Ever since I was little, I have dreamed of becoming a mother. But as the months passed for my husband, Chad, and me without any success, I started feeling distraught as to why the Lord was not granting me this righteous desire. Was my faith in Him not strong enough? Was He punishing me for something I had done wrong? Did He not believe I was ready to be a mother? My thoughts continuously revolved around this unfulfilled desire, and consequently I felt unable to progress.
Over time I received revelation “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30) that helped me recognize that I was asking the wrong questions. I don’t need to know why I am in this situation, but I do need to know what God would have me do about it. It became clear to me that Heavenly Father wanted me to use my experiences to learn and serve—not to stagnate.
One passage of scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 98:1–2, has been particularly enlightening to me. As I read these verses, I feel like the Lord is speaking directly to me:
“Verily I say unto you my friends, fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks;
“Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.”
These verses inspire me to be grateful for what I do have as I wait patiently for my righteous desires to be fulfilled. As I have endeavored to do so, I have drawn closer to Heavenly Father and gained a greater understanding of the principles of faith, hope, and charity.
I have learned that faith should not be focused on a specific outcome but rather on the Savior. At one point I realized that I did indeed have sufficient faith in Christ’s ability to help us conceive, but where my faith was lacking was in His ability to succor me through my trials. Now I not only believe in the Lord’s power but also in His will. I can have faith that whether or not we conceive, the Lord can help me lead a happy, fruitful life.
Prior to coming to this realization, I would fluctuate between excitement regarding the possibility of being pregnant and the dread of the alternative. I mistakenly equated hope with the fleeting periods of excited anticipation, and since they consistently ended in disappointment and sadness, I wondered if perhaps I would be better off to not hope at all.
As I prayed, pondered, and studied this question, Heavenly Father helped me see how I was misunderstanding the gospel meaning of hope. I now know that the true nature of hope is not fleeting, but firm (see Alma 34:41). Hope is a bright outlook on the future, a conviction that things will work out, an optimistic sense that the Lord will sustain us—no matter the results of our uncertainties. Like faith, my hope is not limited to a specific time or event but is in the gospel of Jesus Christ and all the beauty it can bring to my life.
One of the most beautiful insights I have gained through this process is that the Holy Ghost is trying to communicate to us the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They want us to feel Their love not only for others but also for ourselves. I used to dwell on my inadequacies and wonder if they were the reason Heavenly Father had not entrusted me with the opportunity for motherhood. This line of thinking was not only counterproductive; it was preventing me from feeling the love of my Father in Heaven, accessing the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and receiving the comfort available from the Holy Ghost. As I have worked to accept Their love for me, I have been able to break this destructive habit of negative thinking and have been strengthened to progress spiritually and better prepare myself for motherhood.
During this process of personal revelation, I have come to recognize that my trials are not so unique. The lessons I am learning could be acquired from many other circumstances, including being single, unemployed, or disabled. In these situations, the Lord asks us to “wait patiently” on Him not because He has abandoned us, but because He loves us and wants us to draw closer to Him. I know from the scriptures that if we stay true to our Savior, He will grant us the righteous desires of our hearts, whether in this life or in the life to come. But until then, we can have peace in the knowledge that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good” (D&C 98:3).