Several years ago,
I made a mistake that put the life of one of our children in danger.
The crushing realization of what could have happened sent me into a dizzying tailspin
of horrible trauma.
Many were the nights I sobbed on my knees,
pleading with Heavenly Father to help me never make a similar mistake again.
I experienced a great deal of anxiety for years afterward.
In particular, when I was alone and away from my children, my thoughts would begin to revisit that terrible day and fear and anxiety would well up within me until I could safely hold each of my children in my arms once again.
I felt unbelievably insecure as a mother and doubted my ability to properly care for my children.
One night, about two years later, I was having a particular difficult time.
I spent another long while on my knees, tearfully pleading with God before sleep finally overcame me.
The next day, a strange thing happened.
I headed out to run some errands.
I got the children loaded in the car and went to grab my keys out of my purse.
I discovered that they weren't there and realized I had left them in a backpack inside.
I tried to re-enter the house to grab my keys and found that, somehow, one of the kids had twisted the lock in the doorknob on their way out which meant we were completely locked out.
There we were.
No keys, no cell phone, sitting in our garage, locked out of our house.
I ran to the law office next door and explained my predicament and asked if I could use their phone.
Frantically, I called Sam to get numbers for some ward members.
A few phone calls later, the Relief Society president came and picked us up and took us to the landlord's office to get the extra key...which they couldn't find.
So, she then took me to a friend's house and we spent the remainder of the day with her,
waiting until Sam came home with his keys.
Just a run-of-the-mill, frustrating experience, right?
It left a big impression on me that changed my life forever.
Because I felt that that entire experience was a direct answer to my prayerful pleadings the night before.
Because it showed me that there will always be circumstances outside of my control
where mistakes are made or accidents happen
when I have to accept that there is no way for me to entirely take control of the well-being of my children.
It's really, really hard to accept,
but once I came to realize and accept that, I felt oddly liberated.
It was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders
because I learned to trust in God more fully. Suddenly, I knew the responsibility to mother these precious souls was not mine alone and that God will make up for my failings, just as He did on that horrifying day years ago.
I have been humbled as a mother time and time again
as I see that my efforts simply are not enough, no matter how good my intentions are.
But the amazing thing is that they don't have to be enough.
Because Heavenly Father is right there beside us,
helping us and strengthening us and compensating for our failings in this daunting journey of motherhood.
And trusting in Him brings us the greatest peace along the way.