Thursday, August 20, 2009

A jump start.

Wow, August 20th! We have almost reached the six month mark since we lost Mary Grace. Sometimes it's hard to believe that this has been my life, losing three babies. At times the pain was so real and so harsh, and now the pain is there if I think too long about things; reliving how it all played out in my head, but it is a tender pain, if you will. It is painful, and yet I feel joyful that I will get to meet our little girl again.

Overall, I feel like I am doing much better.

My "jump start" to getting back on the right road was going to confession recently. Yes, confession. Catholic confession! It was just wonderful to feel God's grace poured out over me and not just knowing, but feeling that my sins were forgiven and that I was back in a state of grace! I don't think there is another feeling that is as refreshing to the soul.

I've been trying to turn over "control" of trying to conceive to God this month. Although I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like. How do you turn over control to God? I mean, in all estimations, He IS in control. Does that mean I'm supposed to give up charting my fertility? No more temperature taking, no more cross-checking when ovulation occurred each cycle? I don't think so. I mean, I think we have those tools to benefit our chances of conception each month.

No more obsessively taking pregnancy tests at the end of my cycle...every month? Well, that may be a good way to give up my "control". Although I really can't control whether or not there will be a second pink line on the test.

I don't mind admitting to you that my penance at confession was to say an "Our Father" with a special emphasis on "Thy will be done"...ahem. So I've been working on that...daily.

It was so joyous to be able to receive our Lord in Holy Communion on Sunday after having been to confession the day before! Knowing that I was receiving Jesus physically, into my body just gives a person so much strength! And certainly I could not have remained on this journey with every obstacle that we have been through without the strength of Jesus. It was no coincidence that the gospel was the following passage from John:

Jesus said to the crowds:
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world.”

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
Jn 6:51-58

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Seeing through the thorns.

Someone posed this question to me the other day, "Why would God let this happen?" in regards to a specific situation they had encountered. And it's been on my mind ever since.

"This" could be alot of things.

It could be a family who's house is in foreclosure because the father lost his job.

It could be the little baby who was born with a heart condition undetected 'til birth.

It could be the tragic death of a friend who died doing what she loved and died way too young.

It could be the loss of three babies in 13 months...

Why would God let this happen?

All of these situations involve suffering. Sometimes our suffering is at the hands of another person. We hurt because someone spoke in anger to us, or another person rear-ended our car. In those situations it is almost easier to handle because there is a responsible party, and someone to forgive.

But when a baby is born ill...or not born at all...I think it is fair for some to ask why God would let this happen.

The truth is that we live in a fallen world. There is sin and there is death, even for the very smallest. If you are a Christian, you know that this world is not your home. It is not your destiny. It is passing. Our soul was created to rest in the Lord, and it will truly rest in a place where there is no sin and no death; in heaven, our eternal home.

I think God allows us to experience suffering to refine our soul. We re-evaluate what is important (that of the world, or that of heaven) and we take steps to draw closer to our goal. Some people turn away from God after this suffering (as I felt myself slipping from my walk with Him these last two months). From my experience, it came from an anger towards God. Anger from having had to suffer the loss of my baby, the loss of my future, and anger over not being in control of all these aspects of my life. And the bottom line is that God is in control of our life whether we want to acknowledge that or not. If He stopped thinking of us for but a second our life would cease to exist. He sustains our very breath until He determines our end.

And because He is all-knowing and His plans are perfect, when He chooses to close a chapter in our life, it is the perfect ending simply because it is how He meant it to be. This is hard to write because it means that I am saying that when God chose to take Mary Grace, it was a perfect choice. That sounds completely wrong, but when you try to see it through eyes aimed toward heaven, it begins to make some sense. Sometimes you have to look through the thorns to find the beauty in God's plan.

God doesn't make mistakes, ever.
God has a plan and it is perfect.
God's plan is perfect because He is all-knowing and all-powerful.
God's plan involves offering us the opportunity to accept Jesus as our Savior, so that we might join Him in a place where we will one day understand.