I am grateful for my blessings.
And, I am grateful for my trials.
I remember a talk given by a man who I truly love and look up to, Elder Henry B. Eyring, a leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called, Mountains to Climb.
In this talk he literally tells us that we can and should be thankful for our trials.
When I first heard this, I was taken-a-back as he opened with this statement:
I honestly thought, "How crazy! Why would anyone pray for more trials?"
As I journey through this trial of having a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder, and as many do not understand or still do not believe our truly heart-wrenching and emotionally and spiritually depleting life, I will honestly say that I am still not able to ask for any more mountains to climb. ;)
The mountain I am on is enough, thank you.
However, on this mountain, I have learned that I can either fall into a deep darkness of hurt and fear, which I have many times...
...I can look to my Savior and choose hope.
L's school is called, New Hope Academy for this very reason. They teach us and help us on our journey, guiding us up the steepest of hills, coaxing us to CHOOSE HOPE over fear.
And I can tell you right now, it's working.
These past few months have been an awaking for me. While the trial of RAD is just as hard and painful to navigate through as L gets older and is trying knew and sometimes difficult ways to hurt me or my family...we have also seen some significant improvements.
Imagine a child you love throwing themselves around her room, hitting her head on walls and doors, kicking the door until she takes it off it's hinges, kicking and hitting you, spitting on you, saying horrific things about you, throwing food at you, ripping apart her clothes or bedding, pulling down curtains and any decor in her room, taking toys or other items in her room and throwing them at you or making weapons to hurt you, and screaming at the top of her lungs how much she hates you.
Now imagine your child doing this almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day and nothing you say or do can calm her down for hours.
This is what our L did for nearly seven years.
And now she doesn't.
We have gone three entire months without a full-blown rage.
She is truly making progress in her healing!
Seven years of climbing this mountain and I can finally see the top!
It has been seven years of some of the darkest, most painful days of my life. Lower than our infertility journey, lower than our failed adoptions, lower than our failed IVF trials, lower than losing a loved one (not including a child, parent, spouse, or sibling), and even lower than my experience of being sexually abused.
I have never experienced more pain, more loss, more fear, more loneliness, more desire to give up, or more struggle in my faith than I have these past seven years.
But as Elder Eyring stated, that as I have climbed this mountain, I have changed, I have gained courage and empathy in return, I have gained the unshaken faith that my Savior knows me, He loves me, and that there is nothing in this life that I can go through, that He does not understand.
I have gained a relationship with my Father in Heaven and my Savior that I never want to lose. I have leaned on my Savior more and begged of the Father through Him, I have fallen on my knees over and over again and can now see, clearly, that They were with me all the while.
This is a blessing far greater than I could have imagined.
Now, while I may not be to the point where I ask for more mountains to climb just yet... ;)
...I can truly say that I am grateful for the ones I have been given thus far.
We still have YEARS of therapy to go with our L, she still is no where near ready to join her peers, but I have truly seen the hand of God in my daughter.
I have seen what seemed impossible become possible.
Her healing is my greatest hope. And I choose hope for her.
Lots of love,
Elder Henry B. Erying's talk: