Losing Charity

I have been pretty depressed over that passed many months. How do you overcome losing a child? I can't seem to get passed it no matter how hard I try. It was really bad for a long time. Contemplating suicide bad.... But, it was all just thoughts. I am not so selfish (despite what some think) that I would abandon the children and husband I have now. I am just saying that stopping the pain and confusion would be nice.
But, I can feel Heavenly Father trying to get to me in my darkness. We moved to Minot a year ago. That is a whole other frustartion in itself.... But, since the move, I have been the nursery leader in my church, so I don’t know many people in the ward except the 18 month to 3 year olds. A few weeks ago during fast and testimony meeting, I felt a burning inside of me that I should get up and speak about how Heavenly Father knows us and is aware of us even during the hardest times of our lives and with the Savior’s help we can get through those times. But, I didn’t heed that feeling to share my testimony. I just didn’t want to talk about it. So, after sacrament I went to my nursery class just as I do every Sunday. Only last Sunday, Brother Gardner, the 2nd cousenlor in the bishopric followed me in there. He approached me and asked me to speak today about facing adversity in our lives using a talk given by PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING DURING THE LAST APRIL GENERAL CONFERENCE CALLED MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB. This is a topic I have been trying to run away from for months now. I didn’t want to face it and still don’t. I want to pretend like it never happens. But, Our Heavenly Father does know us and knows what we each need individually. He knows I am stuck at a point in my life in the midst of adversity and he knows I don’t want to help myself in a way that will actually work. So, he has now forced me to face it head on. And, all that week I have been avoiding preparing these words or thinking of ways to relay it in a way that is light and that I wouldn’t have to face the hardest trial of my life. For example I could have spoken of adversity regarding little challenges that face us every day that make us stronger. I could have said that I have learned to stop praying for patience. But, it wasn’t until recently that I realized I need to stop praying to be slow to anger because what you pray for, you will receive. And, I have received many opportunities to improve my slowness to anger request. For example, our family just moved into our new home in January. Since then, my three youngest children thought it would be fun to play zoo in the bathroom and fill the cabinet drawers with about 3 gallons of water for their toy swimming zoo animals. They left the water in the drawers and the water expanded the draws as it absorbed into the wood so they can no longer be opened. Also, my daughter wanted to know what would happen if she dropped a 15lb metal dumbbell from the second floor balcony overlooking the tile in the hallway below. Of course the tiles cracked and shattered. Likewise, my 2 yr old likes to drop the cat from the 2nd floor balcony. I figure the cat is down to 6 lives now. I could go on and on… and these definitely are trials I face on a daily basis. But, I would be avoiding what I know the Lord has intended me to speak about at church. The truth is my whole family has faced the hardest trial of our lives this year. Many of your know we adopted and brought home from the hospital a baby girl in March. We named her Charity Alexandria Amsbury. We all instantly fell in love with her. We actually had been waiting for her for 10 years now. You see even though we have 5 children, they were not easy to get. They were conceived through infertility methods. I had to have weekly injections of hormones to keep them during pregnancy or I would have miscarriages or preterm births. And every delivery was scary and dangerous. It is a miracle my babies and I survived every birth. Well, there was a period of 4 years between our son and daughter that we either couldn’t get pregnant or did but lost the baby. At that time David and I started discussing adoption and searching for an answer while at the temple and in scriptures. The first time I received my answer was in a dream when I saw Charity and knew that Heavenly Father would be sending her to our family through another woman bringing her into this world for us. Over the next 10 years we were constantly reminded of Charity and that she belongs in our family to be sealed for time and eternity. Our family never felt complete until March 25th when she was born and then 2 days later when we brought her home from the hospital. She came to us in such a miraculous way but I won’t touch on it because of how long that discussion could be. Anyway, she was finally here and in our home. Our family was complete and I finally felt at peace knowing we found each other and were together. I nursed her and loved her and took care of her as any new mother would. That lasted nearly a month. Then the unthinkable happened and the birth mom changed her mind at the last minute. We were all devastated in my little family. And, when the birth mom came to get our sweet Charity, I began my descent into a deep depression and began living the most painful and difficult trial in my life. I closed up and shut everyone out, including our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I just couldn’t believe Heavenly Father could let such an injustice happen. We know for a surety that Charity is supposed to be sealed to us. But, because of the birth mom’s choice to keep her, our plan has been altered. It is especially difficult for me now knowing that Charity is with a woman who is an unemployed, promiscuous teenage drug addict who smokes 5 packs a day and lives in a the basement of a hoarder and a an abusive grandmother. She gets dropped off at random people’s homes so the birth mom can be free to go party for days at a time. And, Charity will never have a father either because of the birth mom’s gender confusion. I worry about her every second of every day. As a result, I have been stuck in my anger, sadness, and fear for my baby. After going to temple and praying about the whole situation, my husband and I now know we will still be sealed together someday. But, I worry about how and when that can ever happen, knowing it will most likely never happen in this lifetime. Until then, I just find myself wanted to avoid and run away from the pain rather than face it head on. This is my major adversity. But the truth is that we all face major adversities in our lives. Adversity is not prejudice to race, economic status, physical appearance, age, or anything else. Everyone will face it in one form or another in their lives, whether losing a child or parent, losing your home and all possession in a flood, or losing their job and finding themselves trekking across the country to an unknown place like Minot, ND for new employment or whatever it may be… We need to stop running from the reality of it, being angry with it and seeking other means to get us through the tough times. Heavenly Father doesn’t want the anger, fear, and sadness to consume us like it has been with me. He wants us to be free from the suffering and have eternal joy. But he also allows us to experience such difficult trials because they help us to grow and polish us to be ready for eternal life. He also wants us to know that great blessings could come from adversity to more than compensate for any cost. Encouraging words from President Eyring let us know that those who feel that their faith is fading while in the midst of hard trials may gain strength and unshakable faith from the onslaught of such seemingly unbearable troubles. The Lord answered the Prophet Joseph Smith in the midst of his adversity while in the prison cell when he said: “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? “Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.” Through these trials we must have faith in our Savior and that he will pull us through the tough times, even if that Faith is small like the grain of a mustard seed. If the foundation of faith is not embedded in our hearts, the power to endure will crumble. President Eyring explains that our faith must have a prepared foundation of personal integrity in order to withstand the storms that will come into every life. Then we will have a solid base to apply the gospel of Jesus Christ, with all its covenants, ordinances, and principles. While living the gospel, our faith may grow in time, but only if we exercise it by serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength. But, we must also endure through trials that challenge our faith. As we do, we must know that Heavenly Father will see to it that we will only be challenged with adversities that we are capable of withstanding. So whatever trials we are faced with in our lives, they are not beyond the scope of our faith and strength. Moroni said, “And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. “For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world. “But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. “Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.” President Eyring also shared encouragement to those who now wonder if their faith in Jesus Christ will be sufficient for them to endure well to the end. He said, “I was blessed to have known others of you who are listening now when you were younger, vibrant, gifted beyond most of those around you, yet you chose to do what the Savior would have done. Out of your abundance you found ways to help and care for those you might have ignored or looked down upon from your place in life. “When hard trials come, the faith to endure them well will be there, built as you may now notice but may have not at the time that you acted on the pure love of Christ, serving and forgiving others as the Savior would have done. You built a foundation of faith from loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. Your faith in Him led to acts of charity that will bring you hope.” It is never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith. There is always time. With faith in the Savior, we can repent and plead for forgiveness. There is always someone we can forgive. There is always someone we can thank. There is always someone we can serve and lift. We can do it wherever we are and however alone and deserted we may feel. President Eyring went on to say, “I cannot promise an end to your adversity in this life. I cannot assure you that your trials will seem to you to be only for a moment. One of the characteristics of trials in life is that they seem to make clocks slow down and then appear almost to stop. There are reasons for that. Knowing those reasons may not give much comfort, but it can give you a feeling of patience. Those reasons come from this one fact: in Their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with Them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word. I dont know why I shared this except for that maybe I just needed to be reminded of it myself. I am pretty down these days. I thought I was getting past this until other crappy things in life hit me and then everything bad resurfaced. So, I just keep moving on trying to endure.... These thoughts and words help.... I hope.
My sweet Charity
Charity Alexandria Amsbury

2 comments:

Lissa said...

What a difficult topic for you to be asked to speak on. I think Heavenly Father definitely knew what you needed to read and speak about, though. Sometimes our trials in life truly seem more than we can bear. I hope you know we're always here for you! Love you, Tera!

clarisa said...

i hope God's love continues to cover you, especially when you don't want it. your life is very much like your footsteps in the sand poem. sometimes it is just too much to face but you are obviously still keeping the faith to continue on each day. May God be with you.

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