My husband, Dan, and I had always desired to have children, but when the months of hoping and praying for a child turned into years, we grieved and prayed for the help and strength necessary to endure our difficult trials. Two and a half years after we began trying to conceive, we found that we were expecting a baby only to learn a week later that the pregnancy had ended in a miscarriage. I was heartbroken.
At that time my husband gave me a blessing, and he was inspired to say that this was part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us. He said that God knew of our righteous desire to have children and that He would bless us with one, but this would happen in His time, not ours.
This blessing gave me peace and comfort and helped me to endure the challenges that were ahead, including my parents being diagnosed one after the other with cancer.
Through the next several years, I learned that the Atonement is real and powerful; when I was especially discouraged or felt like no one else understood the pain I was experiencing, I learned to rely on the Savior. I discovered that His Atonement is not just for those who have sinned but also for those who are experiencing pain due to circumstances beyond their control. Whatever our situation, the Savior knows how we feel (see Alma 7:11–13).
There were many times during those long, difficult years that I felt His love and the love of Heavenly Father as I went about my day-to-day activities, including serving in my Church calling and attending the temple as often as I could. I found joy in working with high school students in my job and playing with my nieces and nephews. (I have an aunt and uncle who never had children of their own, so doing these productive things with my life came in large part because of their example.) These children in my life weren’t my own, but I still had opportunities to nurture them.
That wasn’t always easy. I remember rocking my baby niece to sleep one time and just crying because I wished she were mine. And when I encountered those difficult and tender situations, I tried to take life just one day at a time while trusting that the things I had been promised in that priesthood blessing from my husband and the things both of us had been promised in our patriarchal blessings would come to pass. I didn’t see how that would happen, but I maintained hope and trust in a loving Heavenly Father.
I also felt that He expected us to do our part in gaining the blessings we desired. My husband and I prayed earnestly for direction as we proceeded with medical help; over a four-year period, we had the help of 10 doctors. Although we experienced many setbacks along the way, there were also many, many miracles.
Our beautiful, healthy son, Mason, was born in March of 2010, and we brought him home from the hospital on my 30th birthday.
I know that it can be difficult to maintain faith in the middle of adversity, but I found strength from doing so and in remembering that Heavenly Father loves His children and keeps His promises. These challenges have, I feel, made me a better person, have given me more empathy for others in difficult circumstances, and have helped me be more appreciative of the wonderful blessings Heavenly Father has given me, including my precious family.