Friday, August 1, 2014

For My Journal

*An email I sent to my immediate family on June 2, 21014*
To my Pettingill family (including the in laws, and I may not have their email address):
I wanted to share a few words with you and although this is through email, these are my personal, intimate feelings and I wanted to share them with my family. I'm not boasting or having a pity party, I just wanted to share some things that I've learned the past few months.That's merely it, sharing some things that I've learned.
We have been in Spokane for 9 months. Initially we came up here to take advantage of Lance's job offer and to further his career. What I now know, is that we came here to save Cora's life.  It's only through revelation that her life was spared. I was barely pregnant, about 8 weeks along and quite sick, when Lance was offered the Spokane job. He immediately turned it down because I was in no position to travel let alone move a family. As we prayed and discussed it, we knew Spokane was where we needed to be. There was no possible way at 8 weeks along that we or doctors could've known Cora was going to have physical problems. I know we are in Spokane because of and for her. We've been blessed with amazing doctors who are determined and committed to her care. She's in the best developmental school available, it takes months to get a child in there but because we were referred to them by so many doctors, we didn't have to wait, Cora was immediately admitted and began her therapies.
It seems the last 9 months I've been at the hospital more often than I am at home. Sometimes Cora will have 8 appointments in one week, those are physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. It's hard to discover your baby has problems and will continue to have problems for the rest of her life. Because of the speculations doctors had early on, I was preparing for her death. I had her funeral all planned out in my mind, from the songs to the flowers to her dressed in a white gown laying beautifully in a white and pink casket. But then things changed to she will live but that she'll have problems. I imagined her being the one bullied at school and made fun of because she was different. And then things changed again to, we just don't know what she will be like. So I've tried to change my mindset altogether. I realized as her mother, I was giving her limits before she even presented any. I decided she was going to be loved, treated, and raised as any other child would be, limits or not.
Long story short, the past 9 months that we've been in Spokane have been hard. Some days are better than others but it has been downright hard. H.A.R.D.
And so I want to express my appreciation to you and share my testimony. I bear testimony to you, that life is hard. It is. No one person's life is any easier than the next. We all have challenges that come to us in different forms. We all suffer. We all experience pain. And I know that it is meant to be that way. The scriptures teach us that without the bitter we wouldn't know the sweet, and that it is needful that there be opposition in all things. Because we know this, we know that life is meant to be hard. It is part of the plan of salvation or the plan of happiness. How can it be the plan of happiness when we experience loss, pain, betrayal, loneliness, etc? Because the Savior atoned and suffered for each of us, so that we wouldn't have to endure these things alone. It is because of our trials that life is good. Therefore, God's plan is perfect.
We don't have to know the "why" to our trials. The why is not important to our salvation, so we don't need to question it or pursue it.

One of my favorite talks is by Elder Wirthlin called "Sunday Will Come" and he talks about the last few days of the Savior's life, pointing out various things of the atonement and crucifixion. Then he explained that it was on Sunday that Christ was resurrected and redeemed the world. And of all things that Christ did endure and fulfilled his mission, it was on Sunday that he was delivered. And so I echo Elder Wirthlin's testimony, I also testify that we will all have our own "sundays" when we will be delivered from our hardships. We will have our own Sundays, we just have to endure life and endure it well. Enduring well is the hard part but that's when we can rely on our faith and repentance. That's when we need to turn to Him and ask for help. On my own journey with Cora, I don't know what to expect or what will come next and I'm constantly given peace when I remember the Psalm, "Be still and know that I am God." I just need to remember Christ and leave it in his hands which is what I've tried and strive to do.
I'm thankful for a good husband who holds the priesthood. As I've utilized the priesthood and called upon God for myself, I've been a witness to several miracles in the last few months. It strengthens my testimony of living prophets and of the restoration.
I bear testimony that this is God's plan, that his plan is perfectly perfect. I know that life is meant to be hard but that our own sunday will come just as it did for the Savior. I'm thankful for the covenants that I've made that make my two children mine forever. Whatever happens, I know they are mine as I stay true. I know God loves us and will never forget us. He is omniscient and ever forgiving!
I thank you all, my dear family; I thank you so much for your prayers, thoughts, words, faith, fasting, and love. I've made it through the last several months because of you and thank you so much. Please know the immense gratitude in my heart for each of you! I love you so much and ever thank you!
So, life is hard. BUT! Fresh courage take, we are all in this together. Love you all!

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