I know that is some heavy stuff to read. It is heavy to write. I know so many amazing people who can't have children and I know how hard it can be to be a member of a church so focused on children and family and not have any of your own. But, I put faith in knowing that God knows me, he loves me, and he puts me in positions where I can still influence children and have them be a part of my life. I am so grateful to all those around me who share their children with me. I am grateful to be "Aunt Shannon" to my nephews and niece and grateful to their parents for letting me be a part of their lives. Time with them is some of the memories and moments I treasure most. They are all such good kids and I am lucky to be around them. I am also grateful to all of my friends who have children and allow me to spend time with them. I love it. I love being able to teach and be around the 40 plus children in our primary as a serve as the Primary President. I love each and every one of them so much. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to be around so many children. It helps feel the void if even in a small way.
It is hard for me to watch children experience hard things. We have had several pediatric hospice patients the last year and those have been so hard to work with. It pains me to hear about children on the news who have been abused or mistreated in some way. I hate hearing about parents who just don't understand the value of being able to have children of their own and are horrible to them. I wish I could save and protect all those children out there who have bad things happening. I will never tolerate seeing a child abused whether verbally or physically, and I will always stand up and say something for them no matter what it might cost me. We must protect children by any means necessary.
I love the church and the gospel and the peace it brings to me heart to know that even if I don't get to experience motherhood on this earth, maybe I will in the afterlife and I look forward to meeting that sweet girl that use to appear in my dreams.
I cherish this quote from a talk given by Sister Julie B. Beck in General Conference years ago, "In my experience I have seen that some of the truest mother hearts beat in the breasts of women who will not rear their own children in this life, but they know that “all things must come to pass in their time” and that they “are laying the foundation of a great work”. As they keep their covenants, they are investing in a grand, prestigious future because they know that “they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever" (A "Mother Heart" April 2004 conference).
I love my Heavenly Father and Savior and am grateful for the "mother heart" that beats in my chest and for the children in my life that I get to be around and share in their lives. I am grateful for the faith I have that things will be okay whether I have children or not.