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Personal Revelation Breakdown


iWriteStuff

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Over this last week I've been battling some self doubt on what I can consider a major issue in my life. My wife and I have difficulty conceiving. We have two children, twin girls, which we were blessed to receive after three years of unsuccessful fertility treatments followed by a massively expensive IVF (invitro fertilization for the uninitiated). We felt incredibly blessed to have them and so three years later we decided it was time to try it again so that we could bring even more children into our home.

 

During this time, we have prayed, gone to the temple, and received many blessings. In every instance we felt inspired to know that this was the right path, that there was at least one more child waiting for us (a boy), and that we would be successful in our efforts. Independent of each other, and often together, we had experienced a strong confirmation of each step we were taking.

 

Alas, the first attempt to even do an IVF failed as she didn't respond appropriately to the treatments she was receiving. A second attempt ensued with similar results: fail. The doctor decided she should try a surgery to see if there was anything going on that would prevent the treatments from working. The results of the surgery were inconclusive, hedging "No, everything's just fine". So they doubled the treatments and pushed forward after she healed from the surgery.

 

With double the injections, pills, etc, my wife finally showed enough progress to go through with the IVF. Again, many prayers, temple trips, and blessings, we felt inspired that things would work out successfully and that we'd be blessed with a child. The day of the IVF procedure arrived and in ways almost too sacred to describe, I can tell you that we felt more calm, more peace, more spiritually blessed that day than we have in years. I would compare the experience to second only to an extremely enlightening prayer circle or time spent in the Celestial room. Again, all signs point to success.

 

We waited the requisite number of days, followed post-procedure protocol to the letter, and when the day of the pregnancy test arrived we got our positive pregnancy result. Two days of rejoicing, celebrating, and praising God ensued. Then on the next doctor apt everything turned south. The embryos they implanted were not growing as they should, not "sticking" as the layman term goes. Everything came crashing down and she miscarried.

 

Naturally there is a huge amount of hurt and an extreme degree of disappointment. The biggest problem for me is wondering whether everything I thought was personal revelation was completely wrong. Basically, as I see it, I'm faced with two potential conclusions:

 

1) My ability to receive personal revelation for myself and my family is completely bogus or non-existent. Otherwise, how could I be so wrong on such an important matter?

 

or

 

2) God did indeed inspire us to go through with this, all the while knowing in His omniscience that it would fail.

 

I'm not liking either answer. Either way, my wife is now convinced that we should do this again as soon as we can. And I'm not sure how I can proceed with that degree of doubt in my mind. Can I receive inspiration for my family? Can I give an inspired blessing? Or is it all just wishful thinking in my head? Or, per option 2, am I going to be set up to fail again?

 

Without being able to reconcile these two issues, I fear I'm stuck when I should be moving towards something, but I don't know what that something is or whether I should expect another painful miscarriage again. We have literally one shot left at this. If the next round fails, we are at the end of our road as far as having more children. That scares the crap out of me.

 

Please, would anyone have any advice or insight? I'm feeling a bit lost here.

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Oh man i have been there!  Not with infertility and IVF (my heart goes out to you and your wife and i can't even imagine what that journey is like) but with feeling inspired to a certain action, having it succeed (or at least appear as if it did), being thankful with many prayers of gratitude and praising God, and then having the whole thing come crashing down.

 

It is hugely disappointing and, quite honestly, one of my biggest struggles.  For me, it feels like a betrayal from God when He lets me get excited about something and He knows that it's actually going to crash and burn in the next few days.  

 

I have no answers.  I am slowly (very slowly) learning to submit to this part of life and am working on seeing God's hand in it.  Holding on to my faith that God does not betray, and that He does love me, is the only thing that is leading me thru this.  I have come to see that when I practice Mosiah 3:19 God shows up and points me further down the road, giving glimpses of understanding as He does.

 

It's a hard trial but i'm seeing that it's growing my spiritual maturity in ways that would otherwise probably be impossible.  Having said that though, I still don't like it, and still struggle with it.

 

My very personal and un-inspired-for-your-family advice would be to stick with what God has already told you.  Press forward and have faith that the miscarriage is just a part of your journey and not your destination.  

 

:)

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How great that you have done everything in your power to have children. Take some time to quietly ponder, with your wife, and get your direction. Sometimes Mother knows best. Might you adopt?

Ironically it was looking into adoption that pushed us in the direction of IVF in the first place. LDS Family Services used to require a not from your doctor stating you were unable to have children on your own. When we went to our fertility doctor, she said "Give me just one shot at an IVF and I give you an 85% chance of making this work." So we did. And it worked.

 

The wife wants to hop back into another round. I'm looking at the now greatly reduced savings account (we're into this $17k just this year) and wondering how we afford to do that again. Not only that, but suppose we start again and I need to give a blessing. I'm not even sure I could give one any more as my faith in my ability to receive revelation has been pretty much ravaged.

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Holding on to my faith that God does not betray, and that He does love me, is the only thing that is leading me thru this.  I have come to see that when I practice Mosiah 3:19 God shows up and points me further down the road, giving glimpses of understanding as He does.

Yeah one morning on the way to work (it's an hour long drive) I felt an answer staring me in the face: I could use this experience to turn towards God, or turn away. However, only one of those paths would give me any kind of peace. So naturally I'm inclined to turn towards God and seek His peace, His direction, I'm just less confident in my ability to know what that is.

 

Is it better just to throw up your arms and just say "Thy will, not mine" and dive back into the breech? Part of me wants to, but a bigger part is afraid of getting slaughtered again.

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Ironically it was looking into adoption that pushed us in the direction of IVF in the first place. LDS Family Services used to require a not from your doctor stating you were unable to have children on your own. When we went to our fertility doctor, she said "Give me just one shot at an IVF and I give you an 85% chance of making this work." So we did. And it worked.

 

The wife wants to hop back into another round. I'm looking at the now greatly reduced savings account (we're into this $17k just this year) and wondering how we afford to do that again. Not only that, but suppose we start again and I need to give a blessing. I'm not even sure I could give one any more as my faith in my ability to receive revelation has been pretty much ravaged.

It's not always easy. Ether 12 - Believe. Remember the Broken Bow incident. Let God know how much you and your wife desire it, blessings should be positive. And remember, it isn't just our limited window that is in play.

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Hello IWriteStuff...

I hope you will try again... and that you will again find your faith in personal revelation and inspiration.  I do believe that God knows and blesses us... that he answers our righteous desires and prayers.  My own personal view is that while he is mindful of us and our lives, and hears and answers prayers, he does not micromanage our lives to the nth degree, i.e., he answered your prayers and your wife became pregnant.  However, something was wrong and her body reacted naturally...

I'm 75 years old, widowed, and I have no children... I accepted that... today there are many ways to help couples... I hope you will not give up... I would take your last shot... and yes, put your trust in the Lord and in inspiration through the Spirit.

 

All good wishes... GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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We see through a glass but darkly...

 

If you are struggling with why, then ask Father why?

 

The arc of our lives is eternal, and so are the answers to some of our prayers.

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Hello Iwrite!

 

I felt your strength of testimony as I read your story, I know from your sharing thoughts that you are strong and know where your blessings come.

I read Ether 12:6 and went to 1 Peter 1: 6-9, thinking of your needs:

 

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptation

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

 

I speak as a parent, my married children are going through some adversity, asking why they aren't blessed when they are doing what is asked of them.

It hurts to see suffering, but remember and look to the blessings you are receiving, even now in your trials. God bless

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The only thing I can think of- last Conference (I think) there was a story of being inspired to go down a particular fork in a road, only to have it be a dead end. That particular inspiration was so that when they did take the correct road, they could proceed with confidence.

Perhaps you were inspired to try IVF one more time so that you would know that it wasn't going to work.

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... If the next round fails, we are at the end of our road as far as having more children. That scares the crap out of me.

 

Please, would anyone have any advice or insight? I'm feeling a bit lost here.

I feel your pain. We went many years without children before finally being blessed with two gems. Coming up with the funding to resolve childlessness isn't easy, whether you're going the medical route, or adoption.

 

We seriously considered the idea of IVF, but decided that having kids from our own genes wasn't something our egos specifically needed. We also saw that IVF was a financial and emotional crap shoot, as you've already experienced.

 

So rather than pay doctors to have kids from our own genes, we eventually opted to seek out our children in orphanages. Our long search took us to China both times, and we are extremely blessed. I would seriously suggest giving thought to seeking out children already in need of a home, either through foster care, or through standard adoption. 

Edited by hagoth7
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Spoke to the fertility doctor again today. Between the wife and I, the consensus is that what we originally received in terms of inspiration is still true now - there's another child up there for us. We just have to go the extra mile, way past what we ever thought would be required of us.

And if it so happens that this one fails too, then it must be God's will for us to pass through this refiner's fire.

If that is whatyou feel, perhaps it is for the child's need...he needs to know you will do all for him you can. Maybe that is the only thing he needs to learn in life...because that will be the way he will want to be in love and faith.

Good luck.

We stopped at two though i so wanted more, but I figured I committed to the ones I invited in so to speak and I need to ensure I was there for them. That impression was spot on with our second. I am not sure what would have happened if we had a younger child. Iwould have hated any resentment between my children. It happened in my family and it isstill quite painful.

Each situation is different. We are learning lots of lessons from our kids, it happens in tons of ways.

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...I can tell you that we felt more calm, more peace, more spiritually blessed that day than we have in years. I would compare the experience to second only to an extremely enlightening prayer circle or time spent in the Celestial room...

 

...The biggest problem for me is wondering whether everything I thought was personal revelation was completely wrong. Basically, as I see it, I'm faced with two potential conclusions:

 

1) My ability to receive personal revelation for myself and my family is completely bogus or non-existent. Otherwise, how could I be so wrong on such an important matter?

 

or

 

2) God did indeed inspire us to go through with this, all the while knowing in His omniscience that it would fail.

 

I'm not liking either answer....

I think we are sometimes mistaken to assume the presence of God is the answer to our specific question, when it is instead the prelude to getting that answer. Consider the following from the law of the fast in Isaiah:

"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am."

Sometimes the presence of God simply means, I'm here, I love you, and I'm listening. That is precisely when we can proceed by asking Him our questions, rather than simply presume that His presence is the answer to those questions. Consider also the following from D&C 88:62-63:

"And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near

Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Based on the counsel in the above scriptures, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss inspiration. I think you may have simply misunderstood how it sometimes works, and may have misinterpreted God's peaceful presence for an answer to your specific question. Instead, that may have been precisely the timely invitation to knock and seek your answer. But it was your experience, not mine. So I'll leave the final interpretation up to you and yours.

I hope that was a little bit helpful. Best wishes

Edited by hagoth7
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I think we are sometimes mistaken to assume the presence of God is the answer to our specific question, when it is instead the prelude to getting that answer. Consider the following from the law of the fast in Isaiah:

"Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am."

Sometimes the presence of God simply means, I'm here, I love you, and I'm listening. That is precisely when we can proceed by asking Him our questions, rather than simply presume that His presence is the answer to those questions. Consider also the following from D&C 88:62-62:

"And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near

Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Based on the counsel in the above scriptures, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss inspiration. I think you may have simply misunderstood how it sometimes works, and may have misinterpreted God's peace and presence for an answer to your specific question. Instead, that may have been precisely the timely invitation to knock and seek your answer. But it was your experience, not mine. So I'll leave the final interpretation up to you and yours.

I hope that was a little bit helpful. Best wishes

 

I think if it had been JUST me receiving the inspiration and through only one attempt or avenue, then perhaps that would be the case. As it is, on numerous occasions and numerous places, my wife and I both received the same answer for over a year. In the celestial room, in priesthood blessings, in "companionship prayer" and personal prayers, the answer was always the same: it will come.

 

We're thinking now it's maybe one of two things: 1) timing was off/there was some specific reason as yet unknown why we have been asked to go one mile past our point of exhaustion or 2) the end goal isn't a baby but a refining experience we needed to pass through in order to bless us in ways we don't understand yet.

 

Either way, it's hard to read the scriptures with passages like "obey the commandments and ye shall prosper in the land" since that doesn't seem like our immediate experience... All things in an eternal perspective, right?

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I think if it had been JUST me receiving the inspiration and through only one attempt or avenue, then perhaps that would be the case. As it is, on numerous occasions and numerous places, my wife and I both received the same answer for over a year. In the celestial room, in priesthood blessings, in "companionship prayer" and personal prayers, the answer was always the same: it will come.

 

We're thinking now it's maybe one of two things...

 

Understood. God speed.

Edited by hagoth7
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Most of our children have gone the way of the world. One is very active in Church, one is active but struggling, and the rest are pretty much gentiles with vague memories of the Church. I know my wife prayed frequently over this, entreating the Lord to inspire the kids to come back to the Church. Her patriarchal blessing in fact encourages her to pray for her children. Her last coherent direction to me as she descended to death was "take care of my children." Of course I will do so, and I will also pray for them, but in all this time the effort seems to have been wasted. It may well be that all her efforts and my efforts to do whatever we could to bring them back will fail. If so, then so be it. But it is important to endure to the end, keeping the commandments, relying upon whatever inspiration the Lord might provide in our striving to bring them back to Father.

 

If you feel that the Lord desires for you to strive for another natural child of yours, then you must continue to strive for it.  And if your striving ultimately does not result in what you desire, then you must be as Job, and thank God anyway.  Do you think that in the end, even after this life, that your efforts will be in vain?  I don't think they will.  If God gives you a task, then only He can relieve you of it.  But remember that the achievement of a goal, even a worthy and good goal, is not as important as the striving for the goal.  I can promise you nothing except for the fact that Lord will not forget your desires and that He will reward you beyond your imagination if you persevere.

 

iWriteMuch, I am not your spiritual advisor, but remember that is not necessary to rely upon modern medical science to conceive and bear a child.  Even if it seems that modern medicine provides the only possibility for the conception, does God really require the exhaustion of all of your financial resources to achieve the goal?  I doubt it.  Consider the case of Abraham and Sarah.  They tried for years and decades to have a child together, but failed.  Until late in their old age.  When God invervened.  Sarah was past menopause when the Lord promised a child.  She laughed -- it surely was funny to her.  But He returned Sarah to fertility and bingo.  Will He do this for you and your wife?  Who knows? 

 

But don't give up. 

 

Edited to add as PS: Perhaps the Lord wants you to forego technology this time, and act upon faith?  Of course I don't know this, but it's an idea I had.

Edited by Stargazer
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Most of our children have gone the way of the world. One is very active in Church, one is active but struggling, and the rest are pretty much gentiles with vague memories of the Church. I know my wife prayed frequently over this, entreating the Lord to inspire the kids to come back to the Church. Her patriarchal blessing in fact encourages her to pray for her children. Her last coherent direction to me as she descended to death was "take care of my children." Of course I will do so, and I will also pray for them, but in all this time the effort seems to have been wasted. It may well be that all her efforts and my efforts to do whatever we could to bring them back will fail. If so, then so be it. But it is important to endure to the end, keeping the commandments, relying upon whatever inspiration the Lord might provide in our striving to bring them back to Father.

 

If you feel that the Lord desires for you to strive for another natural child of yours, then you must continue to strive for it.  And if your striving ultimately does not result in what you desire, then you must be as Job, and thank God anyway.  Do you think that in the end, even after this life, that your efforts will be in vain?  I don't think they will.  If God gives you a task, then only He can relieve you of it.  But remember that the achievement of a goal, even a worthy and good goal, is not as important as the striving for the goal.  I can promise you nothing except for the fact that Lord will not forget your desires and that He will reward you beyond your imagination if you persevere.

 

iWriteMuch, I am not your spiritual advisor, but remember that is not necessary to rely upon modern medical science to conceive and bear a child.  Even if it seems that modern medicine provides the only possibility for the conception, does God really require the exhaustion of all of your financial resources to achieve the goal?  I doubt it.  Consider the case of Abraham and Sarah.  They tried for years and decades to have a child together, but failed.  Until late in their old age.  When God invervened.  Sarah was past menopause when the Lord promised a child.  She laughed -- it surely was funny to her.  But He returned Sarah to fertility and bingo.  Will He do this for you and your wife?  Who knows? 

 

But don't give up. 

 

Edited to add as PS: Perhaps the Lord wants you to forego technology this time, and act upon faith?  Of course I don't know this, but it's an idea I had.

It's an interesting situation, to be sure. My wife says she heard as plain as day the words "It will come" while sitting in the celestial room. She thinks perhaps that was a form of preparation for the fact that The Lord knew the first attempt would fail. Be that as it may, we have two frozen embryos left - two chances to have our own natural children. If that fails, then I'm almost even more excited to see how God comes through on His promise.

Or not. I've been thinking about how much Heavenly Father must love us to leave us dangling and disappointed lately. It at least shows a lot of trust. Have we given up? No. Has my faith been shaken? Yes, but I feel it's only shaken because it's being tested so I can learn what I'm made of and where to put my trust. I don't know how this will work out, or if it even will. But that doesn't mean God hasn't been in the journey.

Forgive me if I seem to be rambling at the moment. Our puppy found a way out of the fence today and got hit by a car, killing her almost instantly. I arrived moments after she was hit and watched her breathe her last breath... Still processing that.

Gosh what a month it's been.

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