Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 15 - 06.03.2012


We were painfully aware of the confirmation we had received that Holden was needed for a great purpose in Heaven. The fact that he was so alert and interactive began to give us confusing feelings of hope that our prayers were finally being answered in the affirmative. Maybe this was a test. Maybe since we had shown enough willingness to submit to the plan that was so opposite of ours, Heavenly Father would grant us a last minute miracle akin to Abraham and alter-restrained Isaac. The feelings would not last long, but they occurred frequently.

Holden had not been stitched up from his second surgery to allow us a little bit more time to process the diagnosis we had been given. Now we felt we had been given one last chance at the miracle we were yearning for. The surgeon suggested he take another look at Holden's intestines to see if anything had improved over the last 36 hours before he stitched him back up. To be honest, I thought that this is when the hand of God would work a miracle. With everything in us, we begged, pleaded, and cried that Dr. Johnson would come into the waiting room and tell us that Holden was going to be able to live.

But no. The necrosis in his intestine had progressed. Consent was granted, and Holden was stitched up and his fate sealed. We shifted our mindset to the fact that Heavenly Father had worked a different miracle. He had given us a perfect son. A son who we know is an elite, valiant, courageous, and obedient man. A son who continues his sacred role to teach and guide our family as we continue in our mortal journey back to him.

We knew and accepted now that Holden's mission would continue, but we in no way knew how we would face losing him.

Through all of the pain and heartache that we continue to live with, we have never once doubted that it is all worth it. We would do anything for our son. We will endure whatever we have to for as long as we need to in order to be Holden’s parents. "For of him unto whom much is given much is required." (D&C 82:3.)

This in no way means that it is not completely devastating to have our son pass away or that we don’t wish there was another way. We do. But we continue relying on the eternal covenants we have made with our Father in Heaven and the trust we have in Him to make good on His promises.

We have often heard people say to us, ‘I couldn’t do it’ or ‘I don’t know how you do it’. I have thought a lot about this and have said to myself, ‘I can’t do it either!’ I don’t want to. I can’t. Looking forward, I have no idea how I am supposed to make it through this life.

About a year ago, the Salt Lake City mission president, Bruce R. Winn, addressed us at our Stake Conference. President Winn recounted the story of Peter walking on water. We all know that this is impossible, yet Peter accomplished it. He had found himself in the middle of a terrible storm when off the side of the boat he saw Jesus walking on the water. When Christ beckoned, Peter exercised his “little faith” and stepped out of the boat. The storm grew worse and the wind began to blow even harder. Peter then did what I have done so many times. He lost his focus, he became scared, and he started running out of faith. Then, he asked for the Lord’s help and IMMEDIATELY Jesus Christ reached out His hand to save Peter. As Pres. Winn spoke, I could feel the spirit teaching me about my impossible trial of having my child pass away. Yes, impossible. There are times when all I can do is focus on breathing in and breathing out, my pain doesn't allow for anything more. But Heavenly Father is ALWAYS there for me. All I have to do is exercise the little bit of faith that I have and trust that He will make up the rest. God has and will continue to lift me up as I am drowning. He will help me to walk on water. Jared and I will be able to make it through this life and we will gain our reward of raising our sweet Holden.

"Parents who have surrendered the sweetest and smallest flowers from the family's garden need to remember our loving Heavenly Father. He has promised a special reward to those who now suffer in silence, who spend long days and longer nights through their trying times of bereavement. Our Creator has promised glory. He said, "For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." (D&C 58:4.) That promised glory includes the blessing of reunion with each little child who has left the family circle early to help surviving members of the family to draw nearer to God. Those little children still live and are a heritage of the Lord." -Russell M. Nelson



1 comment:

Ashley Rogers said...

It is amazing the things that we feel we cannot do, and yet when we are faced with them, having faith enough to get through them, we not only survive, but we endure. I want to thank you both for being so willing to share your painful, yet beautiful story. Even though I never got to meet your perfect and beautiful son, he has changed me in so many positive ways. He has strengthened my faith in the Plan of Salvation and the saving ordinances of the temple, but most importantly, he has made me a better mother. Caitlin and Jared, your faith and your optimism is such a beautiful example of how we all should face trials. I know it's not easy to always focus on the positive, but you guys make it look that way and I'm grateful for that. I love being around you both because I can feel the special Spirit (I'm betting it's Holden) that dwells with you. The Millennium can't get here soon enough, but in the mean time, know that you have friends who pray for you and hope for the nothing short of the best for you. I have prayed that your sweet baby girl will be healthy and perfect and live a long and good life, one that will honor her big brother's legacy, just as you are doing. It's hard to not understand The Lord's divine purposes, but I take comfort in my belief that we all knew and accepted the lives that we would lead and that when we accepted them, we had the greatest of faith in our Father in Heaven fulfilling all of His promises, the first being that He would provide a Savior for us, on whose Atonement we can lean on and find comfort in. I just want to end this novel by sharing one of my favorite scriptures and one I cling to during times of trial. Doctrine & Covenants 98:3 "Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord."

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