As the weeks passed, I began looking toward the birth of my fourth child. I was in the final stages of my doctoral dissertation, with deadlines fast approaching, but with the events of the past many weeks, I knew that I would not finish on time. Thankfully, deadlines were extended because of my personal situation, and I was able to focus on my pregnancy. I began preparing myself to give birth yet a fourth time. Continue reading
Spencer started kindergarten within a couple of weeks of our family crisis. As my oldest child, he was always my “guinea pig” for anything new that was on the horizon. He was the first to sit, crawl, and walk. He was the first to attend Primary and Cub Scouts, and the first to play on a baseball team. He was the first to ride a bicycle, the first to go to a friend’s house to play, and the first to go to a birthday party. He was the first to learn to color, to read and write, and the first to count to “10”. He was the first to take piano lessons. As he grew and developed he taught me so much about children and their needs. Continue reading
Those tumultuous days and weeks instilled in me a deep longing for peace and comfort. I prayed constantly and pleaded for deliverance. Even with the miracles that were manifest in my life, the sorrow was so deep that when I poured out my heart to God, I couldn’t make sense of what I was feeling. It was a struggle to feel heaven’s inspiration because my emotions were so intense. I longed for the precious early morning hours of days gone by when I would feel the gentle promptings of the Spirit. In my search for answers, I turned to the scriptures daily. Continue reading
Even with the storms of life raging around me, my belief in God never wavered, but my belief in myself did waver. I began questioning who I was and I found myself learning lessons about life that I didn’t want to learn! Those lessons were not part of my plan, or so I thought. I had everything mapped out: education, mission, marriage, children, career, church service, and the list goes on. I had always known there would be bumps in the road, but this was excruciating. I had always believed that if I wanted something badly enough, I just needed to work hard and be persistent. I needed to have faith and be obedient. My view of life was quite simple. Continue reading
Walking out of the bishop’s office that first Sunday, I stared at the paper in my hand, a referral for personal counseling. My words to him were still echoing in my head, “I need help. I cannot do this alone.” I did need help. I felt completely at a loss. I was in a fog, and moving about as if I were in a dream. I was still confused and didn’t know what to do or think. Spencer was starting kindergarten in a week, Ben and Rebecca were very active preschoolers, and yes, I was pregnant! As with my other pregnancies, I was nauseated day and night. I was very tired, and my emotional reserves were gone. Continue reading
Seventeen years ago, as the realization set in that I was facing life alone as a single mother, I stood on the brink of utter despair, feeling a darkness and emptiness that was suddenly tangible. I wept constantly for days and weeks. I began to question my place in this thing called life and I felt a severe pain unlike anything I had experienced before. My memories are so vivid and intense on the one hand, and far away and vague on the other hand. Even to this day, it feels as if I am watching an extremely dramatic movie of someone else’s life. Continue reading
A few days ago I had an experience with an acquaintance who I will call Edward (not his real name). I felt he was treating us unfairly in a particular situation so I spoke to him and tried to stand up for myself. He immediately lashed out at me, defending his actions, and gave me the “right act.” He disagreed with my assessment of the incident. He was very angry with me and let me know that he was right and I was wrong! I was shaken up a bit, and recounted the heated exchange of words to a few members of my family.
My brother, in trying to shed light on the situation, suggested that maybe Edward had not had a good day, or perhaps hadn’t had a good holiday. As I stepped back and thought about that, I knew that could very well be the case and I began to feel a bit of compassion for him. Continue reading