“Our Son Is Heavenly Father’s Son,” Liahona, April 2019
Our sweet little son, Hayden, came into this world blue, not breathing, and struggling for life. No crying. No movement.
As doctors and nurses rushed around the hospital room, I knew something was terribly wrong. My husband and my father quickly gave Hayden a priesthood blessing, and Hayden was rushed off to intensive care. He was soon diagnosed with a rare heart malfunction. Within days he underwent several heart surgeries.
Through the miraculous power of priesthood blessings, fasting, and prayers, Hayden beat all odds and survived. We were overjoyed to bring our son home and begin our new lives together.
Hayden brought immeasurable joy into our lives. We cherished and adored him. But as time passed, I began to worry that he was not progressing as expected. Although specialists reassured us that he would eventually catch up, the nagging anxieties continued as I struggled to help my son.
My husband and I studied to learn all we could about Hayden’s illness. We did everything the doctors told us to do. Yet progress didn’t come.
I grew tired and frustrated. I pleaded with my Father in Heaven to help me find someone who could help Hayden, but help didn’t come. Hayden’s condition worsened. He started having seizures. We were scared. We thought we were losing him.
One night, I was up late searching for answers. I wrote Hayden a letter. I told him how much I loved him and how hard I was trying to make his life easier. I promised I would spend the rest of my life trying to get him the help he needed.
Frustration and uncertainty momentarily overwhelmed me. I knelt and asked my Father in Heaven, “Why?” I thought He had sent Hayden to me because He knew I would never give up trying to help my son. So why couldn’t I find any answers? Why did each new doctor and each new treatment lead to another roadblock? Didn’t Heavenly Father love Hayden?
I will never forget that moment. An overwhelming feeling of love suddenly embraced me. Words that were not my own entered my mind: “Jerlyn, do you think you love him more than I do?”
I froze. Time stood still. Tears flooded down my face—not out of frustration like before, but out of hope, understanding, and love.
In that one moment, everything changed. My heart softened. My questions changed. I understand now that my Father in Heaven loves Hayden with a perfect love. Hayden was sent here in a body that is suited for his needs and his opportunities for growth and learning. He has his own unique set of abilities and challenges, just like each of us. I have come to know that children with disabilities are precious and beloved children of Heavenly Father who have a special mission here on this earth.
My husband and I constantly receive answers and blessings, but they come in the Lord’s timing, not our own. We have been led to the right books, therapies, schools, and teachers to help Hayden succeed in his mortal life. We strive to search for the path that our Father in Heaven has put in place for Hayden instead of the path we wanted him to walk. We are doing all we can to help Hayden reach his divine potential and live the life his Heavenly Father has designed for him. Our understanding of Heavenly Father’s plan has been so much clearer now that we understand that Hayden was His before Hayden was ours.