Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Annunciation and Infertility

I was sitting in Mass today, which is a very good place to sit, and I was listening to the readings that I have heard many times before and the Gospel whacked me straight in the heart. It was a pretty personal whack so I apologize in advance if this post is hard to follow.
Here, you read the Gospel and see if anything strikes you.

LUKE 1:26-38
26 And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Now, I am not a biblical scholar, at all. But I do have a blog so I am going to share with you what struck me.

Mary asks the angel HOW she will conceive. How is this possible? It seems to me that the angel gives her two answers.

The first answer is practical. How will this happen? "Well, the Holy Spirit, the breath of life, is going to breath on you and you will bear life." Ok. Good. That would almost be a complete answer, right? How is God going to work this, well, he will do what he does best and create LIFE!

The second answer is testimonial. The second answer is the one that struck me almost speechless. It is calling on a witness. And an infertile witness at that. It was the witness of this infertile couple that showed Mary how God was going to change her life and the life of the world through her. Whenever I read and heard this passage before my mind always went right to the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth and really the first meeting of Jesus and John. I thought that the angel mentioned Elizabeth to get Jesus to John. And I am sure that this is a part of it. But I was touched by the idea that the answer to Mary's question of 'How is this possible' was the witness of an infertile woman. And it was after Mary received these TWO answers that she declares "Be it done to me according to thy word."

So this passage became a challenge to me. Am I allowing God to use my infertility as a witness? As a witness to how the impossible is possible with God. Because remember Elizabeth was infertile before there was NaPro or Facebook support groups and she was infertile until PAST her fertile years. She 'aged out' in a sense. I have been dealing with infertility for 4 1/2 years. Sometimes everything seems hopeless. Elizabeth could have dealt with infertility since she was 16 and now she is, what, 50? Possibly older? She would have been living with infertility for 34+ years. How hopeless that must have seemed. But God uses the barren to give witness to the possibility of life!

Lord, use me to inspire someone else's Fiat! Let this be my fiat!

Let my Life bear witness to YOUR WORD!

Updated 03/26/13
I was laying in bed last night am describing this insight to my husband who said, "Well, yay! And it is only after SEEING Elizabeth that she sings out the Magnificat!" Mary's strength to carry her son to the cross is confirmed, yet again, by the witness of the infertile woman who was faithful to God's Promises.

I also want to highlight that I don't think you ever have to have a child after infertility to be this witness. As Rebecca is fond of repeating, and it always inspires me, the spiritual presides the physical. Elizabeth had life in her heart before she had it in her womb. The physical life is a reflection of the spiritual life already present; it makes visible the invisible!

My final point was to share that at this mass I felt like God was speaking directly to me. The homily was beautiful and mystical; very Theology of the Body, about how the Incarnation is a call out to humans to become divine. (I especially liked the reflection that Father had on how Christ didn't come as an animal or a plant, but as a human and so making everything human divine!). Yesterday was also the first time I can remember a prayer for all those struggling to conceive in the prayers of the faithful!

It was beautiful to be mentioned in the prayer of the Church. So often this is one of the things that makes me bitter, not being noticed in the struggle when it seems that everything else IS!

So, anyways, just some add-on thoughts!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Still Believe

This is my big revelation from today,

I don't understand God.

That's it. I don't understand God and how He loves us.

Today has not been a good day. I got nothing done simply because I didn't do anything. I have been very 'down' and 'blue' and (to be honest) I've wallowed all day. I am still in my PJ's and it is 5:30pm. G-Man is going to be home from work any minute. I had a good 30 minute cry-fest around noon. I've been breaking down occasionally throughout the rest of the day.


Because I don't understand God and I am upset. I am angry and life isn't fair!

I started spotting today and I know that my period is coming/here. This is not big news. My period came, like it does every month.

Since October, I have been reconnecting my desire for children to God and HOPING in God, believing in miracles again. This has been a very difficult process but I thought that this is what God wanted. It certainly sounds good. But it is painful. Because believing in miracles means I have to believe in the impossible. And when the impossible STAYS impossible, you know who gets hurt? ME! I do!

I feel like it is cruel for God to ask me to believe that He will 'satisfy my heart' and then NOT satisfy it! It seems easier to just not believe; to close my heart up!

But I know no other way to live anymore except through Christ and BELIEF in Christ's resurrection. So, despite all of this anger and this misunderstanding, Here is my prayer! Here is my Heart's Cry!