Saturday, July 1, 2017

Spiritual Decisions

     I believe that we can all make spiritual decisions when we seek answers from our Heavenly Father. We learn to do this throughout our lives. It doesn’t just come to a person, it’s a process. I have shared this belief with many and hopefully my story has brought hope to those seeking guidance with their life decisions. I want to share with you my process in gaining what I know to be true.
            My story dates back to a time when I was a very young woman. It was the year 2002, just before summertime. I was working two jobs and was engaged to be married. When I first found out I was pregnant I felt my world turn upside down. I was abandoned and left alone.  The reality that I had directed my life to a remote destination left me paralyzed. I felt the absence of the Holy Ghost and Heavenly Father. My soul ached.
            When I found myself in a difficult situation, I turned to my family for help. Everyone in my family had a “say” in what they thought I should do. Not only family but complete strangers would make their declaration of the decision at hand. I knew I had to do something. I decided I would start doing the right things in my life. I started going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying with real intent. I knew that I would have a difficult decision to make in eight months.
            I met with my bishop often and he advised me to receive counseling through LDS Family Services regarding my pregnancy. I agreed and met with a counselor every other week. With my bishop and the counselor I discussed the First Presidency letter from July 2002 that offered counsel to those in my situation. The First Presidency encouraged marriage first and foremost. I knew marriage wasn’t an option for me. If marriage was not a possibility, the First Presidency counseled, the baby should be placed for adoption.
            The counsel in the First Presidency letter came to my mind one day while I was studying 3 Nephi 28. Verse 34 struck me when I read it, “And wo be unto him that will not harken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day.” I thought, “Then I don’t have a choice to keep my baby!” I spoke to my bishop about it, and he told me I still had my agency and could choose. At that moment I resolved that I would make the right decision, whatever it was. I committed to do everything in my power to receive an answer as to what I should do.
            Slowly, I began allowing myself to consider adoption. It seemed every time I tried to get an answer about whether to parent my child or place for adoption neither of them felt right. I was getting so frustrated. My family went out of their way to find a family for me to place my child. This family sent an introduction letter with pictures. I thought it wouldn’t hurt just to look at it. When I did, I had such a wonderful feeling. Their oldest child was a light to me. She looked familiar. I told myself, “If I ever decide to adopt, this would be the family.” I was in love with them after reading the letter and seeing the pictures they had sent. I had a feeling of closeness toward them even without even meeting them.
            Still, I decided I would keep this baby. I even moved to a different state to keep all the pressure of my family and friends to a minimum. While living with my aunt and uncle and their family, I saw every day how an eternal family should be. Four months later I had a dream that woke me up at 2:00 A.M.! It was a dream that my child was 5 years old. She was crying and calling for her mother. I couldn’t understand why she was calling for her mother when I, her mother, was standing right there. Only when she looked up at me and said, “No, I need my mommy. Why didn’t you let me go?” did I understand.
            There it was! I knew what I was supposed to do. I knelt and prayed to my Heavenly Father. It was revealed to me in a way I could never deny that I should place my daughter for adoption. I had committed to do the right thing. Now was the time for me to do my part. I felt so much peace in knowing that adoption was what the Lord wanted for both my child and I.
            Everything fell into place after that. The moment I saw her for the first time all I could do was cry. I couldn’t help myself. Everything was just too beautiful. To be able to create life is such a sacred power, and to share the gift of a child with another family has been a great blessing. I believe that my baby and Heavenly Father knew long ago which family I was to choose.
            I could not have done it without my Heavenly Father. He had revealed to me that He has a better purpose for us both. He knows more than I do about the road ahead, and I will put my full trust in him. While words can never explain all the pain and heartache I’ve felt, neither will words ever capture the love and joy I have experienced knowing that I did what was right. Making the right decision has given me the most comfort.

            She gave me a chance to be the mother to bring her into this world and to get her to her eternal family. I love her. It was so hard to let her go. I can’t help but think of what Heavenly Father went through when He had to give up His Only Begotten Son for our sake. It was for a greater purpose that Heavenly Father gave up His Son. A sacrifice that blesses all of us!

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