Saturday, March 16, 2013

letter for a friend

One of my dear friends asked if I could write a letter for her sister for a young women lesson about the atonement and the talk Finding Joy in the Journey. It was a really good experience for me since I have not written on the blog for a while. I was able to take a couple hours without the boys and think and cry and write. My heart hurts that I am not writing more often, but it is hard to be able to keep my train of thought with two little monkeys running around during the day and evenings are over in a snap. My children are my most important priority so I am not here as often but also that is why I continue to write, so that they can read their mothers testimony as well as hear it. One super fun thing that happened this week, for the first time in 10 1/2 years I am not changing diapers on a daily basis. :) I never really did mind changing diapers but I am so proud of Jenston! On to a new chapter in our lives.
The letter is not really relevant to anyone who has been reading the blog for a while :) but now it is recorded for my boys. How I love all of my children.

My dear sisters,

I hope by the end of this letter that you can feel of my love for our Savior and the gratitude I have for His gift that he has given to us. In a years short time my testimony of the love our Savior has for us and the tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father has grown more than I could ever imagine it would have.
A year ago from today I was the most sick I have ever been. It was definitely a different pregnancy from my other ones, but I didn’t know if I was sick because of the extra responsibilities of taking care of four little boys or if there was a possibility this was a girl. I have learned after the birth of my second son with whom the doctors told us had a 1% chance of making it through the night when he was three days old, but he lived through the night and is now a healthy 8 year old, that birth in itself is an amazing miracle. I was just so happy to have been able to have the four children that I did and at the time be pregnant with another sweet baby. For medical reasons I have had csections with all of my children.
At 13 weeks we went in for a routine check up and my doctor did an ultrasound. She saw something a little different by the head but told me that it was nothing to worry about and that she would recheck again at 16 weeks. The Friday before my appointment I finally felt the sickness leave, almost completely in one day. I had more energy and finally felt like I could handle everything on my plate at the time. This was one of the many sweet and tender mercies that Heavenly Father granted me. That Sunday I was called into the primary presidency but they didn’t know when they would be able to fill my callings I was currently serving in, scouts and nursery, so they asked that I fill all three callings through the summer. Then that following Tuesday on April 24th my life was shattered and the hopes and dreams I had for this little baby were swept away. We went in for our check up and found out that our little baby had a condition called Anencephaly. A condition incompatible with life. We also found out that this was in fact our first little girl. In those first few days I learned that my little girl would most likely not make it to birth, and that if she did, would survive only minutes if she survived the birthing process. I learned that if she passed away between 23 and 32 weeks that I would put my own life at risk because of my previous csections and even if I made it through that my chances of having future children would be very slim if not eliminated. Our hearts were broken, all of our boys had been wanting a little sister and were so excited for this new little life with our family. How do we tell them? What do we do? What is the future for this sweet baby girl, and why is this happening to us? We have always been faithful, why do we need to go through this? These were just a few questions that were going through our minds. We had 4 weeks to decide whether or not we were going full term. I know that my husband and I have never prayed harder in our lives. We had multiple priesthood blessings and sought council from our bishop and started attending the temple weekly or more if we could. Our ward and families fasted for us and we knew that the Lord would help us with our decision. I don’t remember having a revelation or being struck by lightening, but Justin and I knew that this baby girl was a part of our family and that we wanted her to stay with us as long as she could and her mission allowed. We decided to name her Joy and found a talk by President Monson called, Finding Joy in the Journey that became our family motto. We knew we wanted our time with our girl to be filled with joy, so we simplified our lives and filled the summer with things that our family loves to do together so we had the chance to do them with her. We continued to attend the temple weekly and thanked our Heavenly Father each day that Joy made it closer to her due date. Justin made her casket and I made her burial dress, blankets to wrap her in, and started learning to crochet so I could make her hats for her sweet head. The summer was filled with tender mercies, and many humbling experiences. So many generous donations were received to relieve the burden of the medical bills and funeral costs, friends stopping by with flowers and kind notes, and lots of hugs and prayers.
Finally the day for the birth of our baby girl came. We were filled with so much gratitude that we had made it this far and were so excited to finally be able to see her. But it was a time of great sorrow. Everything that we had been hoping and praying for, for longer than 9 months was about to come to an end. Our little girls’ mission had been fulfilled and it was her time to return to our Father in Heaven. To say that driving to the hospital that morning was hard would be an understatement. Justin and I clung together with our faith that we would be able to make it through. W had grown to love and look forward to every movement that she made and in a short few hours she would be gone. We didn’t know if she would survive birth but we had faith that our Father in Heaven would do what was best for our family and our situation at that time. He had been there for us the entire time and would not leave us now. My husband wrote the sweetest note to his little girl the night before and it was a sweet tribute to her and everything that she had taught us. There is a question that is often asked, “Why do we come to earth?” The primary answer is to get our body. But Joy taught us that we come to earth, to gain our body, find joy in the journey every step of the way no matter how hard it may be, and return with our families to our Father in Heaven. We could not do that without our Savior who has experience every sorrow and pain and rose from the grave in glory and immortality. My life without my Joy is incomplete, but through my Savior it is made whole. He has filled that gap so that I can raise my daughter in the eternities and her brothers can love on her there as well. The promise that if we live righteously that we will see our daughter and sister again is what gets us through each and every day. We live with Joy in our hearts finding joy in the journey every day. Just as I am sure she is doing, serving the Lord on the other side and as a family we are made whole through the atonement of the Savior. There is nothing more important in this life than getting my family back to my Father in Heaven. No soccer practice more important than scriptures and family prayer, no activity more important than FHE. Find ways to make it happen. I bear you my testimony that our Savior is real, and that He died for us. That our Father is so loving and willing to help us if we only ask Him, although it may not be how we think. I never thought that I would be asked to bury one of my children, but my heart is so full knowing that through our Savior and the gospel of Jesus Christ that I can hold that baby in my arms again. The scriptures are true and we have a living Prophet of God on earth today whose words can comfort and lift us up. I bear you this testimony of our Saviors love for us through the atonement, in His name, Jesus Christ Amen.
Our sweet daughter was born on Sept, 20, 2012. She lived for 5 miraculous hours. She was wide awake, until the time she passed, talking to her parents and her brothers, holding our hands and our hearts. We kissed on her and held her as tightly as we could. My heart will never be closer to heaven than it was on that day and my life will never be the same because of my children.
With love,  Breanne  


  1. Oh so beautiful. Your testimony is such a shining example.. I know there are so many tender and aching feelings behind your beautiful smile... Heavenly Father knows too... and he'll be there to carry you on those hard hard days.

  2. Breanne, I just wanted you to know that I'm doing a YW lesson tomorrow on challenges and how we decide to face them. For some reason your blog kept coming to my mind all week long... Now it's Halloween night and my lesson is tomorrow and now I know why I kept thinking I needed to look at your blog. I hope you don't mind but I'm going to share this letter with my YW tomorrow. Thanks so much for putting it out here for everyone to see. You're family in an amazing example on how to face challenges!