By Patricia Potts
I have a dear friend who just lost twins at 20 months along. She lost her previous baby about the same time to down syndrome.
My heart hurt as I visited her shortly after her hospital stay. As we sat on the couch I felt her pain and sorrow as we watched her 4 year old son play with his toys…alone.
Her arms were empty and her soul was numb as once again we talked about the path that lay ahead. As I drove home tears fell and once again I wondered why it had to be this way. Why so many trials in just two years and then I remembered a lesson from my life long ago when I was pregnant and living through a devastating depression.
The Day Will Come
I glanced at the clock that read 2 A.M. then sat perched on the side of the bed in my nightgown, with my arms folded on top of my rounded belly. Quickly I wiped tears from my face and took a deep breath. As Dan placed his hands on my head I prayed for guidance, for help and for hope. Then through the power of the Holy Ghost the words Dan spoke through my Father in Heaven began to bless me, soothe me and teach me. They permeated our quiet room and my trembling ebbed as Father’s message entered my heart.
As I sat there I could visualize myself receiving a similar blessing before I came to receive my earthly experience. It was as though I was viewing a video of my past. I saw my Father placing His hands upon my head and felt a great love for Him and an immense respect as well as His deep love for me and His confidence in my ability to succeed. I could imagine my Heavenly Father telling me that I would have experiences on earth that I would need in order to return to Him again. Among the experiences He named was that of depression. Through the blessing I was promised that “one day this will be a blessing to you, your family, and all those around you.”
Dan completed the blessing in the name of Jesus Christ and I opened my eyes. Warmth and love replaced the shaking and fear. Dan and I embraced each other and wept. Although it was hard to believe just how this hellish experience with depression could ever be a blessing, at least now I knew that it wasn’t just a lack of character, a fatal flaw or a terrible imperfection…. It was part of my life’s experience that God somehow meant to use to benefit myself and others.
The blessing helped me in my recovery and gave life more meaning, making me want to live again. Knowing that my depression was something I had agreed to experience helped me to overcome part of my guilt. Although it didn’t by any means solve all the questions and problems that were swimming around in my confused head, it did provide hope.
-My Journey from Darkness to Light by Patricia Potts LDS version
Many years have come and gone since that dark night. I saw the fulfillment of the blessing as I have written books and spoken to hundreds of men and women about understanding and overcoming depression.
As I finished driving home from my friend’s house I had a quiet feeling that the loss of her babies would someday be a blessing as she reached out with compassion to others. I believe it could have been one of those “agreed upon” experiences.