September 7, 2014

Offering my Cross

Mass last Sunday had some readings that really hit home and really challenged me, especially this line from the Gospel, which was Matthew 16: 21-27 "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,take up his cross, and follow me. "  In his homily, our pastor talked about how having our cross and carrying it is central to christian life.  Then he challenged the congregation to offer our crosses to God, and that God would make them fruitful and reveal the fruit to us.

Also, as I mentioned in the last little happies post, I've signed up for a daily email of an excerpt from the Diary of St. Faustina. A number of the emails recently focused on the importance trusting God and His will.

Like I mentioned here, I've been struggling with trusting in God and His plan.  Ever since I've been aware of our infertility, my prayers have been some version of, "God please give us a baby", "God why haven't you given us a baby?", and "God, your will be done, but please let that be giving us a baby".  I could never pray an unconditional "Your will be done".  The thought of praying that terrified me.  All I could think was, what if God's will is different that what I want, what if I ask that his will be done and that involves me not having a child soon, or ever.  I know its awful, but I didn't want to let go and trust God.  I don't know why, but the idea of praying that felt to me like giving up, like admitting defeat, and that there was an alternative to us having a child.

But last Sunday, during mass, I thought about it and took our pastor's challenge.  I basically said "fine God, here are my crosses, here are my weight issues and my infertility, take them and do what you will.  Please just let them have some fruit, please don't let this suffering be for nothing."  And during the week I began praying that Jesus and his Mother help me to trust in Him.

I didn't realize it right away, but thinking back over the week, the graces really began flow from then on and began change things.  I felt more drawn to praying the rosary in my car to work, which has really helped my prayer life that has tended to be very stagnant lately.  I've started seeing how my prayers I thought were being ignored have been answered in ways I wasn't expecting.

On the weight front, I felt inspiration to start eating better.  The willpower I'd been struggling to find in the last year finally showed up.  Even though I haven't been sticking 100 (or even 80)% to Paleo, and I totally cheated all today, I have been making marked changes in my diet, and I'm already feeling better. 

I started to see, in subtle and not so subtle ways, fruit of my infertility.  I started to see the many things we've been able to do and learn that would've been impossible if we had a child at this point, how it brought me to creighton which has allowed me to tell other people about it, and to see what other ways I could help people due to my infertility.  Today, that last one really started to become clear, and doors have started opening to have that happen.  Its nowhere near cement yet, its really only some ideas, but I'll write about it if any of it does become more clear or come to fruition.

Most of all, in starting to let go of my death grip on my will, and becoming more open to His, I have felt peace and a huge burden lifted off of my shoulders.  My eyes started to open to the fact that God knows infinitely more than I do, and knows what will be best for me.  I know its elementary, but sometimes my pride gets in the way of admitting that. I've started to understand that there might be alternatives to what I want, and that might be ok.  

I'm not saying everything is perfect, I had plenty of bad, frustrating, weak, and fruitless moments this week, I haven't had a 100% turnaround, and I'm not saying all (or even most) of the difficulty of my infertility is gone.   All I'm saying is that God is merciful, and will do His work in our lives when we let him, no matter reluctantly that is.

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