I have been spiraling out of control. Not in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. I have been so wrapped up in trying to conceive another baby that I didn't know how to stop. I would pray month after month after month that God would bless us with another baby and obsessively look at my fertility chart several times each day, and use about five pregnancy tests a day towards the end of my cycle, and wind up crushed each month when my period would show up. If obsessing over trying to get pregnant was an addiction, I was addicted and peesticks (home pregnancy tests) were my drug.
"You need to stop trying so hard," was the most common suggestion I heard.
But I didn't know how to "stop". I couldn't wrap my mind around what that looked like. Do I stop charting my temperature every day? Do I give up on trying to have a baby altogether? Do I stop hoping to be pregnant? What does "stop trying so hard" mean? And how do I stop?
This Sunday I went to Mass. The homily started out by acknowledging the importance and goodness of perservering in your prayers. The priest spoke about how sometimes though, we pray month after month for something that is just not happening and it leaves us with great disappointment. In those situations we have to look at that for which we are praying. Are we praying for God's will to be done or are we praying for something that we want that is not necessarily God's will? He said that when we put a time limit on a prayer (as I was doing each month) we are tying Jesus' hands to answer that prayer. The way that we know that what we are praying for is in line with God's will, is that we will be content and at peace with what does or does not happen each day, since in submitting to His will, whatever happens is done in line with His purpose. If we are praying for our own will to be done (a want or need filled) and it doesn't happen and we are left discouraged, it is probably not in line with God's will.
For me, this was a profound experience to hear a homily like this. But you do not know yet why it was profound. Rewind to the first three minutes before Mass started. I sat in my pew and prayed that God would give me a very specific, definitive answer to two questions during this Mass:
1. Should I keep praying for another baby?
2. How can I know what Your will is for me, Lord?
I asked God for the answers to these two questions and He answered me in the most direct, profoundly obvious way that I have ever experienced within minutes of my asking.
The answer is that I am to pray each day that God's will be done for my life that specific day! If that includes getting pregnant again, then it will happen. From that direct intervention by God through our priest's homily Sunday, I have had a new understanding of my purpose. By praying that God's will would be done each day in my life, I am cooperating with the Lord's plan and partaking in the life of the Trinity! And I no longer have to be burdened by an obsession over having another child. I don't have to be disappointed at the end of each cycle. I can rejoice in the new freedom I have that comes from cooperating with God's will and surrendering my life to His divine providence.
It is a surrender. I always knew it was. I just didn't know what it looked like in this area of my life. And it is as simple as praying for and accepting God's will. But no one was able to tell me that in a way in which I could really apply it to my life until my epiphany at church on Sunday when God spoke so clearly to my heart.
Today is 8 months since we lost Mary Grace. Today I am feeling utterly joyous that God has brought to fruition the seed that He has been planting in my heart from our very first loss. God never wanted to "break" me through all the suffering we have seen. He wanted to bring about growth and maturation of character and love, perserverance in faith and the hope and freedom that come from a willful surrender to His plan for my life.
Here I am Lord. You have called me and I am Yours.