Friday, May 31, 2013

Faith In Not Being Healed

A Brief Introduction to this post:

They say every one around us is going through some kind of a trial, whether we see it in them or not, be it physical, emotional, spiritual. 
The random lady at the grocery store or at the park who compliments or congratulates me on my growing baby belly has no idea what I will face in the near future, what I face now. I have no idea that she may be going in for surgery the next day, have just lost her husband, or is battling cancer.
I have no idea who is reading this now, what you are facing or will face.

I once would never have imagined having to face losing my own child.

I used to wonder why I was so blessed to have my life float along quite nicely with only the challenges and trials I'd experienced, seemingly minor compared to some.
Instead of asking "Why ME?!" like people ask about a bad situation they are in, I had asked myself, "Why not me?", recognizing how fortunate I was that I'd somehow dodged bullets that others weren't so lucky to have dodged by this point in my life. 

And then, one day, the bullet hit me; A 1 in 6,000 chance equal to all women, and I was, together with Isaac, WE were that one that couldn't dodge this bullet in such a large crowd. 
A random fluke of nature that created this whole experience we are going through together as a family, and are sharing with many others, I share because what I am learning, I want others to know. Our specific challenge isn't even the point, what matters is that what I'm learning is so amazing, 
I can't not share it. 
I must share it to make it all worth it.

This knowledge can apply to everyone.

Isaac's story: Post 4

Written at current 28 weeks gestation

All I want in this life, no matter what it is I have to face, is comfort and peace. Yet comfort and peace in one's life is reliant on something we are in charge of gaining for ourselves, something even more important than these two blessings themselves. Faith.

I experienced a loss of some faith recently, having given a little room in my heart to fear for Isaac's and our situation. It was something I did not see coming because I've been so blessed to not only be strong in all this, but my faith has grown magnificently. And yet, I still experienced a loss of a little of faith's light, which left me a little more blind, in a little more darkness, uncomforted and not at peace. (I will dedicate an explanation of this experience in some future post).

Since finding that brighter light again, through seeking it in prayer and scripture study, I've learned that peace and comfort is not what I once knew it to be. And faith, faith is so much more, and yet so much simpler, than I can define it to be. I feel overwhelmed trying to type this entry about what I've come to know about faith, and yet the most important thing I've leaned about faith has nothing to do with how much we know about it, or even the amount of it that we have. The magnitude of faith I obtain in this life, will never be the "right" amount, because there is no such thing. We can only have "enough" faith, and to have "enough" faith is to have ANY amount of faith at all. That is all God expects of me, that is all He expects of us, faith the size of a mustard seed.

Even so, faith the size of a mustard seed is only a beginning of what can be, the amount of faith one can have and so the amount of comfort and peace one can obtain in this life. 

Faith to "Move Mountains"

A quest to build my faith like never before

When we first found out about Isaac's condition, that he had a 95% chance of dying before his 1st birthday, I went out of control searching for comfort and peace, for answers, for knowledge, for faith. I desperately needed it. I started reading many books, I lengthened and deepened my daily study in the scriptures. I prayed more fervently, and learned the true meaning of direct communication with our Father in Heaven. I was on a quest, a quest to "gain the amount of faith I needed to move mountains." I felt that it was all up to me, that if I could change my life, change my faith and build it up to a point I'd never needed before, that I could save Isaac's life through God working miracles in my faith.

As the most important personal quest I'd ever felt responsible for, I stuck with it, and still have. I felt my knowledge concerning faith growing within me, what it really was, how it worked, how powerful it is- in a way I've never needed to know before, but yearned for now.
I knew my faith was growing because my faith was put to the test and I was able to overcome it. I realized that I didn't know for sure if God could heal Isaac. I could have easily told you before that God could heal anything, but I was faced with actually being accountable for that belief, that kind of faith. I had to find make that belief, that faith concrete by being given this opportunity to test that belief.

I've always had a simple and powerful faith that God can do anything, heal anyone, and yet I'd never heard of the "miracle" of God healing a genetic disorder- something affecting the very DNA, the makeup of an entire person. Christ healed the sick, the blind, the deaf the dumb; He even raised the dead. We see miracles of the same magnitude today through His power, and yet I still questioned if He could heal Isaac because all those miracles were "different" to me than healing an entire body of every single cell, not just a sickness affecting those cells, but the way the cells were made. I needed to know for myself if He could, according to his laws.

Miracles: The Operating of God's 'Higher' Laws

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He operates by laws. The law of gravity, Newton's Law's, Pysical laws of science- all these laws and more in science that our earth functions and operates by are laws of God that are known by man.
But there are laws, laws of which man does not know and cannot explain, that are the 'higher' laws of God, which until we discover them, or they are revealed to us through God, will remain a miracle when they are performed through God on earth. When God operates by these laws to perform something on earth that we can't explain, we call it a miracle- God intervening where man has no knowledge or explanation.

I only wondered if because of some higher law, Isaac has to die first in order to have his body healed, which in the resurrection, will happen to us all anyway. Our bodies will all be made perfect. That is a miracle, and I have complete faith in that part of His plan, but that did not satisfy my question. I needed to know for a fact that God could heal Isaac in this life, so that I could practice faith and hope in that miracle, otherwise, I could focus my faith on what I already knew: that Isaac will be healed on the other side and I will get to raise him in the next life if not in this one. I needed a focus of faith at this point in my journey, and I wanted it so bad to be for a miracle- I just needed to know it was possible.

Without going in to detail about my very personal search for truth and knowledge from the comforter Himself and by direct line of communication with Heavenly Father and experiences through constant scripture study and seeking answers, I received, on multiple occasions, in a very real way the witness that God could heal Isaac of Trisomy 18, and in this life. He is in complete control.
I had to grow and obtain the kind of faith that allowed me to truly believe that God could heal Isaac, 
before I could learn the harder,
even stronger kind of faith...
Faith in not being healed.

When Personal Revelation "Contradicts" Reality

Beyond receiving the witness that God could heal Isaac, I had received impressions through scripture study and prayer that He would. I believed it, and expected it. I wasn't even worried anymore over our baby boy dying because I believed that he wouldn't. I was overly confident that Isaac would be healed and this would all be an amazing miracle. I just knew that at our next ultrasound appointment, they wouldn't be able to find Isaac's omphalocele and that would be the beginning of ever greater miracles, including a complete healing of Trisomy 18. 

That next appointment proved to contradict these personal impressions I'd felt in my heart through prayer and scripture study, and following it was one of the hardest, most dark and tearful days of this experience.

A brief excerpt from my journal entry following that appointment:

March 7, 2013
I know this is only true to an extent, but yesterday I felt like having faith only complicated things. I will NEVER want to give up hope that he will be healed, but I don’t want to be stupid or naive and always let down. If I was a person not of faith, I would have no hope, which would be sad, but according to this diagnosis, he WILL die. It seems a lot simpler to just come to grips with that one and only possiblitity, learn from it and grow from it, and make decisons over it. But to throw in the posibility of God interveneing and healing him, makes ALL OPTIONS POSSILBLE and it’s really hard to deal with such opposite outcomes: Death because of Trisomy 18, or Life because of a miracle....

I'd received personal revelation and impressions in my heart, on multiple occasions, and yet I didn't see them unfolding very obviously before my eyes. It seemed quite the opposite in fact. They found more in that ultrasound to tell us concerning Isaac, things that were so hard to hear, especially having gone in with such confidence that all would be ok.
It was definitely one of many tests of my faith.

I had no idea what to think at all. I needed direction. It was in these moments of despair and utter confusion that I was humbled to a point I've never been at before, a point so low, a point of feeling so utterly helpless and lost that I didn't even know what to continue to pray for. I expressed these feelings in prayer and in doing so, in desperation prayed to Heavenly Father telling Him that I needed to hand this burden to Him, to my Savior Jesus Christ, that I accept whatever is the outcome for Isaac and for our family.

I am still praying for a miracle, that he be healed, however I've learned that it's not having a lack of faith to still believe the alternative (not being healed) might occur.  Of course we desire for our son to be made whole, and to be able to raise Him here and now, and that is what we continue to pray for, but we will not lose any faith if that is not the outcome.

And that, that is having faith in not being healed- having gained a knowledge that God could heal Isaac, that if He does not, knowing and trusting that that is what's best, for reasons our tiny natural minds can't comprehend, but can only accept and find comfort and peace in through our faith in Him and His love for us.

Two important lessons I learned in experiencing "contradictions" to my answers to prayer are, hope and faith are:
1. That I won't always understand immediately what Heavenly Father is trying to tell me.

2. Patience is key- waiting upon the Lord in faith, for His timing. We will receive every righteous desire of our hearts, as well as the blessings from impressions and personal revelations we receive.
The only way we won't receive what we desire in this life,
 is if  
God has something better for us. 
Something better than my best desires? I'll take it, 
even if it means a large and difficult delayed gratification period.
The sacrifice will be worth it. 
Any sacrifice; even getting to raise our son Isaac here and now.

An important lesson
I learned amidst all of this searching for the perfect faith, the perfect knowledge, the perfect desire so I could align my will with God's and receive miracles is found in an excerpt from my journal on

May 15, 2013
....I try too hard, I think, to desire “the perfect desire,” to have the “perfect faith” to move mountains so that miracles can happen. But through this experience I have learned that the faith I do have is sufficient to receive miraculous blessings and the things that I desire are good enough.

Elder Holland said it well in his last General Conference address:

“The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.”

I don’t have to have the perfect knowledge or desire the perfect desire in order to receive. God doesn’t expect that of me. I am not perfect. I don’t have perfect faith. Though I’m striving so hard to have the most faith that I can and become “perfect” like Him, I know that before I receive miracles in this life, I won’t have reached that status of perfection. God will bless me with the miracles that I need and desire at the level I’m at because he knows where my heart is and what it is striving to become. That is good enough for Him to bless me with miracles.
God is a good God. He wants us to be happy. And He wants us to learn and grow. There is no doubt that through this experience I am being blessed with learning and growth as well as happiness, even amidst the pain of it, and will continue to be so blessed.

In Closing

There is nothing more peaceful and comforting than the light that comes from the ever growing flame of Faith. It definitely takes intense seeking after and building that flame brighter and brighter to obtain it, but even when you feel your faith is at it's strongest, a big gusty wind will come along and diminish even the largest of flames.

When those winds come, seek personal revelation through prayer and scripture study and the flame will ignite again as it once was.
And sometimes, it takes more faith to NOT receive a miracle, to NOT receive the pleadings of your heart than to receive a miracle. Sometimes the strongest kind of faith is the faith to not be healed- Whatever healing that may mean to you, be it physical, emotional, spiritual. 

That's what this life is all about. Some bullets we will dodge while others will hit us straight on whether we see them coming or not. These struggles and obstacles that life's journeys bring before us allow us to demonstrate our obedience and grow our faith in His plan for us, and whether in this life or the next, we all will be healed, if that is what our hearts desire, and we are willing to seek after such a miracle.


  1. Stephanie, you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. I mean that in far more than a superficial way. Every entry of yours that I read strengthens my own testimony of our God in such an intense way that I have not felt in a long time. I feel so blessed to know you. And I am in awe of your grace and humility and pure love you show in this situation to both your creator and your beautiful boy. My prayers are with you. And I hope to be able to help you in some way down the road as you have me. Wish I could hug you from here!

    1. Kristin, what a beautiful comment to get. Truly, I am honored and feel so blessed to be able to have had the kind of affect that you describe in any way through Isaac and our experience that we are being blessed with and blessed to share with others. Thank you for your comment because it shows me some of the blessings that are coming from all of this and that is what it is all about. I appreciate it so much. Thank you for your prayers. Thanks for your hug, I can feel it :)

  2. I agree with your friend Kristin. You are a beautiful woman. Thank you for sharing the beautiful and hard things that you are learning, as it strengthens me and my faith. I know you and Scott will be alright, whatever the outcome of your future because of that faith that you speak of. Thank you again for your examples. You are wonderful people and I am so grateful to be able to learn from you. Much love...xoxo

    1. Mary- you are so nice to Scott and I! Thank you for always sharing your thoughts on my blog. You are so sweet and I'm so glad to be related to you. I wish we were closer and could be more a part of each other's lives!!! I'm truly grateful that through Isaac your faith has been strengthened. It makes me happy to know. And thank you for your faith, I know that we will be alright too. :) It's nice to have that reasurrance and confidence from others as well. Love you!

  3. Dear Steph.....your Mom told me about Issac a few weeks ago and I have gone back and read through all your posts. You are an incredible example to me of faith, courage and hope. Its still hard for me to inmagine you experiencing this as to me you are still "one of my young women." I loved your bullet analagy and man are you right on. We pray for your family and HOPE for daily peace for you. Issac is one special little boy and I KNOW our Heavenly Father has a greater plan than we can see. Thank you for sharing your story of faith hope and belief. I KNOW Heavenly Father is mindful of your sweet little family and has you all in the palm of his hand. Much love,
    Sister Wyatt


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