Thank you for posting this. It opened a place in my heart.
So true! While I was not adopted, I grew up in a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father and negative mother that I had great difficulty getting along with. When I joined the church at 17, I thought but never told anyone, "why was I sent to this family". Years later, in a blessing by my Stake President, I was told that, "I was sent to this family for a purpose" so that "that my heart would be softened". In that moment, I knew that it was for me to accept the gospel. This weight lifted and I began to see that every trial I have had is for a purpose to teach me something. I don't like them, but I do keep looking for the good and what I can learn. I have a positive, optimistic outlook and because I grew up in that environment, I have been able to help others, including youth, who struggle with similar issues. I now thank the Lord for having sent me to that family, because it has helped me be there person I am today.
Thank you, Joni, for this article. I spent years struggling with my own mother. Her difficult upbringing did not prepare her to be a caring, loving mother, and she was often verbally abusive. I have tried a lot to break what is at least a 3-generation chain of emotionally damaged women.
I heard a talk years ago, where a woman said she had an impression that her mother's calling in life was to be a trial to other people; and once she realized that, she could better accept the emotional trauma she had suffered from her mom. That helped me, life experiences and friends' examples have helped me improve my own parenting skills; my mother's dementia has now somehow led me to a place of more compassion for her and forgiveness for years of behavior she didn't know how to change.
I love that you were open to the Spirit and to the ability to love those around you and accept the trials that are yours; and that you shared it so beautifully. I think sharing our difficulties and vulnerabilities helps us all grow and progress.
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