Latter-day Saint Life

The phrase the Spirit whispered to me before my miscarriage that helped me stay hopeful

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Faith is trusting that the Savior can help you. Hope, expectation, is believing that He will.
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Editor's note: LDS Living recognizes the sensitivities and triggering emotions that can often accompany miscarriage. We also recognize that every person’s individual experience with miscarriage is different and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution or statement that will provide peace, comfort, or direction. Reader discretion is advised.

It’s going to be okay.”

After receiving the earth-shattering diagnosis of cancer, Sister Amy A. Wright recalls:

“In my mind I asked Heavenly Father, ‘Am I going to die?’
The Holy Ghost whispered, ‘Everything is going to be OK.’
Then I asked, ‘Am I going to live?’
Again, the answer came: ‘Everything is going to be OK.’

I was confused. Why did I receive the exact same answer whether I lived or died?”

Her recent talk struck me deeply. Those were the exact same words I felt in my mind years ago when I prayed, “Heavenly Father, will my baby live?”

It’s going to be OK.”

I remember thinking, what does that even mean? What does “OK” look like, when, with fragile hopes clasped in your hands, you approach heaven, pleading for even the thinnest thread of certainty?

What does “OK” mean, when patiently waiting upon the Lord turns into restlessly waiting, and waiting? When heartache and hardship are inevitable? When faith unfolds into something unexpected?

As common as miscarriage is, I understand why so few women talk about it openly. It is impossible to articulate the grief of losing something that never was. I put away the tiny Christmas stocking that would have contained our perfectly timed pregnancy announcement. I choked down sardonic responses to the battering of “When are you having kids?” I prayed and wondered and prayed. I asked all the questions people tend to ask when confronted with life’s blindingly unfair realities.

Now, years later, I’m becoming familiar with what heaven’s “OK” looks like. It’s why faith can result in unmet expectations—and be stronger for it.

Faith is trust. It’s confidence in something or someone reliable. And though the word expectation carries the connotation of fulfilling predetermined requirements, its original meaning centers on anticipation. Waiting. Hoping. In other words, expectations are faith-based hopes.

The Lord knows this, and He will gently accept those hopes for the precious blossoms of faith that they are. As we hand them to Him, we can trust that He will take good care of them. But He won’t always do what we expect because mortal expectations, by nature, develop within the confines of limited comprehension.

Few realities convey the power of unmet expectations better than the Savior’s own life. For millennia, people prophesied of a Savior. Countless men and women had faith in the promised Messiah. By the time Jesus Christ arrived in Jerusalem, much of that faith had grown into an expectation: As the Messiah, He would deliver the Jews from the Romans.

Though earnest and faith-based, that expectation would remain unmet. An even greater kind of deliverance was on the horizon, where the brilliant sunrise of Resurrection and redemption would shatter all darkness and death. All of it. Forever.

It wasn’t what so many expected. It was infinitely greater.

“Jesus Christ is the ‘hope in thine end.’” Sister Amy A. Wright continued reflecting on her cancer diagnosis, “He is the reason why it is never the end of our story. …Because of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel, if I died, my family would be comforted, strengthened, and one day restored. If I lived, I would have access to the greatest power on this earth to help succor, sustain, and heal me. In the end, because of Jesus Christ, everything can be OK.”

Faith is trusting that the Savior can help you. Hope, expectation, is believing that He will.

After my miscarriage, I grew more gentle. I was kinder. I was slower to complain and compare. I became more generous in my thoughts toward others. Grief does that to a person, I think. With life’s preciousness newly imprinted on your mind, you carry each seedling of hope with gentler hands.

Now, years later, I hold a baby girl in my arms. My love for her is indescribably raw and real. It grounds me. It binds me to the Savior. And when the days are long and difficult, my gratitude for her persists, carrying me from moment to moment.

My daughter will come to have faith in me. She’ll trust me and expect things from me. Inevitably, there will be times when I fail to meet her expectations because her expectations will be based on her ever-developing comprehension of how mortality works.

How I wish I could protect her from pain and unfairness, but she came here to learn. And Earth is a beautiful, terrible, marvelous, chaotic, splendid place where natural laws run their course. It’s perfectly designed to educate eternal spirits.

And so, with love in the likeness of our infinitely adoring heavenly parents, I’ll let her go. She’ll explore and expand, grieve, and grow. I’ll never be far, neither are They, and neither is Jesus Christ.

Because of who Jesus Christ is, there are things we can always expect from Him:

And relentless—relentless—love.

I’m learning that, with faith in Him, my expectations, my hopes, and anticipations, will be fulfilled—and if they’re not, I let myself start getting excited. Because that’s when I can be sure that something even better is on its way.

“When we trust God and His love for us, even our greatest heartbreaks can, in the end, work together for our good.” (Elder Gerrit W. Gong)

It’s going to be ok.

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