nursing and rocking and tummy time and snuggles. What I got was a uterine infection, extreme moods, a colicky baby, an apartment messier than ever, and a baby who refused to be swaddled and had to be held to sleep. Where it felt like the only thing she loved was her swing and the t.v. As hard as I tried nursing was not possible and in my eyes; I was a failure (for all struggling/new mothers ).
And amidst all this -  we moved over 1000 miles from everyone we know and love to a new land and a new life. But by following God's promptings we have been blessed with amazing people and opportunities. I love MI and am grateful we are here. I have been given chances to grow and feel the Lord's comfort ever more.
And tragedy came again. This last week Mr. Sam's sister; and a close, dear friend of mine, just lost her baby boy at 20 wks. This loss is particularly hard because we can't be there to spend time with family and help to comfort them in their loss. However, my testimony has again been strengthened. I know that families are blessed by God and that we will have a chance to be with these babies in the next life and that He can heal us. I love this gospel so much and am amazed by the strength of mothers and the peace the Atonement provides. This gospel is true and changes my life each day. I am strengthened and blessed by this knowledge and want to share it with all of you.
I don't know if this was helpful to any of you, but I feel so overwhelmed by the chance I have to share this gospel and feel His love. I wanted to share it and I wanted to feel it. Thank you for letting me bear testimony of the things I know.
“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings