Rewind to "Michelle, age 15." It was at this point that I developed endometriosis. I was hospitalized many times as a teenager, and had surgery on several occasions to remove ridiculously huge cysts from my ovaries or the mayhem left over when those cysts exploded. There were times my mother would find me passed out on the bathroom floor, or my dad would try to comfort me in the middle of the night while I was doubled over and screaming in pain. I was 16 years old when my gynecologist told me I would probably never be able to have children.
Now skip forward a couple of years. When Corbin and I began dating, he had not been active in our church for quite awhile. He began coming back. About a year and a half into our relationship, our stake president came to Corbin and told him that it was time for Corbin to get ready to go on a mission. Honestly, up to this point, Corbin had not considered doing that. He had been away from the church so long, and most young men went on missions when they were 19. Corbin was now 21. As he thought about it, he became very excited! He could be a missionary, and I was happy and eager to support him in that. He began to prepare his application papers and submitted them to our bishop.
Before the bishop and stake president were able to send Corbin's papers to church headquarters, a general authority was visiting our stake, and asked to speak with Corbin. During that interview, the general authority asked Corbin about his time of inactivity, as well as his worthiness and desire to serve as a full time missionary. He signed Corbin's papers, then sat quietly looking into his eyes for several moments. Then he spoke. "Corbin, do you have a young lady in your life who loves you and will be waiting for you?" Corbin then told him about me, and the general authority continued, "I feel very impressed to tell you that you should stay here, marry that girl, and start your family." This was very unexpected, not something that happens EVER, and there were many questions and speculations abounding. But Corbin and I followed that council, and were married several months later.
To our surprise, we quickly became pregnant with our wonderful little Iver. Only seven months after his birth, we found ourselves pregnant again with our beautiful, sweet Shakira. We were very young, and very unprepared, but we somehow made it. And we found incredible joy in the journey. My body was not able to conceive again after Shakira was born. This is truly the miracle. Iver and Shakira were both born in the little window of time when Corbin would have been on his mission. Had he gone, and not followed the council of the general authority, we would not have them.
As you know, I have a heart full of gratitude right now. With Thanksgiving tomorrow, I cannot stop thinking of my precious little family, of this most sacred gift. I am so, so, so crazy-thankful.