It has been a while since my last post. I went on a retreat with the Sisters of Life mid-February. I think that I have needed all this time to process that retreat. As I mentioned in my last post, I was going to be confronting God honestly about our infertility. And I did. Oh, did I EVER!
We arrived on Friday evening after making great time. As soon as I got there I could feel the walls around my heart start crumpling. I almost started crying immediately. We went for a walk around the grounds and I came to a statue of St. Therese. I stopped there and asked for her help. I felt such pain well up in me and I cried my opening tears. I asked for strength to confront this pain not hide from it. And the weekend began. We ate dinner and had a talk and then said night prayer. I was sitting in this beautiful chapel, staring up at the Tabernacle; at my Lord. And I said to Him, “Well, should we get started? I am ready if you are? I can wait until tomorrow if you would rather but I am ready now. Let’s do it.” And we started. I told Him how upset I am, how angry I am, how I don’t understand why He called me to marriage but not motherhood. “If I’m not called to be a mother, wouldn’t I be more use to you as a religious?!” I was crying out AT Him! I was questioning how He could even understand my pain; how could Mary either. She had a child! And then suddenly the point of view changed. I was not sitting in that pew alone, screaming out at Christ. Instead, I could feel Christ and Mary sitting beside me, having their arms around me, crying out to the Father WITH me. They were feeling what I was feeling. Their were there with me. And with that little bit of comfort I went to bed.
All day Saturday was a day living the agony in the garden. I felt like my heart was sweating blood. I did the stations of the cross outside, placing my infertile self in Christ’s place all alone the road. I felt myself die with him. Something that really caught my attention though was the falls. Christ didn’t just fall and then get up hoping it would get better. He knew that after each fall, when he was completely drained, that He would be getting up and walking towards even worse pain! He knew He was walking towards death and yet He still continued on! This realization kept me going all day Saturday, knowing the worst was to come. At one point in the day I was walking the grounds and I found a statue of Mary hidden away behind some bushes. I came up right beside that statute, rested my head under her heart and broken completely down. And the day went on.
Saturday night came. This was their healing adoration service. This was where I asked God the question that I came there to ask. “Do I hold on for a miracle or do I let go completely?” I had brought a bag of baby items that made up my hope chest at home. I was prepared to give these items to the Sisters if that was God’s will. So I asked the questions and I felt like God was saying, “Let go.” So after the formal adoration time I went and talked with a beautiful Sister, telling her about my cross. She was wonderful; a true gift. She understood just what me giving these items meant. She described it as “an entrustment.” I cried and cried but we came up with a plan.
So that night, just before 12am, in front of Christ I surrendered. I brought my bag of baby hopes and placed it in front of the alter and in front of Christ in the monstrance. Then I prostrated myself right there. And I said, “I surrender myself to You, completely, utterly, boundlessly. I surrender myself to You and Your superior Will, because I love you.” I got up, went to my pew and prayed. The Sister came and took the bag away. I saw this as me giving this gift to Christ and Christ giving it to them. I expected to have a big final cry then. Instead, there was peace. The only way I can think to describe it is as Christ on the cross. He is torn up; crucified but no bones were broken. He was whole. I felt pain but I was not broken. I was whole.I was pierced but I felt peace. I did what I was suppose to do. Then I prayed the rosary. I was going to pray the sorrowful because of how sorrowful this weekend had been but instead I was driven to pray the glorious. And Indeed it was glorious. I could now place myself into the glorious mysteries, just have before I felt I was living the sorrowful. My wounds are still there. But in that moment there was HOPE.
I left that weekend knowing that there will be times I experience the falls again. I am living this life and there is pain. But there is also hope and peace and love. We live in this tension of “already, but not yet” during this time of salvation history. We experience something of heaven and redemption yet Christ is to come again. I am at peace. And it is GLORIOUS!
I know that there will be fruits from this. There will be Christ’s water and blood flowing from this wound of mine. Grace and blessings will come. God’s Will be Done, always and forever!