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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Blessings

Given this season of thanksgiving, I've been thinking a lot about the blessings in my life. A few months ago I had a hard time recognizing anything that might be labeled a blessing. Grief has a way of clouding one's vision and obscuring the view of blessings in life still to be appreciated.

Gratefully, I've been having more moments of deep, heartfelt recognition of blessings. I've even been able to start counting blessings that have come as a direct result from the nightmare experiences we've been through this year; blessings that could only have been born out of adversity. Blessings that have come wrapped in the most painful and heart-breaking packages.

I've been reminded of some thoughts I wrote down last October. While the trials of this year are much different than last year, the lesson is still the same. Blessings sometimes come in the most oddly wrapped packages, and the goal is to always have the faith in God to receive His gifts and rejoice in the gifts that He gives, trusting that He knows what and when to give. Today, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all of God's blessings to me, maybe even especially the ones that have come wrapped in pain and sorrow.


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The Oddly Wrapped Gift - originally posted on October 18, 2007

"For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."

The other day I decided to post about some of my more honest feelings about the difficulty of some of our trials. While it felt good to express that raw emotion, I want to be perfectly clear about a few things.

Yes, dealing with infertility has been painful.

Yes, the wait for adoption can be hard.

But, I would be completely ungrateful if I didn't admit that somehow in the midst of going through these trying times, we have found so much beauty. How is it possible that adversity can be a blessing?

I've started to recognize that the most wonderful of life's blessings have usually come to us in the most oddly wrapped packages. To look at something on the surface, it's easy to be deceived into thinking it represents something awful and unattractive.

Have you ever been to a white elephant party where the beautiful box wrapped in gold paper with the perfect red velvet bow on top is coveted by everyone? That is, until the person who finally ends up with it, and no doubt fought hard for it, finds that its contents are totally undesirable... you know, like an old fruit cake or a half burned candle or something.

While, on the other hand, there is a plainly wrapped gift that everyone does everything they can to get rid of it... only to discover at the end that it contained some very desirable gift... like, a large box of See's chocolate. {can you tell what I'm in the mood for right now?}

So, where was I? Oh yeah, packages. When we first found the "infertility package" on our doorstep, we were in denial. "No, no, it wasn't intended for us... we'll just ignore it there in the corner until it goes away." We didn't even want to go near it... it was not a gift... it was most definitely a curse.

Well after a couple of years, either out of desperation or curiosity, we decided to unwrap it. But, we did it very slowly. Just a little bit at a time. We went at our own pace. Even while in the middle of unwrapping it, we were trying desperately to understand how this could be a blessing. We were still deceived by how it came wrapped. We wanted the pretty, gold wrapped package with the big red bow.

After some time, we finally started to recognize little blessings of having received this "gift." We have found the gift of empathy. The gift of bearing each others' burdens. The gift of knowing that everyone has their quiet struggles. The gift of very faithful, supportive family and friends. The gift of knowing how to let each other mourn in the way that works for each of us. The gift of a strengthened marriage. The gift of patience. The gift of faith. The gift of learning what it means to pray intently. The gift of seeing past the awful wrapping of infertility, to find that we had been given a very wonderful gift. Adoption.

We're all given different "gifts"... they come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes, and most importantly they all represent different things for each of us. The key is to "receive the gift" and "rejoice in the giver of the gift" even if it appears at first to be something that we think we don't want.


Because, there is a loving Father in Heaven who knows how to bless us, and always blesses us with "good gifts."

7 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you for reposting this. I hope that you are able to find more oddly-wrapped gifts as the days go by . . . praying for you! :)

Ally said...

Megan, I followed your link to your blog from your facebook profile. I have spent the last good while catching up on your blog, and reading your story. Oh, my. I am very sorry for your loss and the trials you are going through. I have been touched by your eloquent words and your thought-provoking entries. Thank you for sharing your experiences. In the last year and a half, I have had two miscarriages, and it has not been easy. We have a beautiful two and a half year old, which makes things easier, but it is still devastating. I hope good things for you and Marc. Thanks for adding me as your friend!
Allyson

Anonymous said...

I was also told that a birthmom is due in February with twins and they are looking to find a placement for her as well. Sounds like this company is overflowing with birthmoms who are looking to place their babies for adoption. If you could help spread the word on this, that would be great.

This adoption company works closely with LDS Family services as well, so the information can be shared easily.

Megan Roth is the caseworker with the twins. Her number is 801.838.8014.

From the R house blog.

Cory and Becca said...

Megan, Somehow I found your blog and I really appreciate this post. It touched my heart deeply...as I have thought those same things dealing with our struggle with infertility. Despite all the heartache, pain, disappointments and despair,we too are thankful for the blessings and growth we have found by this 'gift'.
Blessings to you and your family,
Becca

mindyluwho said...

While I have not had to struggle with infertility, I can most definately relate to having an unwanted "gift" placed on my doorstop. I love how you express the process of unwrapping such a gift and coming to recognize the little blessings inside.

Michelle said...

Wow. This post struck home so hard to me, I will be thinking about it for days.
I know there are gifts somewhere in my oddly-wrapped package. . . Thank you for challenging me to find them!
Wishing you love and peace right now.
~Michelle

Wendy said...

Megan - I have come back to your blog a few times to read this post. I love it! You have an amazing way with words. We were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting the Sunday after Christmas and when he told me the subject I immediately though of your post. I was wondering if you would mind if I used exerts from post for my talk. You can e-mail me at wendy_the_poohgirl@yahoo.com Thank you for your inspiration!

Wendy