Thursday, December 15, 2011

Behold, the Handmaid of the Lord...

This was a tough couple of days for me as I struggled internally with the realization that another month has passed, and I am not expecting another baby.  I am not pregnant, although I thought maybe I might be...however I think that every month.

And Christmas is the season of babies and children and every conversation seems to remind me that I might not ever have more children.  And that is hard for me right now.

My conscious self is constantly battling my emotional self.

I want to prove to myself that I trust God and his plan for me by not feeling sad.

But that is so much easier said than done.

I want to cherish my three beautiful babies and know that they are enough, but I am only human.  And my children are so wonderful that they just make me want to have more!

Right now, my reflex is to turn my attention away from Mary and her beautiful baby, but I am forcing myself instead to focus on her and let her example help me in my current situation.

When the angel came to tell Mary that she was expecting, and that the child she would bear would be the Son of God, what was her response?

"Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word,"

I can't imagine that hearing "you're pregnant" would have been completely welcome news to a young woman who was not yet married, just as the news "you're not pregnant" isn't really welcome news for a married woman like me who loves children and would really like to have more.  

But my response can still be "be it unto me according to they word," and I can still find joy in being his handmaid and serving him in whatever capacity he deems appropriate for me.

Every day now, I am praying for that peace and for that declaration to be enough to calm my troubled heart.  I know that the Lord is aware of how I am feeling, and I know he has his purposes and his plans for me...plans that have never steered me wrong in the past.


  1. the perspective has to be those who never have had even one child in mortality.

  2. I am thinking of you during this time and can say I have been there. We know there is a plan and sometimes it requires trust and patience. I am always amazed with your beautiful perspective on life and how you step outside yourself to find the answers even when extremely difficult. I should do the same, but then....I'm not JC! Love you.

  3. I am going through a similar experience in my own life. I have been working on having the strength of faith to trust in the Lord's timing. Thank you for sharing your insights and feelings in this. It's reassuring to not feel alone. Thank you!

  4. I am there, and I feel for you. Right now we are going through similar experiences - minus the ablility to possibly carry children.

    The Lord works his own timetable and sometimes it is hard to follow.

  5. Oh, that makes my heart hurt! I didn't know you were trying to have another baby. When the time is right. I have had to wait 6 months in between my first and a miscarriage and that was a hard time. You have such a great faith and capacity for love that I know everything will be how it should. Hugs from far away!

  6. Thanks for your uplifting and encouraging perspective. My husband and I haven't been able to get pregnant. I dread going to church these days. Everyone seems to have toddlers or big bellies. We try hard to focus on what we can do to serve and help others while we are childless. Some day we'll get our righteous desire!

  7. This post resonates with me. I didn't get to have as many children as I'd planned, but later on I realized why. You're right, we can trust the Lord's plan for us, even when it doesn't mesh with ours.

    And who knows? Maybe His plan is for three kids with a big space before the fourth!

    Either way, it will be right for your family. And your family is matter the numbers!


  8. I love reading your blog when I allow myself the time to slow down and do it. I know how you feel to some degree and it's so true how it's easier said than done to trust in the Lord and just be happy with what you have at the moment. It took me 5 years to get my first child and then I thought I was having a 2nd and had a miscarriage that broke my heart. It's hard to be patient and not focus on what we desire especially when having children is such a good desire. While reading your blog and thinking about it I was reminded of the story of Sarah in the Old Testament. We never know the timelines the Lord has prepared for us. Wishing you the best!

  9. We ended up having a 4 year gap between two kids that was not what I wanted. But it turned out to be perfect on the Lord's plan, like you said. I couldn't see all the things he could and he had my best interest at heart. Love the thoughts about Mary.

  10. You are wonderful! The Lord's timing and will is everything. I went from some minor infertility to a house full of wild and crazy children. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Am there too. Doing that also.....

  12. I have six children, ages 31 down to 16. There are 14 years between oldest and youngest. Most of them took one try to make. Two of them took longer, so I have had a tiny glimpse of what you are dealing with. The shortest space I have between children is 21 months, and the longest space is 4 1/2 years. Every child was welcomed when the Lord said it was time for them to come. I am fully aware of how blessed I have been, but I also know that all those spaces in my family were the perfect amount of time. I cannot describe to you what a perfect fit it was for certain children to come at certain times. You have no idea what wonderful or horrible things might be headed your way in the next few years, but Heavenly Father does, and you will praise Him forever for His wisdom in timing your family.

  13. I love to read your blog and have never left a comment - I "met" you from the old sugar and spice blog. What a wonderful testimony you have shared, and always share, on your blog. It can be especially difficult to accept the Lord's will when it comes to 'family planning.' Can I share in your sorrow? I recently had my third child, a daughter after two sons. A week before my due date we learned she had died, and would be stillborn. It has been such a difficult trial. Despite the sorrow and shock, I have been blessed with the witness that this is God's plan for my family. I don't understand it, and I'm not sure I ever will, but I know it is God's will and I choose to trust in it.

    One thing I love from Elder Scott: "When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow moe. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain." (Conference Oct 1995)

  14. This brought tears to my eyes. I understand that of which you write. I love my three babies (now getting so big!) but have ached for more children for so many years. It is not to be for us. I appreciate you bringing Mary's story and submission to God into this adds yet another layer of beauty and power to the story.

    Really beautiful. Thank you.

  15. there are other answers...your cousin Daniel and wife Tina have adopted 4 children who as babies needed a loving home. That might be a direction to explore....

  16. Wow, this really gives me perspective... I cried tears of fear and (some) shame when I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd. I knew I wanted more kids- the timing was just off (or so I THOUGHT). I wish I had reacted/responded the way Mary did. It took me many, many months/years (and still working on it) to accept the timing of the Lord.

  17. This is such a hard thing to deal with emotionally. I think people who haven't dealt with infertility themselves can't truly understand the feelings of sorrow, inadequacy, frustration, anger and bitterness that can come. I only ended up able to have 2 children with a 5 year gap. People used to tell me that I should be grateful that I was blessed with any children at all, and I certainly am but that doesn't lessen those emotions. Eventually, I was in need of a hysterectomy and I spent hours on my knees praying to know the Lord's will. I didn't feel an answer either way for a long time and then one night I opened the ensign and read this article
    It spoke to me about the need to move forward even if I couldn't feel the rightness of my decision. I went ahead and had my needed hysterectomy and have found a measure of peace in it. I no longer have the emotional roller coaster of wanting to be/thinking I am/finding out that I'm not pregnant. The anger and bitterness I felt towards those blessed enough to have as many kids as easily as they could wish, dissipated. That was the worst part for me because I didn't want those emotions but I couldn't seem to overcome them. I still regret not having more children but I cling to the knowledge that one day I will expand my family even if it isn't until the millennium. I hope you will find peace no matter the outcome for your sweet family.

  18. So sorry to hear of your struggle. I also went through that on one point, when i wanted to be pregnant and each month I was sure I was pregnant, only to be dissapointed again. It is a hard thing to wait through. My heart goes out to you.

  19. Hugs!. I am done with 3 kids although that was not our original plan--my body can't handle it mentally or emotionally. I feel a lot of guilt at times, but I have to remind myself that God had a different plan for my family. You are a wonderful mother and "handmaid" of the Lord, and any child would be blessed to have you as a mother.

  20. {{{Hugs}}} Even though I do already have a large family, I can totally relate and appreciate this post! (I have had six miscarriages, too.)

    Accepting the Lord's timing, and waiting to see His plans manifested in our lives is not easy. You have given us a great reminder, however!

    It's looking like I may never have any more babies, and like you, I don't feel ready to "be done." But I guess if I can trust in the Lord's judgement to send me the ones I've got, (it wasn't always easy to accept!) then I can trust in His judgement NOW, too.

    Thanks for your beautiful words, Jocelyn!


  21. Oooh, do I know the ache of wanting children and thinking, "maybe this is the month!" but then it's not. Even though it's been years since my husband and I found out we couldn't have biological children, and we've since been able to adopt 2 beautiful boys, I still struggle with this trial every once in awhile. I appreciate your post, because I definitely need to remember to have more faith and trust.


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