Over the last few months, I have learned exactly how hard it is to try to do everything the Lord asks of you and not expect him to help you out while doing it. One of my big struggles with religion I would say is Faith. I know that there is a creator, that things were planned and created and did not happen just by chance, but I find I have a hard time letting my pride go and actually rely on the Lord for help. This blog post may sound different from other posts, but this one I am posting things close to my heart. I just hope that this post helps someone in need.
In The Family: A Proclamation to the World we are told about how important the family unit is. We are also told that Husbands and Wives have distinct and different roles in raising the family. The Proclamation states, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” This is a role that I have taken on very seriously, and over the last little while I have learned that I have allowed Pride to interfere with this role, and make it so that I don’t look to the Lord for help. We have also heard in Mormon Culture that you are to do all you can, and then rely in the Lord. I have always had a problem with that saying. I have always felt that the all you can do part is doing EVERYTHING. Boy, have I been wrong.
On September 21st, 2013 I ran into a trial of my faith that I hope that no one else has to endure. I found out how no matter how hard I try to “protect and provide” for my family, there are times when I can’t do a thing, and I have to let the Lord take over and do his part. The 21st was going to be like any other Saturday. We were going to take it a little easier than normal that day because we felt the Amiee needed some rest, she was 20 weeks pregnant with our 8th Child and 2nd Boy. Daniel Johnson Kieffer was anticipated to be delivered at the beginning of February. But things don’t always work out like you plan them.
That morning Aimee called me to the bathroom door and told me that she was bleeding pretty heavy and needed me to call the Midwife ASAP. Shortly after the call was made Aimee delivered Daniel our 8th child at 20 week gestation, stillborn. That Saturday Morning, I lost my 2nd Son and 8th child. But that was just the beginning of the heart ache. I am not going to go into may of the details here, but I am going to say that I almost lost my eternal companion as well. We had to rush her to the hospital for an emergency DNC because of a retained placenta. After several scares we returned home exhausted, hurt, and wondering what to do now.
During that day, there were three distinct times I remember where I could not do the “protect and provide” for my family role. There were three times I remember feeling completely helpless and having to rely solely on the Lord for him to protect and provide for my family.
The first time was after Aimee gave birth the Daniel, Aimee was laying on the bathroom floor with a number of midwives trying to do everything they could do to help her deliver the placenta. She had lost a lot of blood, but not enough to be overly concerned at this point. It was suggested that I give her another blessing. I did so, and after the blessing Aimee, the midwives and I knew we needed to call for medical transport. I felt so helpless, I had to step back from the situation and allow the Lord to direct others to help save Aimee. She was taken to the hospital with full sirens and lights. (Aimee’s mom was on her way to the house, so I did not need to worry about the kids. We passed her on the road as she was driving to the house, with full lights and sirens going. I can’t imagine what she went through at that moment, knowing that her daughter was in that ambulance rushing to the hospital. My heart still goes out to her when I think of her at that moment.)
The second time was after she came out of the operating room, we were in a little room in the hospital watching and waiting for her blood pressure to become normal enough for her to be discharged. The nurses decided to get her out of bed and see if she could stand and walk without getting light headed. Well, that went south pretty quick. She made it to the bathroom and then she blacked out, and I would say had a mild seizure. Instantly a code was called and we had a bunch of other people run into the room. All I could do was go stand in the corner and listen as others were trying to save my wife. There was nothing I could do, if I tired, I would just get in the way. They eventually got her back into bed and then started to give her blood. Things turned up and we were discharged later that night.
The third time I think was one of the hardest. After we were home, Aimee was sitting on the couch, and I asked her if there was anything I could do to help her. Her response was, “You can give me my baby back.” Wow, that hit pretty hard. But it was something impossible for me to do, so I just looked at her and said. “I can’t physically, but that is something I have already done. Daniel was born in the covenant, so he is ours for eternity because of temple blessings.” (Ok, it was not exactly what I said, but something very close to that.) That was when I realized, not for the first time, that the Lord is in control.
But we also need to rely on those around us to help. I strongly believe that the Lord uses others to help when we are unable to do it ourselves. The midwives, fire department, hospital staff, and loving family are all there to help us when we can’t do it ourselves.
My thanks goes out to everyone who help during our time of need. Form the doctors, midwives, and others during the crisis, and also to those who called, visited and brought us dinner. We still to this day find it hard at times to deal with the loss of our Son. But there is always comfort that we will be re-united with him again at some point, and be able to sit back and tell him about the lesson he gave me on faith, and pride.
Like Daniel’s name sake in the bible. He was able to teach an old man the ways of the Lord.
17: As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom…
20: And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. – Daniel 1:17-20
Sometimes we just need to set back, and listen to the children. Their knowledge is pure, and has not been changed by the natural man.