Life in Other Realms

In her biography, it is mentioned that when Ardeth Kapp could not have children, she determined that she would find other things with which to fill her life. Now, some people would think that with this decision, she was clearly giving up on something she wanted. Others would probably look at the decision as selfish, not focusing on what is most important in life. Personally, I look at it as a healthy way to live. When we face the possibility that having children will be an extreme challenge or even an impossibility for us, we can do one of three things: focus ALL of our energy on becoming parents (which means giving up other things to sacrifice for it), focus NO energy on becoming parents, or, bringing both extremes together by focusing some energy on becoming parents and some energy on other things. 

I believe that the latter is a healthy option. There are many realms to our lives. Parenthood is only one facet, one realm. Each realm in which we live, even if it lasts but a small season of our lives, has the power to enrich our lives. Each realm can add dimension, provide growth for us, and can change us in ways that other realms cannot. Additionally, each realm can provide new friends, draw new talents from within us, and can allow us to be something greater than we were before. These realms, of course, do not replace parenthood nor should they delay parenthood. Rather, they are what we do in the interim. Instead of allowing infertility to slow the progression of our lives or to halt all things in our lives, I believe these realms are where Heavenly Father needs us now. They are part of our specific plan.

So, I want to know what things have you filled your life with? What realms have you added to your life as you have waited to know how the realm of parenthood fits into the larger picture for you? What have you learned about yourself? What talents, experiences, and growth have you seen? Who have you become as a result of adding new things to your life?

Community Responses…

Shannon…

Hobbies, Volunteering, and Learning, Oh My!…I have found myself wondering many a time what my purpose is to be during my interim.  It’s an overwhelming future to realize that there will be a significant amount of time between me, as I am right now, and me, as I will be, as a parent.  So instead of thinking of the vast amounts of time that may entail, I like to just take things one week at a time.  For me, right now, I have ample time to do things like volunteer my time at the local hospital.  This way, I get to give of myself, am surrounded by others who are doing the same thing, and I fulfill a deep need within to be nurturing and loving to others.  I have also found that this time of my life is a time to enjoy new hobbies.  I’ve recently started taking a quilting class and as I looked around the room and noticed that I was surrounded by women my mother’s age and older, I realized that I was being given an opportunity to learn things right now that I may not have been able to learn otherwise.  In so many of these little ways I have felt the love of my Father in Heaven and my Savior.  I feel that my life can be filled with nurturing, creating and goodness; that I can find happiness in these sweet moments.  That there is still so much to learn and grow in and be grateful for.

Kara…

Other things that bring joy… I think there are several areas that can be explored that do not involve having children. Service is one of these things. I find that when I am doing service for someone, I think less of my trial of infertility. My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for 5 years now and it has just recently come to our attention that having our own biological children is not in the plan for us. This is a very difficult aspect of my life to deal with so my husband and I try to fill out lives with things that give us joy without having children. I have found that traveling, painting, and surrounding myself with friends who do not have children really does help.

Kelsey…

Geneology, I am doing it…I am not sure I can think of many things harder on the emotions than dealing with infertility.  I was finally blessed with a baby 2 years ago and and have been trying for a second ever since.  My first go around was awfully emotional and it was on my mind all day long every day until I finally got pregnant.  I look back at those days and can’t remember much else besides the hopelessness, depression, sorrow, discouragement and basically… the dwelling on my trial that I was doing.  I was working at the time and I could not focus on my work and I was tired all the time and well… miserable.  My poor hubby.  So this go around I decided to not get so obsessive about it.  I decided to enjoy my child as much as I possibly could and to make the most of my days with the hope that I would get pregnant at any time but in the meantime fill up my mind with other things.  I have just recently realized my blessings.  I realized that my son is such a huge blessing for obvious reasons but also for the fact that it made it so that I was at home and not working.  This has given me joy as well as time.  Time to do many other things I would never have done if I was still working and without a child.  I feel that it is not my worthiness, not my body, not anything besides simply that Heavenly Father has a plan and that, in His wisdom, He will send me my next little baby when the time is right.  This was hard to accept because for me…I wanted my kids close together like my brother and I were…however I have realized that Heavenly Father knows my personality and knows I can’t deal with too much at a time.  I really think that I need my son to be older before I have another baby so he can be a help.

I also am so happy that I have had this time to devote my love to my son.  I enjoy our time so much and he is just my little buddy that keeps me sane.  So with this as the source of my faith… I have dove into my other projects.  The main one being…genealogy.  This was in my patriarchal blessing and I am the only member on my mom’s side of the family and so there is a lot of work to do and I know that if I was working, I would not have time to do this and I know that if I had 2 young children I would not have time to do this. The other day, as I was working on my family history gathering, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that this is my calling… this is one of the tasks forordained to me and the only way for me to accomplish this great and important task of doing ordinances for and bringing many many souls to Christ is to wait to bring one soul to earth for a time.  My little baby needs to wait to come to me while I send hundreds of ancestors to Him.  This is my work and being anxiously engaged in it helps me not dwell on my sadness and longing for a baby.  I am still trying and still hopeful. I still take my vitamins and read articles on different herbs and things to help my chances but, in the meantime, like Sister Kapp…I am pursuing other things that I can do with my talents and time.  Maybe my Activity Day girls need more of my attention than I would have been able to give if I had more than one child.  I just know that we all have things Heavenly Father wants us to and even though children are important… He is wise and has a plan and you will be blessed… with or without children you will be blessed with the blessings Heavenly Father in His wisdom and love knows that you need.  Don’t sit on the couch feeling sad because everyone around you is pregnant and you aren’t, don’t spend all your time researching and dwelling on the internet.  Do what you need to do to cope with this hard time and get out there and find your way to be an instrument in God’s hands.  It will bless you and it will help take your mind off your trial and it will bring you peace.  Share the gospel, volunteer somewhere, magnify your calling, visit a widow, and, most importantly, keep praying for comfort and for faith.  Keep attending the temple and partaking of the peace you feel there.

Amanda…

I recently started working as an ordinance worker when a new temple in our area opened up. It is something that you can’t do when you’re a mother until your youngest is 18 (you can work in the temple, but not as an ordinance worker). It has been a tremendous blessing in my life! I’ll admit at first it was difficult as at first I was the only younger worker on my shift, but once I got past the initial “why don’t you have kids yet” questions from the ladies on my shift, it has been wonderful. I’ve really grown to love the women on my shift. . .they are absolute gems and inspirational people to me. Every week I am reminded of the things of eternity and that God is aware of me personally and our struggles. In addition, I often get moments where I am in the Celestial room or a sealing room all alone. When I am in the sealing room I envision my sweet husband and I having the wonderful opportunity someday of having a child sealed to us. I don’t know exactly when it will happen, but I have faith that it will happen someday, in the Lord’s timing. I remind myself that this is a blessing I COULDN’T have if I did have children, so it softens the pain a little as I await the day when it will be our turn to be parents. I can’t put into words what a tremendous blessing it has been for me.

 

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