By Darcee Yates

While pedaling my stationary bike this morning (20 whole minutes!) I re-read President Eyring's talk on Our Perfect Example from the October General Conference. As expected, it lifted my spirits.

I've grown up in the church and my memories are clear as day of sitting in Sunday School only eight years old and even younger. I knew my family was different because we didn't have a dad in our family like the pictures the teacher always held up. I distinctly remember the thought process, even as young as I was. “That's OK. You can grow up and make the whole family.” I think I knew even before I was eight that it was my choice. My life would be whatever I chose.

In the past 40-plus years the dynamics of the average family in the church has changed so much.
There is no typical family. Divorce, death, mental or physical illness or challenges, children who rebel, gay issues. Every family is touched by something.

My family too.

For a long time I've had the feeling kept hidden in a box, deep inside that hard as I tried, all I got was the consolation prize. I have always felt that those who won have it all, like the man who spoke yesterday in sacrement, bless his soul, who said that among his children 13 children, he has 13 returned missionaries and they have family home evening together and set goals to do 100 ordinances at the temple a month.

That is so fantastic. It really is. And I'm so happy for him.

But, my challenge in this life is diferent. And it's not a consolation prize, it's the greatest most exciting adventure I can imagine. The stakes are higher, the end results the most hoped for. The Saviour has made me a parent of children that have rebelled and its my gift in life to love them as God does. Joyfully.

I've always loved a challenge. I want to test just how far and fast I can run. Maybe that's why God gave me this one.

Suddenly I don't feel like I've lost anything. God's just asked me to run the marathon instead of the 5K. I can do that.