July 25, 2013

When there is no miracle...

So, what if I would have died?  What about those of you who have had children or loved ones who have died?  

Why does God bless some with miracles and not others?

Perhaps I'm not the one to answer these questions... I'm not the one with all the answers, I'm certainly one with many questions.

My opinion is this-- there are ALWAYS miracles.  Always.  We just need eyes to SEE and proper perspective.  My religion and an understanding of the great plan of happiness, helps me keep proper perspective.  

Our church sends missionaries all across the world teaching this plan- because when you understand the plan of salvation then you can feel loved amidst your trials on Earth.

Death is not a sign that God abandoned you.  Sometimes death is the miracle.

 I have a friend who spent some time in Africa with children dying of Aids.  She said she has never been in a more holy room.  She said she could feel angels surrounding these sweet babies as they passed.  I had never heard that before, but I have always imagined it to be true.

I remember hearing the tragic story of some young children playing hide and seek who suffocated in the trunk of a car.  At their funeral, an apostle said these girls were held in the arms of a loving Savior and all their fear and pain had been washed away.

Perhaps my religion is just a mental bandaid helping me to make peace with all the tragedy in the world.  If that is true, I would still believe, because feeling peace amidst tragedy is more helpful than feeling angst.

But, I just know these miracles are real.  I've felt them.  I've seen them in my life and in the lives of those I love.

I wish I could tell you all the close friends I know who have struggled with major life tragedies.  

My sister-in-law had cancer young, twice.  Then they gave birth to an angel baby born without a skull.  He lived only a few hours.  Both trials were physically and mentally really, really hard.  And both trials were made beautiful with God's tender mercies.  The miracles are ALWAYS there if you look for them.

One of my favorite prayers as I live out this trial of mine is, "Bless me with eyes to see your hand in my life."

I have close friends who have been raped.  I know beautiful, good women whose husbands had an affair, many affairs, who are addicted to porn.  I know many who struggle with cancer, some who live and some who die.  I have friends raising children with mild or severe disabilities and friends caring for mentally or physically ill parents.

You know these people too!  We ALL have a story.  Life is about learning and growing and finding happiness along the way.

Many I know have been physically, sexually, or mentally abused.  I have friends whose baby died of SIDS, or who have had miscarriages.  There are many who struggle with infertility, drug addictions, who want to marry and raise a family and do not have that opportunity.  So many parents struggle with children who struggle.  There are so many financial worries.  

Oh how my heart aches for those of you I know or know of or don't know, who have lost children.  Children die.  It is so, so sad-- but still laced with tender mercies and miracles.

My bishop had a five year old daughter who died after she hurt herself doing a somersault on the trampoline during a family night with her whole family sitting on the trampoline around her.  As they returned home from the hospital, each member of the family found a hidden love note written by that little girl the day she died.  That, is a tender mercy.

My dear friend had a 18 year old, beautiful, talented, good sister who was diagnosed with lung cancer.  A pharmacist mis-filled her morphine drip giving her a lethal dose of medicine.  Despite many prayers, blessings, and fasting, this young girl died.  The peace and healing for her family came moment by moment, and continues as the years pass.

Death, sickness, pain, etc., these are all hard trials.  God does not take away our pain-- but He does bless us as we endure.  

I'm sure many who are wiser than me would attest to what I'm saying-- yes, life sucks sometimes.  The sun always shines through the storm!!  You can see the sun rays through the clouds, if you look.  And at the end, don't ever forget to look up and see the rainbow!!

Even though I LIVED, my life is hard.  I did get many amazing miracles!! But, there are many miracles that I didn't get.  I didn't get an easy pregnancy.  I didn't get an easy delivery.  God let me get as close to dying as I could get and then saved me.  I KNOW that He is with us always, especially as He lets us suffer and grow.

Dear friends, i know that so much of life is happy, good and pain-free.  I'm getting back to that place.  But today, my soul aches for those of you who are right here in the middle.  And even as I ache for your struggle, I'm so excited for you!!  

God is with us!! It is beautiful to see His hand and know again and again that you are loved and that you are not alone.  In those darkest moments, He is there.  Please, please SEE Him.  Open your heart to His peace amidst the storm.

Don't you love the story of Christ walking on water?  When Peter walks towards Christ, he is fine.  When Peter looks at the waves around he starts to sink and Christ immediately saves him.  

Don't look at the waves around you, look towards the Savior and you will be able to walk a few more steps each day.  As you are sinking, take His outstretched hand and He will save you.  He saves us all.

Another story I love comes from Mormon pioneer history.

One of the best-known and best-loved stories of the Mormon pioneers is the testimony of Francis Webster, a member of the Martin Hand- cart Company. Although his name has increasingly become associated with his statement, he is still better known as the unnamed old man in the corner of a Sunday School class who arose to silence criticism directed toward those who allowed that company to come west:

I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Hand Cart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that Company and my wife was in it. . . . I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.

Was I sorry that I chose to come by hand cart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Hand Cart Company. 

All of us who have passed through major trials and have seen God's hand in our lives would agree.  It was hard, but it was a privilege to pass through.  

If you are drowning or dark with trials, today I'm praying that you will feel His light.  I love you- and He loves you more.

There are ALWAYS miracles.
Trials are hard, sometimes really, really hard, but they are good and good for us.
We are becoming!!
Life is a gift, life experiences are gifts...
And, my friends-- life is good!! 


Birrd said...

Yet again, Jennifer, I am amazed at the power of your voice. You are such a gifted writer, but it's more than that. It's your faith, it's your hope, it's your love. You speak with the tongue of angels and your words are full of healing power. Thank you for writing this. Thank you again for all you've been through and for sharing every bit of it with us. Thank you for leading the way. So many people need you and are continuing to pray for you.

Jennie Plastow said...

Thanks so much. I needed to read this today!

Tiffany said...

Wow, Jen. Just... wow.

So perfectly expressed & so eloquently written. (And "ditto" to the previous 2 comments!!) *sigh* This is simply perfect for me to read any day, so it feels that way today, too. Thank you for helping me refocus on eternal perspective(s)!

Marie said...

What a powerful post, Jen! Thank you...
I think many would agree that YOU are a miracle in our lives! Proud to call you a friend and honored to be praying for you and your family every day! ❤

Charlene Hendricks said...

Thank you for sharing these feelings. Your uplifting words of comfort and reassurance were what I needed to hear today. I have to keep reminding myself that there is a reason for everything even though we can't see at the present the reason, we will see it in the future. Love you

Allie said...

I am still a faithful reader and faithful worrier for you during your healing...it's just that you are getting back to normal in your writing and it usually leaves me speechless and deep in thought and I get scared to comment on such deep stuff!

You are lovely and inspiring and a huge blessing to your family, friends and pretend friends.

I think about you often and imagine you on your new property and in the barn or by the pond with your little family loving on you! I just know it is going to wonderful!

So just know I am still a huge fan, still reading, and still super jealous that Tiffany really knows you and hope that our paths cross some day!

(It might be Tiffany and I fighting over who will marry one of your kids...but we will still meet, right?!)

Evaly said...

I have to tell you something that was a little funny to me. I am pregnant with my 6th and in the sick stage. The other day when I threw up I thought of you and I was thinking where is the good in this moment?! Then it came to me- I was grateful that I hadn't eaten yet so my barf wasn't so chunky and nasty! I was seriously thinking this while vomiting and it really did make it better! Anyway, I'm sure this is tmi, but you are so open about your life that hopefully you don't mind. I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to handle this trial (which really is a BLESSING!) with a little more gratitude. It was a silly thing, but it mattered to me, so thanks :)

jenifer said...

You are way too kind, but thank you,

jenifer said...

You are a real-live miracle!

jenifer said...

XXOOXXOO. Love you friend!

jenifer said...

I can't wait for the day when I'm off everyone's prayer list. :)

jenifer said...

You are so wise!!

jenifer said...

I will try to teach them to brush their teeth without a reminder before they are of marriageable age. (Someday you will say that you are just my friend not Tiffany's friend... Ha!)

jenifer said...

Yes, I talk about pee so you can talk about puke chunks... Your miracle is also that you get to be pregnant!!! So many women are trying and can't!! You have a great husband, you are NOT in the hospital and hopefully you don't have Accreta!! Puke away friend-- it is hard, but beautiful!! (Peppermint oil was my friend! Puking is the pits!!).

Kashana Ashford said...

I don't think we are ever not in need of prayer. Our trials may look different, but the hardeness of them doesn't change. Neither does God's mercy or grace.

Kashana Ashford said...

I don't think we are ever not in need of prayer. Our trials may look different, but the hardeness of them doesn't change. Neither does God's mercy or grace.

My 4 Gooches said...

Wow! Thank you for this post! I'm forwarding it to my mom who suffers day in and day out being a constant caregiver of multiple family members living right in her home who battle with severe depression and physical health problems.
The comments about the children's deaths-I have an incredible testimony of the comfort and spirit that resides when this happens. I worked in the operating room at Primary Children's Medical Center for 7 years and witnessed little children returning to Heaven every once in a while. I'll never forget one case of a 10 year old boy who passed away in the middle of surgery. Our medical team worked so hard to keep this little boy, but we were not successful. As it was declared to stop working on him, I felt his spirit so strong and imagined him saying to us, "Thanks for trying to save me." There is nothing we can do if it is God's will, but he sure stays with us through the storm!
Thank you for your thoughts. You are an amazing woman!

Laine said...

Wow. Bless your heart... and all your other parts as well. We are just 8 weeks out from our high risk .1% pregnancy... (I have had recurrent massive blood clots while on blood thinners). Just had another clot last week and surgery to remove it. I SOOOO get what you wrote here. Babies, mamas, people we love, struggle and hurt and it is so hard. But I believe in miracles. I believe that EVERY prayer is answered, even if not how we hoped. God bless.
(Here is my story... www.anona-mom.blogspot.com
It started in Feb with the first blood clot.)

Goodmom8 said...

Incredibly written! You are such a talented writer! I, too, am an accreta survivor and the mom of 8 beautiful blessings! I LOVE reading your posts and your strength and faith encouraged me greatly when I was in the "pre-surgery" stage. My son, Ezekiel, was born on June 25th. I had increta and also had a hysterectomy, but haven't had to deal with the complications you have. I'm sad for you, but am grateful for your body that is continuing to heal! I was just thinking the other day that God would have still made an awesome testimony of my accreta story if it would have ended differently... Cause that is just the way that He works! Miracles are everywhere... we just have to be willing to see them! Thank you for sharing your heart! If you want to read my "accreta story", my blog is thegoodgazette2013.blogspot.com

Honey said...

One of my favorite quotes:
"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain."

Anonymous said...

Jen, we can't wait to meet your you and your family. You have such an amazing testimony.

Corine said...

I just balled as I read this. So true! I feel the same way. Life is SO HARD - and yet, SO BEAUTIFUL B.E.C.A.U.S.E. of such trials. I am SO THANKFUL for each and every horrible struggle I have ever gone through. They make me better, and happier (even after much sorrow and pain while in the middle). The lord KNOWS what we need. He cries with us when we cry. He aches with us when we ache. But He lets us go through it all OUT OF LOVE. We are being refined, and blessed to know the sweet because of the bitter. I could go on... but you already know. :)
Hugs to you.
And THANK YOU for sharing your beautiful words of hope... :)
Corine :D

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