Since I wasn’t able to attend fast and testimony meeting on Sunday, I’d like to take this opportunity to share my testimony with my family and friends.
Today my heart is filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father. The events of this past week have reminded me, once again, that He is intimately involved in my life. He knows me, He knows my family, and He knows my new daughter. He loves us, and He has big plans for our family. He wants more from us and for us, and He has sent us a special child to nudge us down a new path.
Over the last weeks, He has granted Will and me peace in difficult moments and offered us hope through the power of the priesthood. We have already been abundantly blessed for welcoming Daphne into our home, and I know that many more blessings are in store.
Heavenly Father is a God of miracles, and our family has witnessed His marvelous power firsthand. A week ago, we were told that Daphne’s first surgery would need to be repeated. But last Wednesday, she surprised everyone by achieving post-surgery results without medical intervention. I’m sure acclimation to Utah’s altitude and her blood transfusion played a role, but I credit this miraculous recovery to a merciful and loving Heavenly Father. He has shown us His power, and we cannot doubt.
I’ve often heard people say, “God will never try us above that which we are able to bear.” But I think it would be more accurate to say that God will never ask us to bear a burden that He cannot help us endure. Over the last 5 weeks, I’ve come to more fully understand the scripture in Psalms 55:22 that says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
During our mortal experience, we are asked to bear many heavy burdens—burdens that have no earthly end, that leave us feeling helpless and broken, that we cannot imagine surviving. We cannot bear these burdens alone, but when we turn them over to the Lord, He can bless us with the courage and spiritual stamina to press on.
The past has taught me that trials often lead me down a better path—a path I could not see, a path I would not have followed on my own, a path filled with more joy and more spiritual growth. Before I was married, I imagined that the worst trial I could face would be the inability to bear children. But when this fear became a reality, it also became one of my greatest blessings. Without that trial, I would not have searched elsewhere for my two beautiful girls, who have filled my world with hope and happiness and who have taught me more about the nature and love of God than I could ever have learned on my own. God knew me well when He sent me down the adoption path.
Of course, I haven’t always endured my trials well. Before we found Daphne, we had another adoption fall through. We had been matched with the birth mom for 5 months, over half her pregnancy, so when she disappeared unexpectedly, I was devastated. For months, the grief was so overwhelming that I felt like two people living inside a single body: the dependable half went about her normal routines like an automaton; but the other half—the more loving, joyful half—curled up in the fetal position, unable to process the pain. I still had a testimony and knew that God loved me, but my sorrow separated me from God. I was afraid to let the Spirit heal my heart, because I didn’t want to let go of the little girl we lost. But over time, as I continued to read my scriptures and exercise faith bit by bit, I began to feel whole again. And that’s when God sent me Daphne.
Daphne’s medical condition comes with many new fears, and every day, I wonder how long she will be with us. The answer is beyond my control, but it is not beyond God’s. He will preserve her until she completes her earthly mission, and that is all I can ask. Our failed adoption taught me the loneliness of despair, so this time I choose hope and faith.
I feel honored that my Heavenly Father would believe me capable of handling the uncertainty, the fear, and the grief that will undoubtedly come with caring for Daphne. He has entrusted me with two very special spirits, and I feel a sacred obligation to live up to His expectations. Despite my shortcomings, I hope that I will become the mother my girls deserve and that I will make my Heavenly Father proud. I know that if I do my part, we will all be together in the eternities.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.