March 29, 2015

Infertility, Suffering, and Holy Week

I apologize in advance if this gets rambly, but I can't seem to make my thoughts cohesive.  But anyway, this all started with me being part of a gathering today that should have been happy.  We were celebrating new life, multiple new lives actually, and I should've been happy for them. But while I might've put on a good face, I wasn't happy inside. I was sad, angry, and heartbroken, for myself of course.  I sat there with my closest friends feeling alone, like an outsider, looking in on a club that I don't know I will ever be a part of.  I held it together until I got to my car and then broke down.

It felt like a punch to the gut, like all the air had been sucked out of my lungs and I couldn't breathe.  The pain, the pain that has been building up for so long, it was unbearable.  I cried, and cried out to the Lord in my heart.  I told Him, "This is not fair! I've followed all of your rules!  I always turned down birth control!  We waited until marriage! We've been open to life! We never contracepted! I've turned down all immoral procedures! Isn't that enough? Why am I being punished? I don't deserve this!"

But then I remembered, neither did He.

"But, Lord can't you give me something?  If it's not a child, can't you take this pain away?  Why does it only hurt more the more I ask for relief?  If you won't give me a child or relief, can't you at least give me a better job? Make me productive somehow?"

But then I remembered, He has given me all, He gave His very life for me.

The truth is, I am not innocent as He was, and is.  I have sinned many many times, in many ways, repeating them over and over again (looking at you, envy).  I don't know if any of those have contributed to my infertility today, but they could have (looking at you, gluttony).

It's also true that the rules God has given me are not for His benefit, but for mine, so that I may not harm myself or others, so that I might not turn away from Him and foreclose the possibility of heaven.  And it is by His grace alone that I have not fallen more than I have.

And I have to remember that life is not fair.  It has been infected by sin, original sin, that brings death and disease into the world.

As this week focuses so clearly on, Christ, above all, understands suffering that He did not deserve.  Suffering that He willingly undertook for our salvation.  Like it says in 1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the spirit."

So, I guess in some way, the sorrow and the pain present in Holy Week is a comfort to me.  Like it says in Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help."

Christ understands our smallness and weakness, and our pain and suffering in ways deeper than I ever could. He does not leave us stranded, alone, but has suffered with us.  And through His great suffering and death, we are offered eternal life, which is the greatest gift we could be given.

It brings me to the realization that so much of this pain I am in stems from fighting His will and trying to hold on to what I want.  I know, I've posted several times before about surrendering to God's will, but it seems I've never been able to make a whole hearted effort, and I will probably keep fighting His then trying to surrender mine my whole life.  I don't know how to let go of what I want the outcome of this journey to be, what I want God to give me.

I know that I need to let it go, to die to myself, to drag this cross of my self will to Calvary and leave it there at the foot of His.  I have to die to myself and accept that He is enough.  He will give me all I need for salvation, and that is all I need, nothing more.  My will is not better.  My plan for children may not have anything to do with His plan for me.  If raising children is part of my path to salvation, then that is what He will give me, if not, then so be it.

That was so hard to even just to type, but I know it's true. Perhaps there are other souls He will bring to me in other ways to help, I just don't know, and I won't know, probably until it's all over. All I know is that I all I can do is try to take one step closer to Him, and one step closer to letting go of myself, every day until I get there.

It's like this quote of Mother Teresa:

Some day I hope to get to that place where there is no more hurt, only love.


  1. This is so beautiful. Really and truly. I feel so blessed to have read your post today. It's true, God's rules are for our benefit, not his. Remembering that can be hard, but it is so worth it. Surrendering our will for his is a grueling daily sacrifice. I love what Our Lady said to St. Bernadette- "I promise to make you happy, not in this world, but in the next." Amen, Tomato. Amen.

    1. Thank you so much, for reading and for sharing your thoughts. I love that quote! Funny actually, it was on my mind as I was writing this post. Its such a comforting thought.

  2. So so hard. It's a long grieving process to let go of all the goods we had wished for our lives and step in to God's will. Praying for you.

    1. Thank you for understanding and for sharing. There has definitely been a lot of grieving on my part lately, but I do feel like it is at least productive and/or healing, if that makes sense. Thank you for your prayers, I'll be praying for you too!