“If anyone can do it, you can.” That’s what my aunt told me when she first heard we were having quadruplets (four babies all at once). We already had 2 toddlers, neither one potty-trained yet.
The idea of “doing it”, especially doing it well, seemed impossible to me.
I thought she was insane, and more than that I thought God was wrong.
On the outside I went through the motions, telling myself this is what I asked for and I should trust the Lord. But on the inside it was different.
I told Him in prayers that I thought he was making a mistake. But there was no response. I sat in silence, listening and waiting. I prayed repeatedly, reminding God that it was a mistake and I could not do it.
All the while I was unwilling to accept the idea that maybe God knew better than I did.
How could He possibly think I could handle this? My prayers changed to be more pleading for help and then I heard and felt inspirations related to my calling as a mother. Over time as I acted on these impressions I felt more capable, then confident.
One day our doctor was scrutinizing my abilities as a mother. I was clearly overwhelmed and suffering from both denial and post partum depression. He kept quizzing me about my kids until I quieted my mind and reached deep inside. I finally gave him a good answer. The doctor was satisfied and allowed us to leave the office with a smile and a hope that I would remember what I told him.
HOW Do You Do It?
What are your kids to you? What does it mean to have these kids?
They are angels on loan from heaven.
“How do you do it?!?!” Umm…Do what exactly? Let them eat ice cream for dinner every day? Teach them that the important thing in cleaning a room is to have an exit path? That’s right. Kick those toys and the laundry out of the way so you can escape without getting hurt on the way if there’s a fire or earthquake or something.
I don’t know what people were thinking when they asked me how I did it. I usually answered ‘Not alone!’ or ‘I pray a lot!’. Both of which were entirely true.
But I never felt like I was doing anything other than surviving. Maybe that’s what they meant. Either way the answers are the same.
We don’t do it alone and I pray a lot.
The Requirement to Become Qualified
Now that my kids are older I look at them with amazement. God was right. I could do it. With His help.
Sometimes I think He gives us things that help us rely on Him. He wants so badly to be involved in our lives, to have us talk to him (pray) and listen to him (study scriptures). He will give us challenges that we believe we cannot accomplish, because we literally can’t -without His help.
With God all things are possible. I believe in miracles. And the biggest miracle for me today is that I have become qualified. And I can see that now.
The only requirement for being qualified is a willing heart. Then you just show up. If we can do that much, planting a seed of faith – Heavenly Father will do the rest and turn that into everything He needs us to become and more.
Just as Alma counsels us to experiment upon the word, when we experiment upon trusting Heavenly Father, He will show us how we are growing and becoming more capable than we thought possible.
That’s the way it works. We accept the call of motherhood, show up, and pray. Then watch the miracles happen.
I was wrong to put limits on the power of God or His belief in my abilities as a mother.
Last night we were having a disciplinary meeting with one of our kids. He is 17-years old now. We had discussed everything related to the course corrections he needed. Nearing the end of our counsel, I asked him, “Is there anything else you want to talk about?”
He answered, “I love you, Mom.” That’s proof enough for me.
“When we are on the Lord’s errand we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”President Thomas S. Monson
Show up and strive for just 1% better each day and before you know it you will look back and, recognizing God’s hand in your life, you will see how qualified you have become.
May you be able to recognize the angels surrounding you as you are on the Lord’s errand of raising His angles on loan from heaven. Please allow yourself the grace that Heavenly Father and our Savior have made for us. Trust in His decisions that you are the best mom available for raising the kids He sent to you. Trust that He trusts you.
And remember, as Thomas S. Monson said, “Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”