Monday, February 2, 2015

Motherhood is Full of Eternal Truths

Despite the fact that I had a crisis of faith after JaiseAnn was born, becoming a mother has ultimately strengthened my faith.  (Somethings just can't be explained. It doesn't even make sense to me. While I won't diminish my faith crisis as it was a very real and extremely difficult/scary time for me, the further away I get from the experience the more I realize that severe sleep deprivation and hormones played the biggest part.)

I remember taking JaiseAnn to visit my classroom and my former students when she was around three months old. I had prepared myself for tears as I prepared to say goodbye to my students, but when I walked into the school the tears started coming for a different reason. 

I suddenly had the strangest deja vu type of feeling. I tried to pinpoint it and finally I realized that I had been taking JaiseAnn to school with me for about a year at that point. JaiseAnn was with me throughout my pregnancy. 

During my pregnancy I didn't know it was her but now that she's here, I've had a number of experiences where I realized, "We've already done this together."  It's the most surreal thing but I absolutely cannot deny that she had been around in spirit. I know that spirit, her spirit, and I can now recognize all the times she was with me before her birth. 

Most people say that having a child solidifies their belief in God. Some even start believing in a higher power once they have a child. And while that's true, my experience is a little different. My faith in my own religion was strengthened, and therefore my faith in God.

In the LDS faith we believe that our spirits existed before we were born. We believe our spirits lived, discussed, learned, celebrated, and more in our pre-earth life. We simply came to earth to get a body and experience mortal life--trials and all. (You can read more about that here). 

This belief in a pre-existence has always made sense to me. It actually seems logical and there have been many times that I recognize that the person I am is who I have always been. Some things about me and my life experience cannot be explained by parenting, learning, or anything of the sort. Those things are inherent in who I am. My Heavenly Father made me the way that I am. I have always known this.

But becoming a mother added a whole knew dimension. I felt her spirit and quickly recognized that she had been with me before the moment I met her. She had been a part of our family all along. I can't really do justice to those feelings, but trust me. She belonged. I belonged. Zach belonged. We belonged together and our souls knew each other.

We didn't think we were having a girl. We thought (and honestly hoped a little) that we were having a boy. But when she arrived it only made sense that she was a girl. I kept saying to Zach, "Of course she's a girl!" She just fit. It worked. We were meant to be her parents. 

There are days where I play with JaiseAnn and I make up silly songs for her all the time. For as much as I am not a musician, we sing at our house at least half of the time. It's silly and fun and it makes things more exciting--diaper changes, getting the mail, taking a bath, looking in the mirror, and more. The other day I was singing JaiseAnn a little song and I just had this overwhelming feeling that these songs have always been ours. They come so naturally do me because they are a part of the dynamic we have. I have never questioned the possibility of eternal families, but I do know that she's been mine for far longer. It's like I knew her before. 

Maybe I knew her before this life (while there's no direct Mormon doctrine that supports this theory, I happen to personally believe it's true.) Maybe I simply recognized her spirit as it was with me throughout my pregnancy--that is simply something I cannot deny. Whatever it is, JaiseAnn has a spirit and I've felt it longer than she's been alive. And that tells me that we do have spirits and that God does exist. 

How did having a baby change or affect your religious beliefs?

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