An LDS perspective on moving from childless to childfree living.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gratitude

The LDS Church holds General Conference twice a year, the first weekends in April and October.  This is the weekend we don't attend regular church meetings, but we listen to speeches by leaders of the Church.  Living in Utah, the headquarters of the Church, we are able to watch the Conference on local television.  DH and I always try to watch, though it is most of the weekend. 

My favorite speech was given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled "Grateful in Any Circumstances".  In the beginning of the talk he mentions those "facing the end of hope . . . of bearing children."  So often, I feel like I am the only one in the Church who has passed through their childbearing years without a child, biological or adopted.  Because he started with this, I listened intently. 

He states:  "When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.  We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?  Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.  This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind."

I realized that there were so many time I was grateful when DH was battling leukemia.  I was grateful for competent doctors, modern medicine, the support of family and friends, a job with insurance, his bone marrow donor, Clorox wipes, and time.  I don't think I have looked to be grateful through our IF.   "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"  I did miss a lot of life in the seven years we spent trying to become parents.  I skipped opportunities at work.  I skipped baby shower's for friends and family members.  I spent a lot of time alone in my pity for myself.  


Now that we are on the other side and living CF, I can be grateful.  I am grateful DH and I could spontaneously go to the Monterey Peninsula for a few days to celebrate our 18th anniversary!  I am grateful we found a beautiful, adult-only bed and breakfast to stay in.  I am grateful for the job opportunities I have been able to take advantage of in the last three years.  I am grateful to not cry when someone asks me about having children.  I am grateful for a healthy DH!

Even if I had heard President Uchtdorf speak about gratitude when I was in the midst of TTC or working on adoption, I don't know if I would have been able to choose to be grateful.  IF is so all-consuming!

I am grateful to finally be solidly on the CF path!