It was late on cold night in early December 2012 and Richard and I drifted off to sleep after a couple of hours snuggling in bed, looking at the iPad. We had been looking at Real Estate and house plans, trying to figure out what we were going to do next, since our house had sold the week before. I didn’t want to have to build a house, but I had gotten a little excited when I saw what we could get in our budget if we built it ourselves. We’d gotten a little carried away looking at all kinds of crazy plans over the internet and stealing design ideas from houzz dot com.
When I finally fell asleep, I dreamed we built one of the big houses in the plans. In my dream, it was summer and we had friends and family over for a party-- we were so relieved to be done with the project. During the party I went to the restroom and I was feeling so exhausted. I saw an old pregnancy test under the sink and thought, maybe I should take that. So I did, and it was glaringly positive. I was completely shocked. I started to cry and prayed aloud, “Heavenly Father, are you KIDDING me? I can’t do this! I am going to DIE! I am so old! I’m a sucky mom! I’m so tired! I can’t do it!” I sat on my shiny new potty, sobbing and angry.
[Aside: I know it seems super weird that this all took place in the bathroom; it seemed so to me, too. But when I thought about it later, truth be told, the bathroom is a bit of a sanctuary for me since I became a mom. Granted, I still rarely get to be alone in there, but if I ever am alone, it’s in the bathroom. I also regularly receive inspiration while reading in the tub. It’s my Holy Place these days, I guess]
Suddenly I was conversing with Heavenly Father, sitting there on my throne holding the stick in my hand. He answered me by saying, “Excuse me? This is a blessing…and I don’t give people big houses for no reason.”
“Hmmm. Good point,” I conceded. “But I’m old and sick. This will kill me. Then who will raise these kids?”
“Did I not make you better last time?” Heavenly Father countered. “I can make you even better this time. Don’t you trust me?”
“I do. I say I do. I don’t want to. I’m too tired…” My argument was running out of steam. I realized He was right, and that if we did build a big new house, the Lord might expect us to fill it with another child.
When I woke up, I figured I would solve the problem by choosing a medium sized house that fit six people nicely. Then I wouldn’t even have to face the question. And I told Rich that once we did move into the new house, he wasn’t coming anywhere near me.
So we sold the old house and lived in a tiny rental for 8 months while we built a comfortable (but not BIG) new house. I continued to dream that we had a fifth child occasionally. Sometimes it was a Chinese baby, sometimes it was a girl named Josie, but I kept all of this to myself.
Then one night in July 2013 we were on a “date” to dinner and Home Depot to get finish supplies for our house. I’d dreamt of the baby again, so I timidly brought it up to Rich. “Honey, I keep dreaming about another baby, “ I said, flinching.
“Me, too!” He said with a chuckle.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked.
“No, I’m serious.” He said. We rode down the highway in stunned silence. “I guess that’s a message, huh? I’m in if you’re in.”
“I guess I’m in,” I replied. “I’ll probably die, but I’m in.”
So we got to Bozeman and stopped at Costco before dinner. As we walked in, our favorite Labor and Delivery nurse was walking out. She hugged us and said she missed us. We said we missed her, too. She said, “I guess you just need to have another baby so we can get together,” and we all laughed, but Rich and I glanced at each other wide-eyed. I thought to myself, Hmmm, We were just talking about that…
We had a nice little visit and said goodbye to her, then we just cracked up. It was hilarious! Like a little inside joke nudge from Heavenly Father to tell us we were on the right track.
I still felt reluctant, but I told Rich I was willing to give God ONE CHANCE. We decided that we’d “Try” as soon as we settled in the house.
So we did. Like, the weekend we moved in. I knew I was pregnant about 10 days later because I was too tired to unpack and ravenously hungry. But at the same time I knew it was a ridiculous miracle to expect that a dream plus willingness could make a chronically ill, 42-year-old woman with no thyroid and a post-vasectomy man conceive a child. So I waited two more weeks. It was my 42nd birthday and my mother, aunt, grandmother, and sister were all in town. I took 4 tests over 2 days because I couldn’t believe my eyes. I announced my pregnancy and due date at the birthday party and made my mom cry.
Heavenly Father has kept his promise to me. I was still sick during the pregnancy, but not to the point of exhaustion or dehydration. I was hospitalized the last week of my pregnancy because my blood pressure spiked, but in retrospect I could see the blessing of forced bed rest. Try as I might at home, I just couldn’t rest up for delivery. I wanted to be strong and well-rested so I could labor and deliver without medication. So God provided a way for me to be ready to make my birth plan come true—four days in the hospital with doses of Benadryl to help me sleep. Healthy meals delivered to my bed. Blood sugars and blood pressures that came into the normal range as I rested. All of these things made it possible for me to be fully conscious and in control of my delivery on May 10, 2014, and it was awesome. Ammon truly is a dream baby in every sense of the word. When I stop to think about the Wonder of Him, I want to burst with hallelujahs.
I think back to three specific scriptures when I ponder this miracle in my life and the testimony it has left me with. First is Malachi 3:10, where God is challenging Israel to recommit to their covenants. “Prove me now herewith saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” If we can’t obey out of humility and love, we can obey out of a desire to test God and know if He is real and if His promises are sure (spoiler alert: He ALWAYS passes the test). This principle is also expounded upon in my second scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 82:10, when God says, “I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” He is literally bound to bless us when we obey. Every action comes with a consequence. Hopefully the consequence is a blessing!
After we experience this pattern of obedience and blessings long enough, our hope and belief become faith. We recognize the pattern and understand that our faith and obedience have the power to create consequences, and those consequences add up to a life, an environment—of our own creation. In the Book of Mormon Jacob 4:6 (third) we find it explained like this: “Wherefore we search the prophets, and have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.”
WE TRULY CAN. That is the lesson of these miracles to me, and I bear witness that it is true. We are sons and daughters of a Divine Creator. We have inherited gifts and powers from Him. We have the power to create the world we want to live in. When we align our will with His, the wishes of our hearts become commands. By our faith, obedience, and desire, we slowly but surely create an environment where God’s work can be done, where it truly is “on earth as it is in heaven.”