Thursday, April 9, 2009


Having six children is, of course, a breeding ground for happiness, joy, pain, anxiety, love, sorrow and all the emotions tucked in between. Yet, never have I felt this kind of pain, this kind of sorrow. I feel like every cell of my body aches. I am trying to understand. These words keep coming to me: "greatly multiply thy sorrow." I quickly look it up, knowing God is taking to Eve but wanting to know the context and why this message to me. In Genesis it says: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception; in sorrow shall thou bring forth children." In the foot notes under multiply it says: HEB increase thy discomfort and thy size (i.e. in the condition and process of pregnancy). And under sorrow it refers to suffering. Having six children with nothing for the pain, I understand the discomfort and suffering part. Could this not only apply to pregnancy and belly size but also to the multiplication of generations: as our family increases in size our joy not only increases but also our discomfort, or sorrow?
Before I go to bed we call Ann, morning in Fairfax, Virginia. Her voice is bright, optimistic, happy, hopeful, in short, everything it was not the night before. She acknowledges two things: God and sleep. (I do think God is there when we sleep.) For the first time in days I go to bed content. Content that right now she is well. "I can do this," she says. I can do this. I prayed a miracle would happen. But of course, in my short sightedness I prayed for a certain miracle, a specific thing I wanted to happen so I wouldn't be in pain any more. I did always say "never the less" but it was quiet, almost like I didn't want God to hear. This morning (Fairfax, Virginia night) we hear Mary Deane laughing in the background. Ann tells us of the good 3 hour nap of Mary Deane and how she fiercely fought off the nurses, the vitals checker, the housekeeping ladies to keep her baby asleep. "I am happy," Ann says, "when she is happy." I know. I know because joy is multiplied. I know because sorrow is multiplied.
How God could watch His Only Begotten Son take on the sins of this world and not take the cup from Him is beyond my very feeble, selfish mind. Sorrow multiplied how many times? Sorrow multiplied for us. How I am humbled at the thought. But God, the great creator, loved us perfectly.
So joy and sorrow are multiplied. That is the miracle of families. Joy is multiplied with each new person added to the family circle, in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren and on and on. It is an eternal link of joy and sorrow.
I will be grateful for this commandment: multiply.


Kurt Knudsen said...

blessed to have you forever.

Jordan said...

I'm up too late packing EVERYTHING for everybody--all six of us--for a trip this week. Everything is multiplied and that is good. Even the sorrow. It is all part of the plan, I am learning.

This was perfectly written, Mom.

Julie said...

It is better not to be or feel like an island during the multiplying of tests. Feeling the love and concern of those that are putting their arms around you all along with Jesus does make a difference to see out. The realness of our lives and comfort is that God is indeed in charge and that He helps us. Your family is soo loved by so many.

Carol said...

Aunt made me cry. Thanks for sharing.

Charlotte said...

Becky, You touched a very tender chord. I just want to add my testimony that the Savior does take us into his care. I will add my prayers for Ann and Brendon.

Rebecca said...

How beautifully that was written and while I know what it was written in regards to (and I am indeed adding my prayers in your familys behalf) I felt very much as though your words were specifically for me. Especially after our short chat the other day. Thank you for your words. They gave me some peace.

Please know that I am earnestly praying for your dear daughter and granddaughter as well as the rest of your family. I am also praying specifically for you, as you are worlds apart, something I can't imagine being "when the world cracks."

All My Love,
Rebecca Goodwin-McConnell

Ann said...

Thank you mom, I love you dearly.

Mary Ann said...

Cystic fibrosis, autism, all the maladies of the body and mind that will be perfected someday. Your beautiful words touched me to the core; I know precisely the pain and sorrow you feel for one you love so deeply. These sweet little grandchildren that we adore,with little knowledge of the world or eternity, teach us everyday about His love and mercy and often THAT is the miracle. Love you and your family, Mary Ann

Ashley Thalman said...

Rebecca, I came back for comment # 2 and found that comment #1 had never made its way to you. This is so so beautiful. I have been thinking about it over and over again. Thank you.