Monday, November 24, 2008

Change is Constant

Nothing is as constant as change.

Throughout our lives, we encounter change. It’s a natural part of mortality. Some of these changes we embrace and others we’d prefer to avoid. Sometimes, we can choose the changes and other times we cannot. But, we can always choose how we will react to the changes in our lives.

Some people felt sorry for me after I gave birth to my son with Down syndrome because they thought his birth would change my life in negative ways. More than likely, they thought that if they were in my situation, they’d feel that his birth and subsequent life would have a negative impact on their own lives. One comment I received was that the idea of life-long care for a child would be too much. That’s never bothered me. Honestly, when my son was born I was so thankful he was alive and didn’t have any health problems that nothing else mattered. Perhaps, he will need to live with me for the duration of his time in mortality. If that’s the case, I’m fine with that. Perhaps, he will be able to live on his own but with close supervision. That’s okay, too. As he matures, we may need to move to another area that will offer him more opportunities. Again, I can deal with that. I am confident that Heavenly Father will provide a way for my son to thrive in mortality as long as I’m willing to accept those changes that may be required in my own life. I can’t change the fact that my son has an extra chromosome, but I can absolutely choose how I will react to it. In truth, my son is such a wonderful part of my family, it isn’t really a trial or challenge to have him.

When my sister-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer, I was amazed at how she chose to react to the life-altering news. She had such faith and trust in Heavenly Father. She was never bitter and never asked why she’d been given that trial. She accepted it and lived the rest of her life with grace and faith. After her death, her husband came to visit our family. He told us that he missed her, but he wasn’t angry. He wished she was still with him, but he didn’t feel bad that she died because he knew, and still knows, he’ll be with her again someday. Her long illness and death certainly brought a drastic change to her family, but her husband and children all turned to God and put their faith in His plan.

I was so excited to give birth to my first child. I’d anticipated his birth for nine months and I was thrilled to be a mother for the first time. Though I was happy about having this new baby in my life, I did have to adjust to caring for him. Since
I was nursing him, I had to feed him every few hours around the clock, something I’d never done before. Suddenly, I had a child that depended on me for his very existence. My husband helped a great deal, but try as he might, he couldn’t lactate. Only I could provide sustenance for my new baby and some nights, it was hard to be so exhausted and still feed him.

Though some of the changes in our lives such as marriage, birth of a child, going off to college, or serving a mission may be positive, they can still require an adjustment period. Whenever things change, even if they’re for the good, it can be hard to adjust to those changes. Staying close to Heavenly Father through prayer, and putting our faith and trust in Him, will help us accept and adjust to changes more easily. As we seek to have His peace in our lives, we will be able to deal with the constant changes.

Return to the neighborhood.

And while you're there, subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. Welcome to the yourLDSneighborhood newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, the LDS newsletter brings you LDS articles, LDS products, LDS services, LDS resources and LDS interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. LDS Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.


Tulsi said...

My daughter, the one who had a hard time adjusting to married life for a few weeks because she is used to doing what she wants, is going to be a mother. They were used to leaving the state and go galavanting all over this summer. Now they will have a baby. I'm going to make sure to help her finish her last semester of college after he or she is born, but life will be so different!! Sort of like culture shock.

Anonymous said...

wonderful post!

For me, finding gratitude in the journey has been vital. I love your outlook on life.

Shelli said...

Anyone who has actually known people with DS knows that they are a blessing! I think they are angels in disguise. I know there are challenges, but you can't expect such an amazing blessing to come without a price. Our friends have a little girl with DS, and she is such a hoot! She has a sixth sense for knowing when someone needs a hug. She is sassy and loving and a pure burst of sunshine. It would be a privilege to be her mom -- and I admire her mom tremendously that God chose her!

La Mujer Loca said...

I love change! Except for those darn unexpected changes that sneak up on me. That's when I need faith. And the scriptures-even more than normal.

Jen R. said...

This was beautiful. My aunt has DS and she is quite possibly my favorite person in the world. I remember when I was pregnant my doctors asked if I wanted to have the tests done to find out things like that. I asked what was the purpose and he said that some women choose to abort in situations where they don't like the results. I said I did not want the tetsts done. It made me feel sick even thinking about that. I knew that I would love my baby no matter how she came out. I have another friend who's youngest child has dwarfism. She jokes that now she'll have one that never grows up and she couldn't be more happy about that!