Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Year of Grace, My Year of Mercy.

As we draw near the one year anniversary of Mary Grace's death, she's been increasingly on my mind.  I find myself "spacing out" for a few minutes here and there remembering different parts of our time together and the whole experience of losing her.

Some moments I am sad.  Sad for what could have been.

But in other times of reflection I am left with a feeling of peace and joy. 

When thinking about the last year, I am at first inclined to say that it was the worst year of my life.  Losing a child brings indescribable anguish. Some days I felt like I wanted to die from the pain.  And I am still not past cringing when I learn of another person who is expecting. But through my suffering, through the initial struggle with God's will and then my surrender to His will, through the grace He poured out over our family from the love and prayers of friends and strangers, I have come to the understanding that this year was in fact the best year of my life.

Certainly not in the secular sense of what the "best year of my life" would look like, but because of the spiritual growth I have experienced, and the peace, joy and relief that have accompanied it.

Through Mary Grace's death and my own suffering, Jesus has showered me with the grace of His Father.  Although I had faith before, I did not choose to live it all the time.  I didn't understand the importance of choosing each day and in every instance, Jesus. 

Sometimes I think of God's grace as water in a faucet.  God's grace has always been "waiting in the tap" so to speak...Waiting for me to turn the handle and let it flow.  When Mary Grace died, I turned the tap on so that just a trickle came out, and sometimes I would put a finger underneath the tap to get a drop...and other times I would reach up and turn the tap off completely.  But after awhile I grew thirsty, and now I try to leave the tap on full blast, because I wish to be bathed in that "water of life", the grace of God, all the time.

His grace has moved my will to accept His love in a new, fresh way.  To be completely immersed in His grace leaves me with the strong desire to avoid all sin and to spread His message of love and salvation for all the world.

This year I have learned to embrace my cross.  We embrace our suffering because in that way we can share in an intimate way with Christ.

The deepest yearning of my heart is not to have another child.  It is to remain in an intimate relationship with my Savior.  That is why I was created; to know, love and serve God.  And through my suffering, the Lord has drawn me to Him in a deeper way, and I have cooperated (thanks be to God!).

I always have the choice, the free will to reject God, just as I have the free will to choose His gift of salvation.  Thankfully His grace has worked to gently move my own will (over time) into a more complete conformance to His will. 

He has cloaked me in grace! He has bathed me in mercy!
When I cried out, the Lord heard me.
When the pain engulfed me, His mercy poured into my heart.
Keep me close to Your Sacred Heart, Lord, in all the days that lie ahead.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Amen to that. I can to some degree identify with what the Lord has done in your life as I have had 2 miscarriages and have no living children. I am accepting that God is sovereign over my life even when it is vey hard.

Ann G. said...

Angela,
I came across your comment on Pelianito's blog. I immediately felt a connection and was glad to find you had a blog. I, too, have babies in heaven. Hyacinth Benecicta died in utero at around 8 weeks but I didn't know until my 10 week OB check. That was Jan. 2006. I got pregnant that June with Jude Edmund. I got to see my precious boy moving in my womb at 14 weeks. At my 16 week check I found out he too had died. At least with Jude I was able to deliver him and my husband and I could hold his little body. A blessing in this time of sorrow.
Even 4 + years later, the telling of my children's short lives hurts and I miss them so.
My husband and I do have 5 living children, one who was born after my two saints.
Anniversaries are hard but I think God lets are children see how much we love them, especially on these special days.
One of the things that I find that gives me comfort is I ask Hyacinth and Jude to be with me as I receive the Eucharist. It is during this time that I know we are as close as if they were living because they are in the Presence of God just as surely as I am when I receive the Eucharist.
God bless you and your family. You'll be in my prayers.

Meredith said...

Ang, your post was beautiful and I know that what you wrote is what Jesus wants from all of His children. Not to have the desires of our hearts, but for HIM to be our desires. When you said, "His grace has moved my will to accept His love in a new, fresh way. To be completely immersed in His grace leaves me with the strong desire to avoid all sin and to spread His message of love and salvation for all the world" I couldnt help but feel so proud of you, b/c like you said as well, it's our choice to choose how much of HIS love and HIS grace we want-He's never changing, never ending, always faithful, and always the same, so what we want and come after is up to us!
You did face the hardest year of your life, but as Paul tells us we will suffer to gain more of Christ and as we all know, that is the most important thing we can do! Desiring more of Jesus than desiring more of what this world offers (and yes, I guess that means our babies!), ultimatley gives you the MOST out of life than any other thing-and a promise of eternity that's far better than this world. Proud of you friend, praying for you, esp. as the 28th approaches...

Ann G. said...

Angela,
In reading your blog I was sorry to hear that you had another baby born into heaven in November. I don't know if this will help you or not but I was wondering if you were familiar with the Creighton Model of NFP and NaPro Technology. Without God leading me to both of these gifts our family would not have our youngest child, Finn because he would not have survived an unassisted pregnancy. I looked up the nearest doctor and teacher near Raleigh and it was: St. Felicity Fertility Care Services in Fayetteville, NC.
You may already know about all of this but it was a God send to me when I thought I wouldn't be able to carry another baby to term. And it's all in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Angela said...

Thank you, friends for your sweet comments! And I'm so very sorry for your losses, Elizabeth and Ann. You will both be in my prayers. Ann, thank you for the info on NaPro..I had never heard of it, but was able to look at it briefly last night and will check into it further. I definitely appreciate it!

Emily Anne & Joshua Jones said...

I love you girl. You're an inspiration to mommies and women of Christ everywhere...

Hil323 said...

Love you sweetie.I..I looked at the time of this post, and it was strange that I happened to be thinking of you at that time...I remember b/c I was texting someone and saw the time on cell...we think of her too hon.