by Terri Wagner
When I took the church discussions in..er..long time ago LOL, the missionaries came to the eternal family discussion. Looking back, I am quite sure they were quite sure this one would go over well. So far, I had fought them (as in prove it to me) on nearly everything. I was 17, my sister was 13, ripe ages to daydream about forever families. That was not my reaction...it is still not my favorite gospel teaching.
It nearly drove me screaming into the night. They never knew just how dysfunctional my family was or how I felt about it deep down. I could hardly stand to be around any of them for any length of time, and just how often I counted the days until I could get away from them. To tell me I could be with my family forever was akin to a death penalty to me. And as for loving some guy for forever, nope, passing on that one. I mean really how would I possibly know at say 20 this is the guy I wanted for eternity. Are you kidding me?!
Fast forward a few years, my reaction had not changed in the slightest. If anything, it had grown much stronger. I was miles and miles away from family, surrounded by the best of friends, and happy. Even being single. As my friends made their choices, I found myself thinking, you know I envy her the chance to get married, but I wouldn't want him.
For a long time, I decided to just get married and have kids, and then some time later down the road get sealed. That seemed a much better prospect. And there are times when I wonder why I didn't just go for that one. I lost out on having children, and that pains more than I can ever say. I can only hope Heavenly Father will somehow make that right for me. He did assure once years ago when I was depressed about it, that He knew I would have accepted children and so it was counted as if I did.
Course that brought us back to the whole companion thing. Years went by, guys went by, friends got married, had children, family remained miles away, and although I was lonely, it was not lonely enough to change the status quo. I asked for a blessing, received one assuring me I would marry. And I just tucked it away and never bothered finding out what I needed to do. I just didn't want to make that kind of decision. It seemed so well final.
Fast forward to today. I was asked to teach a lesson on eternal families. I thought to myself totally wrong person. Don't know, don't want to, never got over that feeling of gasp eternity. But when I prayed about the lesson, and pondered its message, I began to see something I really never bothered seeing...that we don't "get" eternal families, we "make" them. I truly wish I had accepted and understood this concept long before now. Somehow it feels exactly right.
It is starting to ice up, and school has been closed for today and tomorrow. Guess I'd better get this out while I can. Another day I will write about I am learning to "make" an eternal family with the family I have. Share your experiences.