Last year, I shared pretty publicly the struggle I had with suicidal thoughts after miscarrying in an article called “Saved From Suicide.”


I feel compelled to share a recent experience that gives me hope that not only can those feelings be managed one day at a time, but they can be eradicated from my life.


Pregnancy Take 12


When I discovered I was pregnant earlier this year, I cried. I didn’t cry tears of joy. I cried tears of terror. This pregnancy made pregnancy number 12 for me. Every pregnancy ended, for whatever mysterious and undiagnosable reason, in miscarriage. As the years and miscarriages progressed, so did my hormonal and emotional reactions. It took longer and longer for my levels to stabilize, leaving me longer and longer in emotional darkness.


I cried because the last dips were so severe and it took months to recover. I cried because of the pain I knew would come. I cried because of disappointment that would follow the pregnancy’s termination. I cried because I expected my husband and I would face it alone again. I cried and cried and cried until there was nothing left to cry about. Then I braced myself for the coming month or two and moved on acting as “normal” as possible.


Resignation to the Inevitable


The moment started two months later on the Saturday night before Fast Sunday in March. I cried in anger at the timing. My parents’ highly anticipated visit began the following Monday. I’d been scheduled to speak during the “Relief Society” Sacrament meeting the following Sunday. Oh, I felt frustration. We fasted for help.


I didn’t even know what to pray for. I just knew what I DIDN’T want. I prayed for guidance and council. I prayed for the ability to overcome. I prayed for hope. To be honest, I really didn’t expect any of those things. But as we started our fast, I prayed for them just the same.


I didn’t feel any special insight during church, just the foreboding. After church, Barbie, the Compassionate Service leader, and I met to discuss some needs. As we got ready to finish up, she looked at me intently and asked me some direct questions.


I felt like I stared at her face for 20 minutes deciding if I wanted to genuinely answer her questions or not. The Holy Ghost whispered I’d been fasting for guidance and help and peace and hope. Here was the most compassionate person I knew.


Transformative Moment #1—tell people who can ease my workload/burden


I told her I was pregnant and braced for imminent miscarriage and I wasn’t sure what to do and because of my history, I felt afraid. I asked if she could keep track of compassionate service needs without me. We were in the middle of baby due dates and meal coordination for 10 sisters in the ward. She absolutely did that.


She told me that Anthony and I shouldn’t go through the trial alone and made me promise to at least tell the bishop. She listened to me. She heard me. She felt me. I needed her and she was there for me.


I began spotting that afternoon. I messaged the bishop briefly explaining the situation, including the fact that I might disappear for a couple of months. I messaged the situation to Kim, a BFF, who I knew would make herself be available if I needed her or to flee to her house to avoid being alone—without explanation or judgment.


Darkness Started at Dawn


I braced myself for the wave to hit. The full force hit during the night. By dawn, I wasn’t pregnant anymore.


A few hours later, I went to pick up my parents from the airport trying to ignore the residual pain and discomfort and dread. I was so happy to see them. But I felt so strained. They’re the best and so gracious.


As the day wore on, I realized I couldn’t keep up the facade for a week. Anthony and I decided to tell them. So, I made him tell them. He’s so brave and strong. Of course they loved us and understood my need to rest periodically. They were so helpful about everything.


Transformative Moment #2–tell family who love and support me.


Mom, dad, Kim, and another friend from church went to the temple together on Thursday. I’d written a talk about applying the Atonement in our lives the week before, but felt some major disturbance about it. I wanted the Lord to verify it was what I was supposed to say on Sunday. And I also wanted His confirmation that He would carry me through the talk.


When the Light Seems Scarier than Darkness


Mormon temple Boise IdahoDuring the temple session, I cried at the usual spots after a miscarriage. And then my mind went searching and searching to find His. Why the angst about talking about the Savior’s Atonement?


Suddenly, I found His will. I knew His mind. I gasped out loud! Kim asked if I was OK. But I was not. I couldn’t speak. I wasn’t supposed to speak then anyway.


What? How? Why?


He wanted me to share my experience, my fears. He didn’t want me to talk about applying the Savior’s Atonement. He wanted me to show them how I applied the Savior’s Atonement six days after a hidden, devastating loss. He wanted me to stand and testify of Him in my particular crisis.


I told Kim His answer in the dressing room. I felt like I was barely holding myself together as it was. My parents were buffers and we’d been so busy that I hadn’t really dealt with it yet. I totally freaked out.


Changing Darkness to Light


Sunday morning, I attended a meeting before church. Though in a room full of people, I felt totally alone. Something triggered me. The darkness began engulfing me. I felt claustrophobic. I heard the angry, bitter voices. I felt fear. Apparently despite everything I’d done and tried, the inevitable was still happening. I told Anthony during the few moments before church started. We sat together on a pew and he said a prayer for me.


Right before Sacrament meeting started, the Bishopric asked me to be the chorister for Sacrament meeting. This always happens on days like this. I’ve thought a lot about this pattern. It’s so curious. In getting everything situated for the meeting, I forgot to check the songs and someone else put up the hymn numbers. The Sacrament hymn? “I Stand All Amazed.”


I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.


I tremble to know that for me he was crucified, That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.


I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,


That he should extend his great love unto such as I, Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.


I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?


No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.


Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to die for me!


Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!


There I stood next to the Sacrament table, confused and trembling, redeemed, and rescued. If He could do That for me, surely I could stand as a witness of Him during a 10 minute talk on a very hard Sunday.


A Primary girl and a young woman shared their testimonies of Jesus Christ and ways they learned about Him. Then it was my turn.


Sunday morning, I told Anthony about my temple experience and asked for his opinion/permission to share something so personal to us. He said to do what I felt like I needed to do.


I’d put a couple of quotes on a page. I figured I could expound on those if I chickened out. That page seemed really white and really empty when I stood at the pulpit.


I started as planned and said what I’d wanted to say about coming to know that Jesus Christ truly is the Savior. Then the Holy Ghost told me it was time. I couldn’t see the blank page anymore. Afraid to look at Anthony, I looked into the congregation right at Kim. She met my gaze with compassionate understanding. I knew she knew what the Lord had commanded me to do and I knew she knew I knew what the Lord had commanded me to do.


I inhaled a deep breath. I opened my mouth and He filled it. Words flowed out of me. My vision blurred. I felt His power. Even if nobody else felt it, I FELT it. He knew me in my affliction. He knew my pain. He flooded the darkness with light. He filled my mouth and my soul.


And the Lord said…Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.


After I spoke, I accompanied a Relief Society chorus singing “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.


I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives! …


He lives my hungry soul to feed. He lives to bless in time of need. …


He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.


He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears.


He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart. …


He lives! All glory to his name! He lives, my Savior, still the same.


Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: “I know that my Redeemer lives!”


I left the stand after the song. I melted into Anthony’s side hug as I sat in the pew. He expressed his love and then said I would get more support now than I could ever imagine—a whole ward full of love.


Transformative Moment #3–believe that your community offers love and support


What I recognized that I would have—more than ever before—was a ward full of accountability. I’d just stood and testified that the Savior’s Atonement can change darkness to light and I’d believed it. Now, riding that euphoria, I had to live it.


Several months have passed. I’ve had great days and not so great days, as expected. The hormonal turmoil is lessening much sooner than last time. But when the darkness I feared whispered into my ear and beckoned on multiple occasions, I quickly turned to that moment when the Lord filled my soul with light. I consciously remembered the light and I turned away from the darkness over and over and over again.


Be Filled with Light With No Darkness in You


I have found personal meaning in several scriptures.


The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” This is me. I am one of them. I’ve walked in darkness and I’ve seen a great light.


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“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.”


I also have a glimpse and a hope of the Savior’s promise, “And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.”


Filled with light, eternally. Amazing.


I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt! Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?


No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat, Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.

About Delisa Hargrove
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.

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