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I never sought after having children. Growing up I was never around children or babies. I’m the youngest of 3 and my cousins we’re not too far behind me in age. Not only were babies foreign to me but for the most part there were no examples around that it was something to work towards. I never knew anyone with a large family and definitely no one I knew had ever heard of forever families. There were other things to strive for— your own careers and dreams and desires to chase after and life to live.
I was the awkward one that really would tell you no if you offered me to hold your baby, and after I told your toddler ‘Hi’ I’d be at a loss of words because I didn’t know how to talk to them.
I didn’t want to be a mom. It’s not that I had feelings against it, it was just never a thought in my mind towards the matter.
Then I learned about the gospel and did something I never pictured myself doing. Believing in God. But not just believing in Him, but believing Him. The more I learned and knew and loved and relied on Him, the more my desires changed.
Though I was adamant about waiting at least 2 years after being married to have a baby, and as I can imagine this is a pattern in most of our lives, God was quick to tell me otherwise. It was just a month after we knelt at the alter that He told us His plans while we were in His house. I wanted just ‘us’ time and Ben was an unemployed full-time student, he would have hated to be expecting while he’s in his first semester of school without his share of income to provide as the patriarch of our house.
We just celebrated our sweet baby girl Gracie’s 1st birthday! She was the first baby I ever held, if you can believe that. And being in labor for 43 hours, she really made quite the entrance. I was told in a priesthood blessing that Gracie picked Ben and I to be her parents. Right when she was born, I saw my husband’s reaction before I saw our daughter. He broke down into tears and he collapsed on my stomach. In that exact moment I finally understood the importance of families and I had, more intensely than ever before in my life, felt physical love and approval from God.
Taken from my husband’s blog post, ‘Hello, God:’ “When I saw my beautiful girl come out at 12:58 pm on June 18th, 2014, I wept. I didn’t just cry or shed a tear, I put my head on my wife’s shoulder and I seriously wept my eyes out. It was seriously the most beautiful and coolest thing I have ever seen or experienced… I’m humbled that He trusts me to be Gracie’s father. God trusts two imperfect people to be the parents of one of His perfect and innocent children… Seeing my baby be born, I don’t believe in God anymore. I know God. He is real. I know He exists.”
Becoming a mom has definitely surprised me on every level. I’m surprised how much I love it. Surprised me how much more happiness are in my every days. How the littlest of things completely consume me in the greatest possible ways—a laugh from her, her clapping at the most bizarre yet perfect times, when she learns something on her own, when she talks to herself in the mirror, her cute little bum crawling away while trying to put a diaper on, that look she gives me right before she picks up or touches something she knows she shouldn’t touch, and even her sad face! I’m surprised how much more my heart could love.
When she looks me in the eyes I feel the spirit. Time freezes. I see a glimpse into heaven. And the honest truth is I get more out of my scripture study when I read in her room.
Surprised at how much she’s taught me already! Shoot, how much she taught me while I was pregnant before she was even born. Surprised by how much more I am able to do in life. My husband and I travel and adventure more with her than we ever did before. And I’m surprised and grateful that, although I am changed for the better, I am still me. I’m still silly, still awkward, still young at heart, and fun and adventurous and still actively dating my husband.
I hate to imagine life any different than how it is right now. It breaks my heart that I almost avoided getting pregnant because of my own narrow vision of how I think my life should go. Though there were plenty of reasons why having a baby would be difficult or bad timing, things were and still are just right. Always having what we needed, always being able to comfortably provide and always being blessed more than we could have imagined in ways we never would have thought of. Grateful I listened. Grateful we trusted His ways. Grateful Gracie picked me to be her mom.
There are those struggling with moving forward out of fear of their circumstances or pride in their own desires and vision of how they think their life should be. The Lord always provides and always blesses and it is always profoundly better than what we could have ever imagined for ourselves— greater than we even knew was available!
I know there are those struggling with the painful trial of infertility, and having had my own child my heart aches so much just at the thought of having to be asked to pass through such heartache. Take a deep breath. Put a smile on your face. And remember you have a God who is on your side. And this exact second, He is mindful of you.
God’s ways, though usually more difficult, truly is the best way. We must never lose sight that we personally have a God and we must know that everything He does is to help us succeed. We must never forget whose hands we are in. Because when we remember that, fear and anger can never be an option.
‘Love where you are. A perfect reminder when things are hard to not spend your time looking ahead pleading for things to be over and things to be different. But just to stop. Stop looking backwards. Stop yearning and waiting forwards. Today, where you are right now, is a joy. Because today, right now, is the best place to be. Because happiness does await us in this day. Because His blessings and promises are here, right now.’
With God life is perfect. Perfect to learn from. To grow from. And to receive the greatest there is to ever exist. Move forward. Boldly. Confidently. Fearlessly. Faithfully. Forever.
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