Many people don’t believe that Mormons believe in the Bible. In my essay below, I share a story of a time when I found strength through a passage in the Bible. I hope this story will help other readers who are dealing with a situation similar to my own, as well as solidify that Mormons are true Christians, followers of Christ.
I view parenting with sacred awe and reverence. I believe that when we set out on the path of marriage that eventually leads to parenthood, we make a contract with our spouse, our community and our Heavenly Father that we will do all within our power to make a successful family unit. Circumstances come and go, but the contract remains the same.
Marriage came early in my life, a fact for which I am grateful. Parenthood took a few years of trying, but came on with full force once we got started. And we began to work with all our hearts and strength to nurture that little seedling that is our future–our family.
On the day I was told that our youngest daughter was moderately developmentally delayed–a diagnosis that later would be called autism–I felt that somehow I had violated that sacred contract. I felt I had failed to produce a successful family unit. I had given birth to a child with a disability. A child that would suck precious resources from society. I was quick to blame myself. Surely, I had done something wrong.
When our friends and family found out about the diagnosis, in their effort to offer support, many offered ideas of where we could place blame. Blame this medication; blame that vaccine; blame pollution; blame the doctor. I recall a night when I sat up all night, crying in anguish, wondering how I had allowed myself to blindly damage my child. I was sick to my core thinking if I had chosen this instead of that, or done this instead of that, then my daughter wouldn’t have seizures, wouldn’t be delayed, would have a normal future. I even worried that my husband would blame me for our daughter’s condition.
Not too long after that awful night of misery, I came across this scripture: John 9: 1-3:
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
We are a blame-ridden society. So often we fail to look beyond our trials, and learn. No. We must instead find someone to blame–an outlet for our anger over being unfairly treated. I can not blame anyone for my daughter’s disability. I believe she came to my home this way for a reason. Maybe she’s here to humble me. Maybe she’s here so that God can work His miracles. Maybe humbling me is the miracle. The day of her diagnosis my heart was ripped from my chest, torn apart, and put back together in a more perfect form.
I’ve made a sacred contract to make this a successful family unit. My husband holds me tight at night and assures me that the contract is still binding–no matter what. I hold all four of our children tightly and promise them that I will give them the best home and future within my power. I have seen the changes that my daughter has brought to my home and can’t help but feel that the miracles have been at work all along.
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