Monday, September 15, 2008

My Answers

Well, I was planning on only answering one question this week. But there are more than one that I feel need to be addressed. So, I will get to as many as I can tonight and if I don't hit yours today, I still may get to it in the future. Some of those questions deserve their own post.

Question: To the woman who recently went through the temple and is having marital problems and feels she has no one to whom she can talk. What would I do in your shoes? 

My Answer: First, I think you should know that you can go to your bishop to discuss options. He is there to help you. You can always go to him for the spiritual and temporal guidance you need. Second and very important, in your comment you said your husband has begun to "hurt" you. Now there are lots of ways to be hurt. If you were referring to physical hurt, I would call my bishop, pack up my kids and get out. Another reader put up a hotline number. That is a great resource. I do not treat divorce lightly. I think there are very few reasons that people SHOULD get divorced. Physical abuse is definitely one of them. If you are being physically abused you should not stay in the relationship especially if you have children. It not only puts them at risk of being hurt by your spouse but it teaches them that such treatment is acceptable and it is not. 

If by "hurt" you meant your feelings are being hurt, I would read the book "The Peacegiver" by James Ferrell. It helped me to overcome bad feelings from a hurtful relationship I had. Again I would talk to my bishop if I needed more help, which it sounded like you did. Then you can lay the whole thing out to him and get more sound advice than from someone like me who only knows your situation from a few sentences in a comment. May the Lord bless and guide you.

Next question -- Have I thought about having another baby? Thanks for the worry **tif**. I know for some this is a very personal question but I am pretty open about such things so I was not offended in the least by the question.  

My Answer: I have always wanted about 6 kids. Immediately following Camille's accident when I was still struggling with the "how could I have let this happen" question, I thought perhaps I would never have more children. I hate to admit I felt that way but I am just being real here. But, I came to realize rather quickly that those thoughts were not from the Lord. As I realized that it was the Lord's will that Camille return home and as I became more sure of my feelings that it was her time and drowning was only the means, my feelings changed. I also talked to other moms who have lost children and had babies after who said it was a great healing event for them. 

By the time Jon and I left the hospital we were more baby hungry than we had ever been. It wasn't that we were anxious to replace Camille. That is not possible. But, babies bring so much joy to a home and we need that kind of joy. I am still not sure of the timing, however. I am nervous about introducing pregnancy hormones into my life when I am so emotionally unstable as it is. Ultimately, I trust the Lord and that He will make it happen when it will be right for our family. And to the person directing me to Molly and Vic, we are friends and talk a few times a week on the computer. Thanks.

Question: Did I have premonitions/promptings? 

My Answer: No more than I have had with each of my other kids. I did have that dream the night before but didn't remember it till I saw her in the spa. That day I had not a single prompting. It was as if there were radio silence from heaven. I think it is natural to worry about something happening to your kids. But whether it is simply worry or a premonition, well that is just impossible to know unless the Spirit is pretty explicit. 

In Camille's baby blessing, it was stated that she would have a "special circumstance" to go through in her life. I remember thinking, "hmm that didn't sound good." I asked Jon about it after and he said he wasn't sure what it was just that there was something she was going to have to go through. I remembered that and often held her a little longer before putting her down just at the thought of her getting hurt in some way. But, I never thought I would lose her so soon. No, that was no where in my realm of possibilities.

Question: Can God's will be changed by prayer?

My Answer: No. But people can be healed by prayers. We do not pray to change God's will. Even the Savior in the Garden did not do that. We pray to discover God's will, and align our will with His. 

So then if God is just going to do His will no matter what, why pray? No one asked that but it is the natural leading question. Prayers do have power. The prayer of faith has power to heal if it is not contrary to God's will. The key word there is "contrary." For some things the Lord has his will set. For Camille, I believe it was His will for her to return home. I felt that. Even in trying to pray with faith, I had a hard time having faith that she WOULD be healed because I did not feel the confirming Spirit that it was God's will for that to happen. I feel there was faith sufficient in all the prayers for her that she would have been healed had it not been her time to go.

Let me give another example. There was a time my freshman year of college when I got sick. I have asthma and an attack I had turned into pneumonia.  My roommates asked if I wanted a blessing. I said no. I figured why would it be God's will to heal me? I didn't think I had the faith necessary for such a miracle. I determined I would just stick it out and get better the old fashioned way -- by suffering through it. Two days later my roommates returned home from church to find me in the fetal position on the bathroom floor. I had been dry heaving and coughing for hours. They took matters into their own hands and called our home teachers whether I liked it or not. As I waiting for them to arrive. I did some serious soul searching and praying. I wanted to be healed. I did not feel it was God's will that I needed to suffer this sickness but I was unsure I had the faith to make the miracle happen. So I prayed. I prayed for faith sufficient to heal. The home teachers arrived. My roommate said a prayer and the Spirit filled the room. My home teachers gave me a blessing and immediately I felt hungry and the nausea was gone. I went to the doctors the next day and there were no signs of the pneumonia they had diagnosed 3 days earlier. I was healed. 

The moral of the story is, if I hadn't prayed and gotten that blessing I am sure the Lord would not have healed me. My healing was not contrary to His will but it was also not essential to His will.  I think there are LOTS of blessings waiting for us that are only dependent upon our asking for them in faith. 

In a case of life or death, there is scripture HERE on the point. Note verses 43-52 especially 48. It basically says that those who are appointed to die will not be healed but those not appointed to die can go either way depending on prayers of faith. 

This has gotten to be a lengthy post. I will end with a few quick answers.

Breaking Dawn was entertaining but ultimately a let down for me. I needed more sacrifice. It ended too pretty to me. I wanted a good fight.
I am glad Josh won SYTYCD. I liked him and thought he danced well. I am still ticked that Will was voted off though.
Shanan, ANYTIME!
Uncle Aaron is super cute? TRUE
And Catherine: Red, Mint Choc. Chip Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, superman, don't have one, my jeans, Hawaii, lemon tart at Bouchon, rear view camera, These Is My Words by Nancy Turner, my bed. I am going there now. 

Good night!


mckenna said...

Love the answers to every question. I love how open and honest you are. I just have to say, in response to the very last question, I JUST finished that book Saturday night and it has become a favorite for me as well!! I cried like a little baby at the end. Such a great read!!

Ben and Amy Young said...

I wanted to share with you some of my thought and experiences with blessings as you talked about it in your post. Sometimes with blessings no matter how much you want them and have the faith to be healed, you are right it is not the lords will to have you healed at that moment. When I was in High School I played basketball and over the summers we would go to Cedar City Utah for a camp. About a month before the camp I got sick with strep. Not a big deal but I really felt that I needed a blessing. My dad was out of town so we called over my uncle who lived next door. In the blessing he didn't bless me that I would get better. I thought it was a little odd and my uncle really struggled with it. He would just say over and over again that he didn't feel that he could say the words. You know as I that priesthood blessing do come from our Heavenly Father. Well I did get better or so we thought. I went to the basketball camp and things seemed to be good, until I awoke very very sick with a rash all over my body, a really high fever, and just not doing good. My mom was called and she rushed down, a 4 hour drive lots of blessing on that side of the story I will not go into now. Meanwhile my roommate asked my coach to give me a blessing. He had just join the LDS faith and had recieved the priesthood. He asked a coach from another team to help assist. It was his first blessing. I started to get better right away and this time I was blessed that I would heal. While I waited for my mom to get there to take me to the hospital, for some reason our insurance wouldn't let my coach take me, my coach stayed and talked with me. He told me all about his conversion story. It was an experience that I will never forget as long as I live. I ended up have rumadic fever (sp sorry). But I was able to stay at camp and things were good. I just needed to learn some things and go through that. I was glad in a way that I hadn't got better. I would have never known the things I learned about my coach and that was so special to me. And he was able to administer his first blessing. Sometimes we don't understand God will. But there is always a reason and a purpose. We just have to find it. I'm sorry for your loss. I love that you are keeping a blog about it and sharing your testimony with so many others. I would assume that not everyone whoe reads your blog is from the LDS faith. Keep up your wonderful spirit and your sharing. We can spread the gospel in so many ways even if we think that they are little. I am always touched when I read your blog. I would give you a big hug if I knew you personally. :] Have a wonderful day and thanks for letting me share with you.

Lacie Moto said...

I have to tell you, I've read your entire blog this morning. A friend of mine put your link on her blog because she was so inspired by it all and I just have to thank you. Your honesty and your thoughts are just so amazing. You are such a strong woman! Thank you for sharing your life with the public.

Annalee Kelly said...

I too, am receiving strengh and insights from your experience. They say if life is hard, the Plan must be working... (sigh!)
Thank you, for the articulate and beautiful way in which you share.
Idaho Falls, ID

Me and my Two said...

WOW. i came across your blog from a mutual friend and all I can say is WOW. my life has dished me some pretty screy cercumstances but WOW. You have completely amazed me. Good for you with the healing i doubt my faith could be 1/2 of yours at that time. You are amazing! Definatly a great example that Lord is making of you and I can honestly say, Hes proud of you!

Noorda Notebook said...

i feel so honored that you answered the best questions asked the end of your post. ha, ha, ha. go mint choc chip ice cream! could anything be more delicous. try the mint chip at whole foods by ciao bella. it's a must have.

Brittany Osborn said...

Great answers! I really love your answers on prayer. The "will" question had not entered my mind much until I read your post and realized I had the question somewhere in the back. I loved the answer that in some cases it can go either way. Thanks you! I get it.

Shaundee said...

We (as your public audience and friends) do not deserve you. You amaze me everytime I click onto your page. Thank you for your insight and willingness to share. I loved this post!

Anonymous said...

SO, I would like to address the first question you answered about being hurt by your husband. I agree with your answer, but I would like to add that verbal abuse is far more damaging than physical abuse and can often lead to physical abuse. I speak from experience on this. My ex-husband never punched me in the face, but he did push me around a few times and shove with my head. Long before it got to this point in my marriage the verbal abuse started. He was raised in a family that communicated in that way and it is how he knew how to communicate. He felt it was ok to say things that were mean and hurtful if he was angry and just because I was his wife I was expected to deal with it and know he didn't mean it. Sometimes he was so angry that I worried that he would hurt me. Eventually this turned to pushing me around a little bit in front of our children. The words were mean and hurtful and I knew I wasn't happy with my marriage. I got tired of being told I was pathetic. I felt like it wasn't bad enough to leave. I later found out about some cheating and some other things that were done behind my back. It is irrelevant. The reason I leave this comment is to let you know that the verbal abuse is far more damaging than any kind of physical abuse. OR having him cheat. It is the most destructive and painful thing. I can talk pretty openly and honestly about the cheating, the lies, and being pushed around. I still struggle with talking about the things that were said to me in front of my small children. The hard thing about it all was that I knew he was a good guy who had a problem. I am writing all of this because I want whoever was asking about leaving your husband to know that you don't have to tolerate that kind of abuse... or any kind of abuse. I use to cry to my mom about what I was going through. I will never forget her words and I want to leave those with you. She said, "When you leave your husband, and I know it will happen, do it when you are strong enough to walk out on your own two feet. Don't wait until he has beat you down so much that your father and I will have to come and carry you out. You leave on your terms." I sobbed when she said that to me because I knew she was right. That was about 6 months before I finally left him. I would also like to clarify that my husband wasn't abusive everyday. It would come in cycles. 3 months, 6 months, whatever. Each time got worse and like I feared, he eventually began to push me around. I have since left him and divorced him. I have moved on with my life and have married a man that is amazing. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

I am leaving this comment as anonymous because I still have to be in contact with my ex and I wouldn't want him to read this. We now have a good working relationship with our children and I don't want to rock the boat on that. It is not because I care if anyone knows my story and who I am. If you are curious to talk more, just leave a comment and I will email Stephanie with my contact info. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am too late for questions and this one is rather insignificant but have you listened to Kenny Chesney's "Who You'd Be Today" song? The lyrics are wonderful. Google it.

LukErin said...

I am not sure how many random people come across your blog and post. But you can add one more to that list.
I stumbled my way here on what I have to believe was no accident. I was up unable to sleep because my third was going in to have an MRI read, and I just had one of those unsettling feelings. I, of course, was nervous. To make a long story as short as I can... I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. It helped feel calm during a very difficult moment. I am truly sorry for your trials, but I wanted you to know that you helped me through mine.
~a stranger, Erin Hall

Anonymous said...

I do have more questions for the lady who went through a divorce. As far as speaking to our bishop I did try he said he an opening in two weeks.

**tif** said...

You're a strong woman. I think there are a lot of things I still don't understand but I'm glad that you do. I am sure you are already a very spiritual person because you have prepared yourself so well for these answers but I have to admit that I believe a lot of your strength comes through the constant prayers on your behalf. I too have felt the power of prayer. You notice the power of prayer the most when people stop praying for you and suddenly you feel like you've hit the floor. It's so nice to have felt that though and to really be able to know that it is almost tangible. I worried out of turn for sure. When I was talking to Debby (she lives in my basement) I told her the questions you had been asked and she, knowing you better, said "I'll bet she'll answer that". You have been so kind to share your heart with everyone. Thank you! And thank you to the commentor who commented about blessings, I liked that story a lot. I think your summation on praying for understanding and acceptance of God's will is so eloquently spoken and understandable. Thank you again.
Good night!

Katie Waite said...

A quick thought on trials and having blessings. A few years ago I became ill, and was not able to function. I was very frustrated with my illness. I have children, and one of those children has a disability. For the first time in my life I felt like maybe God had forgotten me. After 6 weeks of asking God to take my illness from me, I finally decided that I could handle whatever he gave me, as long as I knew that He was with me. I prayed and asked for the ability to "bear with patience my afflictions". I was healed shortly after that through the power of a priesthood blessing. The illness moved on, but my life lesson did not. I felt more loved and closer to heavenly father during that time in my life, than at any other time. I was humbled, teachable, and received a lot of wonderful insight into who I was in Gods eyes, and who I could become. We can do all things when we trust the Lord. Suffering is a part of life and the learning process that we have the privilege of experiencing. As we come to know what we are capable of, the Lord reveals to us our better self.

Janae said...

Another wonderful post:)
I loved all your answers and insight.
You are a wonderful inspiration to so many:)

Nelson Family said...

I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and I'm now an official "follower!" I just wanted to say every post you write touches me with your strength. Reading your blog has been uplifting and well.. insperational! Thank you for sharing all that you have and for touching other's lives for good. Oh! And of course love the answers! I was a little surprised by the end of Breaking Dawn too.. but honestly I was glad no one died!!

Anonymous said...

I was reading your advice to the girl with marital problems. In my own case, what if the Bishop has a big mouth and tells everyone everything , stake pres also , then where does one turn, no money for counseling? Thanks for all your comments and help. Bless you and your family.

The Pett Shop said...

To Anonymous: "In my own case, what if the Bishop has a big mouth and tells everyone everything , stake pres also , then where does one turn, no money for counseling?"

The ward will pay for counseling through LDS Family Services.

If you truly feel you can't trust your Bishop then rely solely upon the only person who can NOT break your trust. It is impossible because He is God. Tell Him your struggles every time you feel them and tell Him that you feel you can not trust those designed to help you here. If you ask in faith, patiently and fast, He will provide a way where it seems there is no way. He can only do it if you ask in faith and righteousness. I am sure He is just waiting for you to ask.

The other anonymous: "As far as speaking to our bishop I did try he said he had an opening in two weeks." Tell him it can not wait. Some times Bishops are so bogged down but are not aware when there is a matter of urgency. You need his help and he needs to know that you need it.

Good luck and have faith! said...

I just want to say that I have known Stephanie for nearly 32 years (my whole life) and she is one of the most spiritually in-tune people I know. I remember when we were teenagers and I was dating this guy and she told me the spirit had told her I should break up with him...she was right:)

If God had not meant for Camille to return to him that day, Stephanie would have been prompted in some way or another and the accident would not have happened. I firmly believe that.

love you steph!

Darleen said...

Thank you for those insights! Love you!

Anonymous said...

For the women who would like to talk or has questions about my divorce, I set up an email that you can email me at. Let me know how and if I can help!

Heidi said...

Hmm... Very thought-provoking questions and answers.

After my miscarriage, many people comforted me by saying, "Don't worry, you'll get pregnant again." It was a nice gesture, but I wasn't concerned about getting pregnant again. I was concerned about the baby I lost. And getting pregnant again wasn't going to bring back the baby I lost (unless the spirit hadn't entered the body, yet, and the same spirit tried again). But at the same time, I definitely wanted to have more children. The two things just weren't correlated in my mind at the time I was grieving, if that makes sense.