We celebrated London’s Birthday this last week. I can’t believe it has been a year since we welcomed our little girl into our family and had to say goodbye. I shared some thoughts on instagram that day that I wanted to share with you here.
“Celebrating this little girl today. One year ago today she was born and within the hour we had to say goodbye, such a short and beautiful life. She has affected me deeply, changed me in so many big and little ways.
I woke up this morning with a heavy heart and have been teary most of the morning, but the love and support of so many friends and family reaching out to us through messages, visits, and phone calls has lifted my spirits. There have been many sad moments this last year, so many times that I just ached for her to be with us. But even though I’m sad today, and so very wish I was celebrating this day differently, today I am choosing to celebrate her life. So I’m going to go get her a little cake and some balloons and have a little celebration for her this evening with our family.
So happy birthday to my baby girl, wish you were here with us. I’ll be eternally grateful for the time I had with you and for the knowledge that I will be able to see you again. Love you always. 🧡”
I also thought I would share the 2nd part of a talk that I gave this last December. I was asked to speak on the miracles of Christ and just felt I should talk about our little girl and our experience with her. It was scary to share something so sacred as publicly as speaking in church, it has been scary to share so much here on the internet, but I have felt prompted to do it. I feel our story of London’s life is to be shared, that it was part of her purpose in coming to our family, so her story could be shared, and that hopefully through it others are able to feel the peace, hope, and light that Christ can bring into the darkest of trials. The following is the talk I shared.
“I love miracles and am so grateful for them. Miracles testify that there is a loving Heavenly Father that cares for us. Miracles show us that there are miraculous things in the works that we can’t explain any other way.
Difficult questions. Why do miracles sometime not happen?
It may seem a paradox to fiercely believe in miracles and also firmly accept the will of God in our lives, but through the Atonement of Christ and an understanding of Heavenly Father’s plan for us, it is possible to resolve this paradox. We live in a broken world, a world where bad things can and do happen, and we know we chose to come here to be tried and tested.
As many of you know in February of this year we welcomed and said goodbye to our 5th baby, our sweet little girl that we named London Ann. My pregnancy with London was normal and problem free until we found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our daughter’s little body had not formed correctly and that if her broken body survived delivery, she would not live for very long after birth. In addition, because of the way her body had formed with the placenta there were dangers in continuing the pregnancy. Our doctors counseled us to deliver her as soon as possible to avoid complications. We took time to pray and ponder and after seeking the Lord’s will we decided to continue with the pregnancy and deliver our baby girl via C-section. London was born at 34 weeks and was delivered without complication. She lived for an hour after birth and then surrounded by our little family she peacefully passed from this life
So many could ask where the miracle was in this situation for our family? Our daughter was not healed and she only lived a short while after birth. Did we lack faith or were we not righteous enough to receive a miracle? Did we not have enough priesthood blessings or say enough prayers? No, brothers and sisters, I can’t believe that. I’ve seen too many righteous individuals go through extremely difficult things to believe that we were not given a miracle for one of these reasons. I know that our desires were good in wanting another baby. We prayed for her, we were thrilled to know she was coming, and we were completely devastated to learn we were going to lose her. One thing I learn from carrying this daughter of ours, feeling her move inside me, knowing that when I would finally meet her I would have to say goodbye, is that Heavenly Father honors our righteous desires. How could a loving father not? He honors our desire to be mothers, he honors our loss and our sacrifice. Those of us who have gone through hard things know that if we let them they can change us, and if we try to focus on God’s goodness throughout our trials, they can refine us and teach us things we could learn no other way.
President Oak’s stated, “I have been speaking of miracles that happen. What about miracles that don’t happen? Most of us have offered prayers that were not answered with the miracle we requested at the time we desired. The will of the Lord is always paramount. The priesthood of the Lord cannot be used to work a miracle contrary to the will of the Lord. We must also remember that even when a miracle is to occur, it will not occur on our desired schedule.” He concludes, “The revelations teach that miraculous experiences occur ‘in his own time, and in his own way.’”
And though the miracle of healing our daughter did not happen for us, there were so many other miracles that did.
The miracle of peace. It started in the ultrasound room, as panic began to consume me, a sense of peace enveloped me and calmed me. This feeling of peace and comfort came to me time and again throughout my pregnancy, something I would have never thought possible beforehand.
The miracle of acceptance. I believe in miracles, I always have, but in this situation with our little girl, Steve and I both felt early on and accepted that the blessing of healing was not going to come to our daughter in this life, that her time on this earth would be short, and that there was purpose in it.
The miracle of her birth, that she survived inside of me for 34 weeks, that she survived birth, and lived for an hour. The miracle of a smooth c-section with no complications for me during her birth. The miracle of being able to celebrate her life and the happiness we have felt knowing she is ours.
Brothers and sisters, my heart aches to hold her and there is an emptiness, a place in our family where she should be, and I have had plenty of hard days and dark moments of heartache and pain. But I will be forever grateful we were all able to meet her and hold her, and feel so blessed to know she is a very real part of our family. We know that we will see her and be with her again and that brings us so much peace. I wish all of you could have met her. It was a sacred experience to be in the room with her for her short life, to feel of her sweetness, her goodness. We feel so blessed to be able to call her our little girl.
So when we speak of miracles we must always consider God’s will, his plan for us, and the trials and heartache of this broken world that we live in. And if we are going through our own personal Gethsemane, look for miracles, they may not be what you expect to find, but they are there.
Finally, the atonement of Christ is the greatest miracle of all. President James E. Faust spoke of the greatest event in all of history. He states, “That singular event was the incomparable Atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. This was the most transcendent act that has ever taken place.” He continues, “The nature of the Atonement and its effects is so infinite, so unfathomable, and so profound that it lies beyond the knowledge and comprehension of mortal man.”
Because of the atonement of Christ all that is lost will be restored, all that is broken will be made whole, all that is wrong, unfair, and unbearable will be made right. He gives us peace in this life as we endure our trials and a promise of miracles to come.
I’m grateful for a Heavenly Father who provides a plan of happiness for each of us. For commandments, service, scriptures, family, temples, and all the many gifts we have been given in this life to move forward and progress. I believe in miracles and am grateful for them. I’m grateful for a Savior. I know He lives. I love this time of year to celebrate his birth, to marvel in the miraculous miracles that surrounded his arrival into a broken world. A virgin mother, a new star, angels appearing to shepherds, all to welcome a babe born in a manger and prophesied to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And the greatest miracle of all, that through His miraculous atonement I have felt the peace and reassurance time and again that one day all will be as it should.”
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