Friday, April 27, 2012


The first weekend in April our church has General Conference.  This is where our entire church (as well as anyone else who wants to listen) is able to gather and watch/listen to the leaders of our church.  This was one of my least favorite weekends as a child.  It required that I gave up not only my Sunday to TWO church meetings, but my Saturday as well!  As an adult I find myself so looking forward to General Conference.  I love to listen to these inspired messages and I can literally feel my Spirit growing stronger after every session.

This year there was one talk that jumped out at me particularly.  I literally feel like it was written for me.  There was a specific line that he said that practically made my heart stop.  I know that this was meant for me in response to my doubts/fears/concerns/prayers.  It was a message for single parents.   The talk is titled Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment:  A Message to Single Parents.

Before I go into more detail I will explain how I knew that this talk was meant for me personally.  (Besides the obvious reason that I am a single parent and the title states "a message to single parents.")  David S. Baxter said, "Your journey through life has had bumps, detours, twists, and turns, mostly as the result of life in a fallen world that is meant to be a place of proving and testing."  This phrase made my heart stop because on December 8th, 2011 I posted on this blog an entry titled "Bumps, Detours, and Melt-Downs". (Click the title to follow the link and read the post)  If you don't want to read the long and depressing post I will sum it up for ya.  I wrote about my road to motherhood and my struggles as a single parent.  I have always wanted to be a mother.  However, my road to motherhood was not the one that I planned to take.  "I hit bumps and I took detours."  What are the odds that the words I used, literally the EXACT words, were used in this talk in conference from a General Authority?  Just... Wow.

What a fantastic reminder for me.  When 99% of the time I feel like an utter failure and I feel so much private guilt and quite literal physical pain and fear that I am not doing what's best for my daughter, this is what I needed to hear to buoy me up.

He says,  "Whatever your circumstances or the reasons for them, how wonderful you are. Day to day you face the struggles of life, doing the work that was always meant for two but doing it largely alone. You have to be father as well as mother. You run your household, watch over yourfamily, sometimes struggle to make ends meet, and miraculously you even find the wherewithal to serve in the Church in significant ways. You nurture your children. You cry and pray with them and for them. You want the very best for them but fret every night that your best may never be good enough."

"With God’s help, you need not fear for the future. Your children will grow up and call you blessed, and every single one of their many achievements will stand as a tribute to you."

"Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier subcategory of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens."
One of my biggest concerns is that Ayla always feels the adequate love and attention that she deserves.  I hope, with all of my heart, that she never feels that she is lacking in these areas.  I hope that she feels my presence and is able to see past my short-comings and that everything I can give to her is enough.  I hope that she can feel the love from her biological father when she sees him and never doubts how much he loves her.  I hope that she knows how much Kyle, her future daddy, loves and cares about her.  I know that she feels the love from her extended family, I can see it in the way that she lights up when she talks about them and how excited she is whenever she sees them.  I hope that even though she was directly affected by circumstances our of her control, she can be a well-rounded, smart, fun, happy, and loving little girl.
I hope for myself that my guilt will be lifted from me.  My bishop told me that with time and prayer and patience the burden of the guilt I feel for so many things will be lifted from my shoulders.  I have already experienced some lightening of my load, but it surely has not happened over night, and it surely has not been taken away completely.  I'm still on this long road and though I feel like those bumps and detours that put me so off course are behind me, I'm not smooth-sailing on flat pavement yet.
I am so thankful for this message from David S. Baxter to strengthen me and help carry me through the remaining time that I have as a single mother.  (Only a little over 4 more months!)  I wish that every single mother out there would read this message and be reminded that they are good and that they are strong and that really, they are not alone.

"Thank you, sisters, for all that you are doing to raise your family and maintain a loving home where there is goodness, peace, and opportunity.
Although you often feel alone, in truth you are never totally on your own. As you move forward in patience and in faith, Providence will move with you; heaven will bestow its needful blessings.
Your perspective and view of life will change when, rather than being cast down, you look up."
"Single parents, I testify that as you do your very best in the most difficult of human challenges, heaven will smile upon you. Truly you are not alone. Let the redemptive, loving power of Jesus Christ brighten your life now and fill you with the hope of eternal promise. Take courage. Have faith and hope. Consider the present with fortitude and look to the future with confidence. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


  1. I thought about you during this talk :) You're such a great mom and such a good example to her! Amazing how there's always one talk during conference that sticks out to you.

  2. Thanks for the inspiring entry. You are doing a great job with your daughter and in your life, Tonja.