Sunday, June 29, 2008

A New Reason


I love this picture.  I have a flower in my mind that reminds me of each of my girls.  They each know their flower and why it reminds me of them.  Camille's flower is the tulip.  It is delicate and beautiful and it grows to the light in its own beautiful way.  My sister in law Elizabeth took this photo of a giant vase of tulips that her parents, who are serving as mission presidents in Africa, sent to the funeral.  It is peaceful looking and the drop of water on the stem almost looks like a tear.  It makes me remember the peace inside me, despite the tears.

Today, we went to church.  It was a harder day for me.  I just woke up missing Camille.  Then I had some pretty important talks with our kids about the Lord and His plan for us.  Next we were off to church.  Church was good but I was still just missing wrestling my baby.  Never thought I would miss wresting my nap deprived baby.  But it was good to go.  

I have no doubt most who have read this blog know I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I am devout in my faith.  I had an experience when I was 14 studying my faith for a year and praying to have an answer from God about whether or not this faith my parents had taught me about was real and true.  I got a physical and profound answer that it was in fact true and the Joseph Smith really saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in answer to his prayer to find the true religion.  Since that day, I have tried very hard to live my religion.  I have made my share of mistakes, but my faith has never wavered.  I have found answers when I have needed them.  I have found peace in stormy trials.  I haven't always liked the roads the Lord has led me to travel. But I have traveled them in faith, KNOWING the Lord knew me and loved me and would not allow me to feel any pain that was not necessary for my salvation.  I have had some pretty low points where I didn't understand why the Lord would lead me down a painful and unproductive path.  But I never have doubted that He loved me and was doing what was in my best interest.  Later he has shown me that the path he led me down was the easier of two painful paths.  I trust the Lord implicitly.  Even now.

And I have always been glad to be a member of my church.  First off, I knew from God that this is His church on the earth.  That is really all the reason I need to be an active member.  Second, I owe the Savior my life.  He has paid too big a debt for me for me not to follow Him and obey Him.  Lastly, there are so many social benefits to being a member that I LOVE being a member of my church. 

Now I have a new reason to add to my list of why I am a member of my church.  My church teaches us that families are eternal and the relationships we have on earth can continue in the heavens.  Specifically, God has restored the sealing power Christ gave to Peter to the earth today and families can be sealed together on this earth by one holding that authority.  My husband and I were married in the Las Vegas Temple.  There one with authority from God, sealed my husband and I together not just till death did we part but for time and all eternity. Included in that sealing were all future children we would have.  If we live worthy and pure, Jon and I will be able to raise Camille to her full maturity after the resurrection.  I have always heard this taught at church and felt it was true.  But now it is the foremost reason in my mind to be a member of my church and to live worthy of that blessing.

I am grateful for the faith I have that has been tried and tested through trials.  It is my life line on these hard days.  I have purposefully tried not to be too preachy in this blog thus far.  I would not push my faith on anyone but I will invite all who read to learn more about my faith by visiting www.mormon.org.

Going to church helped me feel better.  Especially meeting with the young women.  Serving helps.  Thank you all again for your prayers, of whatever faith you may be.  I know the Lord loves each of His children here on earth and listens to each prayer uttered.  May we all strive to learn and live His will.  I know the new reason I will be doing just that ...

(For those of you wondering about Sabrina, she is fine.  She was overly exhausted not able to fall asleep as early as necessary and up early for school for too many days.  When that happens she wakes throwing up, throws up all morning then get a good nap and is fine.  Just a funny way her body has of forcing her to rest.  None of the rest of us are feeling queasy.)


36 comments:

Rhonda said...

...again, thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing your testimony. You have no idea the impact you have on those seeking truth and answers to such individual and personal questions left are so blank.

Rach said...

Beautifully written, Steph. Just beautiful. Faith is such a foundation when on this journey. Praying for peace for you all.

HUGS

P.S. Glad Sabrina is well. I awaken nauseated if I'm too sleep deprived so I sympathize with her.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are lovely .. 2 flowers -- one to bloom on Earth and the other to bloom in Heaven.

Stephanie, your testimony is very impacting and a true blessing to many.

Mrs. Morty said...

Stephanie,
I've been lurking around your blog for a while, found from a friend of a friend... I was thinking of you earlier today and how amazingly you seem to be dealing with the loss of your little one. I lost my dad to cancer two years ago and I'm sorry to say I have not done as well when it came to my testimony. It took me a while to even be able to pray again. I want to thank you for your example of faith and endurance. I know the road of grief is long and hard and there are times it takes your breath away, I can only imagine your pain. But I'm grateful you are willing to share your feelings and that your instinct has been to cling to the Lord. I'm so glad that families are forever and I know the comfort strength that comes from know we can be reunited. May the Lord continue to bless you with peace and understanding.
Rebecca

The Morris Fam said...

THANK YOU!

Love, Julie

kdskids said...

Simply beautiful...you, your daughter, your family, your testimony...

Thank you for letting us have a glimpse into your life and your very personal feelings.

You are doing so much good for so many at such a difficult time...words cannot express our gratitude.

I am grateful just to know you and your beautiful family.

Sweet dreams tonight to all of you!

Hugs, Kathy

Marleen said...

What a beautiful testimony. I love the gospel and the church. So sweet the nursing affect it can have upon our lives to heal our wounds.

Katy said...

Stephanie,
You don't know me but I stumbled upon your blog after hearing about the recent events in your family. I am also a member of the church. I have been touched by your faith and strength and the way you express yourself here through words and pictures. It is powerful. Thank You for sharing, even with a stranger. Thank You for strengthening my faith in our Father and the potential faith in myself as I face hard things in my life.
I wish you all the peace you can find through those you love and those who love you... including the Lord. He is there. I know that.

Katy
tyandk8.blogspot.com

Hoskins Family said...

Beautiful Testimony Steph. Thanks for sharing with us how strong your faith is. I am so sorry that you have to endure this pain. How grateful are we that we have that knowledge and promise to have our families forever. Just in Sunday School today our teacher mentioned about children that die will be resurrected as children and be raised by their parents in the millenium. I am so grateful you will have that opportunity. You and Jon are such amazing people and it shows through your writing.
Glad to hear Sabrina is better. Hugs and love to all. Daleen

Sarah Striblen said...

Dear Stephanie,
Two so very beautiful pictures. I am crying over here again. You are very fortunate to have your faith- it sustains you.

Wendy Taylor ( Jamel Taylor's wife) said...

Stephanie-
You and Jon are trully amazing. You have taught so many people the gospel through your experience. I was so touched by your testimony. What a choice daughter of God you are. I read your blogs daily for encouragment. I know that you daughter is watching over you and is amazed at what an awsome mother she has. The Lord knows you and loves you. I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life and I don't know where I would be with out it. I know that this gospel allows us to make it through our stormy seasons and see the light. I am so grateful for you and your testimony that you share with all those who read. I had the oppurtunity to teach young womens today and shared your testimony with them. I could really feel the spirit strong as we talked about overcoming opposition and learning to rely on the Lord during those times. I know that you have changed people across the states. Your family is in our prayers daily.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto this blog from my daughters blog comments. My heart just aches as I read what has happened in your family. I can't even begin to imagine your pain and loss, may the Lord bless you with comfort and peace. There is heaven in your home when someone you love is in heaven. God bless you all.

Janae said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony with everyone, and being so open and honest with your feelings. You are such an amazing person. I think you have changed so many lives and will continue to do so through sharing your experience. It is so great to know that families can be together forever. I know my family absolutely cannot wait until the second coming to be with my brother again. My prayers continue to be with you and your family.
Love,
JaNae

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I too have immediate family building up the kingdom of heaven from heaven. HAving lost my father and older brother at a young age I struggled with the gospel in my teenage years. If not for the sealing powers of the temple and priesthood I would have taken a different path that led me away from my father in heaven instead of closer. What a wonderful blessing it has been to have the challenge of living my life to be worthy for live together as a family for eternity. My angles are waiting and guiding me now that i am a mother trying to teach the gospel to my own children now. I feel blessed a uplifted to "know" you through you testimony. With time it does get easier to be normal. Angels are with us ours are just closer.

Jim & Allison said...

Through you so many including myself are being taught so many important truths. Thank you for sharing them so openly.Our hearts still ache for each of you, and we pray for your comfort.Hugs-A.Folger

russ katie mia & george said...

stephanie...i have been reading your blog almost every day. your writing speaks to me in a profound way. here you are helping so many others when it should be the other way around. you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers...may you continue to feel the love of our Heavenly Father and the peace that can only be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. i love you...katie (gibson) morgan

Sleepless In St. George said...

Found this great song and thought you might want to listen to it....

"in Less then an hour"

http://cdbaby.com/cd/csteele2

Sleepless In St. George said...

Found this great song and thought you might want to listen to it....

"in Less then an hour"

http://cdbaby.com/cd/csteele2

Beth said...

Glad to hear your little one is feeling better. My oldest does not do "re-entry" well, either. The start of the school year has always been difficult for him.

Thank you so much for sharing the link. I do have a church home, but I still feel like my heart is searching-and I have yet to figure out for what. It's hard to find the answers when you don't know what your questions are. Your testimony, along with those amazing pictures, has given me much to think about today-thank you.

Continued prayers...

devri said...

I too am lurking your blog, and wanted to say thank you for clinging to our heavenly father, My nephew also drowned in the swimming pool, and reading this brings back memories. I love that you show strength in your sorrow, and hold fast to the eternal plan. I have 5 girls, and the sisterly bond shows very strong in your girls, Thank you for your example to others, she definatly was a choice child of god, and you will renite again, with open arms, that will be priceless.

s & g said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony Steph. It is so beautiful and I think everyone, those not of our faith especially, now have a perfect idea and understanding of just HOW you are possibly getting through this.

Sending love, prayers and hugs your way!!

Karsen said...

Amazing that you have the opportunity to share your powerful witness and testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel restored in the latter-days through this medium. Hundreds read your blog, Steph, maybe thousands. How you cling to your faith through such a tremendous trial has certainly made you a light for the gospel. Abd from what I know of Camille (the toilet picture says it all!), she has a hand in all of this. Thank you for showing all of us how to turn tragedies into experiences that strengthen us rather than break us, without denying the reality of the pain and sorrow that accompany such trials. I love you, Steph!

barlows said...

Stephanie,
I have been faithfully reading your blog the past few weeks since my sister-in-law (who's in your sister's ward) told me about Camille. I had no idea when I clicked on your link that Stephanie Waite's blog is the same Stephanie Harris that was on Paradise Dance Team so many years ago. It really is a small blog world. Although I only knew you briefly (you may not even remember me), I do remember being impressed with you back then. Considering the events of the past month in your life and your willingness to share them here on your blog I can only try to convey how much more impressed I have been by you. I feel like I owe you a million thanks for sharing so openly and profoundly. My life has been forever changed for the better because of what you have experienced. I have taken your words and tried to live your advice each day with my own family. I hope you know what a strength you have been to so many as I know that my circle of friends have all been impacted by your family's tragedy, all for the better. Thank you for sharing your pictures, your thoughts, and your testimony. *And* it's good to know you are still into dance even if it's through SYTYCD! Sending my love and appreciation,
Sarah (Garrard) Barlow [sarahbarlow.blogspot.com]

janet said...

I was referred to your blog this morning and I have spent about an hour reading your blog and crying my eyes out. I am LDS and also live in Las Vegas. I have three young boys and I will hold them tighter and kiss them more often because of your example and testimony. Thank you for sharing and for being so REAL. I know it must be difficult, but your beautiful Camille has already changed so many lives and your blog has helped me not take everything I have for granted. Thank you. Your family is in our prayers.

Sincerely,

Janet Shumway

Heather & Greg said...

Stephanie,
you are an amazing person, with an outstanding testimony. I'm so sorry for loss. A friend of mine came across your blog and told me to read it. You have truely inspired me. I had an experience similiar to yours when I was a teenager and not so active in the church, I am now an active member and am sealed to my husband and four children, and look back and wish I could have had the same outlook as you do. It was definently a trying time and can now say my testimony has grown tremindously from it. I pray that you and your family will continue to feel comfort and peace in the weeks and months to come.
Heather Deborski

staciandrolo said...

I too have found your blog and you are so inspirational! THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts! You are an incredible example and it is neat to think of how many lives you are inspiring. You don't know me but you have touched my life for good! You have an amazing testimony, thank goodness for the seed of faith that you planted at a young age!

I love all the previous comments, I especially loved the one who said "that Camille is watching over you and is in awe watching her awesome Mommy!!!!"

May the power prayer continue to bless you and your family!

Sincerely,
Staci

MaryClaire said...

thank you so much for that beautiful testimony. i'm so grateful for the strength of it because i know it really is the source of what is getting you through it all. i'm actually really excited for all those who may stumble upon this post who may not be members of the church. i have no doubt that it will ring loudly in their ears. again, you amaze me.

julesttdmom said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us. You are letting so many into your heart and are touching so many lives.
BIG HUGS
Julie Presley

Rachel H said...

Just to add another affirmation to those here that your family's tragedy has affected me and my family, and my heart has been touched and my sensitivities heightened. My children are more precious than ever to me now and I find myself able to be more patient,loving, and caring thanks to you. May your family be continually blessed.

Arah said...

It amazes me how tragedy can make one closer to faith and knowing our Heavenly Father has a plan for us, or, it makes us ask "why me?". Which, I am sure at times you have asked yourself. Just know that you will see her again. That she is safe and well. It's how we handle what's left behind, and you, my dear,you are doing amazing.

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing. I have been touched and edified. I feel a little better prepared for the pitfalls that may come my way.

Diaper Diva said...

Again, another person you do not know. Yet, like many others I am so inspired by you. Thank you for your testimony, your faith, and strength.It has always amazed me how those so in need of comfort can comfort and strenghthen others. May the Lord bless your sweet family.

alliehoopes said...

I know Elizabeth and Lesli only through blogging. I've clicked over to yours a couple times recently and spent a long time reading through all the recent posts today. What a blessing it is that your family seems to be rising and strengthened and drawn together through this. My daughter is three. She asks me why 8 million times a day. I've been reminded to use each of these daily 8 million questions as opportunities to interact with her and love her rather than give short answers just to get her to to stop the chain of hearing herself talk. I've realized I have too many things I've been putting off. I made a list today of 25 things I need to remember about her right now....I'll continue to do this regularly too. I'm bolting our heavy new bookshelf to the wall tomorrow. I'm pajama-partying with her tonight. Thanks for the reminder to procrastinate all the junk that doesn't matter that much and instead do what does matter now. I am so sorry for your loss but truly just inspired by how you and your family already seem to be blossoming.

Anonymous said...

I also found your blog through a friend of a friend. I just want you to know how thankful I am for the opportunity to read your blog. I can't imagine the heartache your family is enduring, but I thank you for your honesty and realness. I will be a better mom because of you! I truly think you have touched so many lives through sharing your experience. My faith and testimony has been strenghthened because of you and your family---thank you!
Reading your blog has reminded me that there are so many things in life that just don't matter! Family and the gospel is it! I want you to know our family is praying for your family and will continue to do so. Thank you
Lori

ThE OwEnS said...

Stephanie,
I heard about your blog through my sister in law. I honestly can not say I know what your going through. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you and your family! But I want you to know you have inspired and changed my life forever. My husband and I are not sealed in the temple yet, but we are working towards it and hopefully soon we can too have this blessing! Reading your testimony and what you have gone through has opened my eyes!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story, and touching MY life!! You are an amazing example to all, I have been so lucky to cross your path and be touched and inspired by such a strong and loving spirit, so thank you again. My heart goes out to you and your family in this time of need! You will be in my prayers!!!!

Sincerly,
Candace Owens

Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog while checking a friend's blog who is struggling with the same kind of loss. My heart breaks for your family. I have been deeply and profoundly touched. My husband and I have been entrusted with a very difficult child to raise. I struggle everyday with how to meet his needs and how to keep myself in control. Your blog made me see my children, all of them, in a whole new light. I'm trying to make sure I hug them more, and seize every moment I'm blessed with. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and feelings; it has been a strength for my testimony.