Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Miracle

Well, this post is about four months in the making. The principle of miracles has weighed a lot on my mind since the moment that we discovered that Branson's heart had stopped beating. It's something I've spent a lot of time reading, pondering, and praying about. For me this principle is a "big" one. Just a couple of days ago, my understanding was enlightened and my spirit recognized truth.
It's amazing to me that most times, and especially in this case, the answer to many prayers, and numerous questions was right there in the scriptures...the same place they've been for the past 4 months as I have contemplated this principle. I am sure now that my spirit and my heart were being prepared to find the answer and accept it when it came.
In the New Testament and throughout 3rd Nephi there are many accounts of Christ performing miracles while he was physically on the Earth. Ever since I can remember, I have believed in the ability that Christ has to perform miracles. I have never questioned the accounts that are recorded in the scriptures, and I have always believed that Christ, although not physically here with me, has the power to perform miracles in my life...Rob being the perfect example.
However, the instant we found out that Branson's heart had stopped beating, I wanted a miracle. I knew that Christ had the power to breathe life back into my little boy's body, and I wanted it more than anything I've ever wanted before. We spent so much time on our knees that day, asking for this miracle. Rob laid his hands on my head and blessed that life would be restored to our son, if it was God's will. I believed with all my heart that it was possible.
As we all know, that miracle wasn't meant to be ours. That has been one of the hardest things for me to accept and come to grips with. Everyone kept saying; "This trial is just meant for you to have...to grow and learn from." "This is all part of the plan." "Endure this trial and you will be rewarded." "The timing of this just wasn't meant to be, just be a little more patient." Well, quite frankly, I wanted to know why!
Why didn't Christ ever say any of those things to anyone while he was on the Earth. I couldn't find one example from the scriptures of when Christ was personally on the Earth that he didn't perform the miracle that had been asked of him. Healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, forgiving sins, cleansing the lepers, calming the sea, and yes...even raising the dead. I wondered... "Why didn't Christ ever say to someone, 'I'm sorry, this trial is just meant to be yours'...or 'I could perform this miracle for you, but it's just not right at this time." It seemed to me that when people asked, they received.
I felt as though we had asked for this miracle...the miracle of having life restored to our child. A very pure and righteous desire. I felt like we had done all we could, and that Christ should do the rest. He'd one it for so many others...why not us! We had waited for six years to receive this miracle of having a child, and I wasn't prepared to let that miracle go so soon. Suddenly the heartache we'd felt over infertility was now multiplied ten fold.
I asked many people their opinions, I read many talks, and said many prayers but the answers I received never seemed like what I was looking for. Then last Sunday in church our Sunday School lesson was on the Chapters in 3rd Nephi where Christ asks for the people to be brought forward:
"...all the multitude with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all these that were afflicted in any manner and he did heal them every one.."
A very clear knowledge came to my mind that I had never thought about before. It was true, Christ did heal these people, every single one. However, they had been sick, blind, or other wise afflicted for a period of time previous to the healing. They DID carry their trials and afflictions for a time. They too had to endure heartache, sickness, and pain until their faith in Christ made them complete at the time of his visit. Although it's not recorded, I would guess that they too had been praying for a miracle, such as the ones they received that day, for many years. Like us, they probably wondered when their miracle would come.
This got me thinking in a totally different direction, and I went home to read from the New Testament. I opened to Matthew Chapter 9:20 and read:
"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him and touched the hem of his garment...Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; they faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour."
Twelve Years! Twelve years that I am sure probably seemed like an eternity to this woman who had been sick. Twelve years of enduring suffering and pain. And although she had to endure her trial for a long period of time, she was able to remain faithful enough, that eventually it was that faith that made her whole. This was the part that I was missing all along. These people didn't get sick, or carry heartache for one night and then were healed the next. The trial of their faith was a process through the refiners fire of time.
I too have a trial to carry and endure. It is painful, it causes a lot of heartache, and I want to be healed. I want to spend time with my miracle, Branson. It is from my enlightened knowledge that I find a new hope and reason to endure with faith. I believer that it will be this faith that will make me whole again.
I don't know if this healing and the miracle of being with my son will come in a few years, or even in this lifetime. However I do know that one day I will be made whole through the healing powers of Jesus Christ. One day he will call me forward and perform my miracle. One day through Christ we will be together again. Until then I move forward in faith.
Although Branson's life wasn't restored as we'd wanted, I know that his life, his mission, is a miracle in and of it's self. So today I am grateful for that miracle. The miracle of a perfect son. The miracle of eternal families, and the miracle of feeling love for a child. I am at peace with the knowledge that Christ could have performed the miracle of bringing Branson back to us, but that in his love and eternal perspective, Christ knew it just wasn't part of our plan.
Branson, thank you for being our little miracle. The example you've set, the lessons you've taught, and the lives you've touched has been truly miraculous!


Barton Family said...

WOW!!! Hey Natalie, this is Amy Belnap Barton, Becky Barney's sister and I am so sorry for your loss...I remember my mom and Becky telling me about it. I can't even imagine to pain you go through every day and I want you to know that by reading your blog you have taught me so many things and I am really inspired by you...thank you! I will pray for you and your family.

Kara said...

Your words are so beautifully written. You, Rob, and Branson have a tremendous missionary work on this earth. In my small circle of friends, I know you have already touched many. You give such pure and clear understanding to concepts that we all need to hear. Thank you for sharing.

Anderson Family said...

Natalie, I couldn't help but just cry as I read your post today. You and Rob are such amazing people, and your words are so inspiring and so well written. Thanks for sharring your insights. We pray for you daily, and miss you! Kim & Dustin

The Hammonds said...

Is it not so amazing that God leads us to read the right scripture just when we feel we are about to break. One of the things my confirmation teacher taught me when I was young was to pray then just open the Bible and read the page befor, that page,and the one after. Amazingly I usually find a answer there. One of my favorite scriptures is Psalm 89. I think it proves there that God knows when he " owes ya one ;)" He talks of how he is love and truth. It shows there that we are never alone no matter how hard things may be. He loves us all and are pain is also pain to him. He cries when we cry. He hurts when we hurt. He surounds us with miracles everyday. Your next miracle will come. I have so much faith in that. We pray for you guys everyday, all four of us, and so many others are.

Gordon and Jackie said...

Dear Natalie and Rob;
I cry with each of your entries and they are so tender and precious to me. D&C 76 5,6&10 "I the Lord am merciful and gracious unto those who reverence me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. GREAT SHALL BE THEIR REWARD AND ETERNAL SHALL BE THEIR GLORY. For by my spirit will I ENLIGHTEN them, and by my power will I MAKE KNOWN UNTO THEM the secrets of my will...yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man." You are a miracle to us and as you experience these miracles and enlightenments and write and talk about them it helps the rest of us to also see the miracle in the journey of our grief and loss. Thank you for sharing. My Love, Mom