I Will Pray Every Birthday

I Will Pray Every Birthday

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

I Will Pray Every Birthday

And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards Heaven, and they saw the Heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of Heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

3 Ne. 17:24

My life was going fairly smoothly—and I was at home taking care of my family, as my husband and I had agreed, while postponing my career as an English teacher. At the time, William was three and Kevin was seven months old. I felt through the Spirit that it was time to welcome another baby into our home, as I had felt with our previous two children; what a privilege to receive these sweet spirits!

Steven was born on March 18, 1994—and when I returned home with my baby boy, I brought with me a chronic disease that would alter my entire life. Because of my genetic code, I had developed a type of arthritis—even though there had been no indication of it earlier, and despite the absence of any medical explanation. The doctors thought for seven years that I had rheumatoid arthritis; finally, with the help of more precise medical examinations, an accurate diagnosis was made three years ago.

Since Steven was born, I have had various symptoms. I have had no use of my legs at all during some periods. Other times I have been unable to use my hands or move my spine. Countless times, my severely damaged knees needed to be drained. I ended up having knee surgery in both knees, had to undergo physiotherapy during the year it took to recover from the surgeries, and I had to quit teaching, which I had resumed.

I suffered two periods of depression due to my low self-esteem. My husband was a handsome professional ballet dancer at the time, and I reached a point of thinking that I was not worthy of the family that Heavenly Father had given me. I always reached out to Heaven through my prayers, and I always had long conversations with my Savior, Jesus Christ, but it was always through my husband and children that the Lord helped me the most.

The love of my husband never failed; whenever I wasn’t able to do something, he filled in for me and walked the second mile. My children never complained when I was unable to cook and they had to eat cereal or simple snacks and sandwiches. When tears were rolling down my cheeks, they were always there to say kind words of loving comfort. It was hard when I couldn’t move to serve the ones I love, but life eventually taught me that I don’t necessarily have to move to serve. Instead, I need to “move” my heart and put it to work with sincere love.

I have learned that such love goes both ways. In 2001 on my son Kevin’s birthday, he blew out the candles on his birthday cake and made a wish, as is the tradition in our family. As he blew out the candles, I felt through the Spirit that his wish concerned me. He smiled at me with such a look of love, and I knew he was pleading with the Lord that I would get well. He has been making the same wish ever since then. One time he whispered, “Mom, I prayed to Heavenly Father just now to ask Him to cure you—and I will ask the same thing on all my birthdays for the rest of my life until He does it.” I felt such a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, testifying to me of the power of love and of the holiness of that simple act.

Since then I have started a new treatment at a local hospital, and I’m getting better than I have been. I testify that I’m getting better in great part due to the faith of my son— and, above all, as a result of the miracle of the Savior’s love.

Alexandra Domingues

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