Advent Reveal

This advent I had the pleasure of praying for the sweet and thoughtful writer of a blog I’ve read for a while now and have often cited here on my own blog, which made this season feel that much more personal.  When I received the email I admit I was a bit nervous, knowing what a spiritual dry spell she had been going through lately – but I took that as a challenge to pray harder!  And then when I read on her blog that she was going on a blog fast, although I was a little sad I’d have less to read, I knew things would be  getting better for her soon.  Blog fasts do that.

Crazy enough, two days later she heard about her first potential adoption situation for a baby to be born in February and I got to add 3 more people to my prayer list!  I’m glad she popped back in a few times to let us know how it was going with meeting the birth parents and other things related to life, although I know how refreshing a blog fast can be too.  I particularly liked her spiritual adviser’s advice to shift the focus from suffering to thankfulness for a new perspective and I’ve been trying to apply that to my life.

I got to pray for….A Complicated Life!

I prayed for her daily the St. Andrew’s novena with the intention of “peace in her life and a baby”.  I also prayed the novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe (after recently visiting the Basilica!) and whenever I attended Mass this advent season for her.  I also prayed for her birth parents – they now have names! D and E – after the St. Andrew’s novena each day that they would make the best decision for this new little baby.  You have no idea how excited I was to add them to my prayers!

I hope you felt these gifts of prayer and I’m happy to continue praying for your family!

Only say the word

Yesterday marked the start of Advent, the period of preparation preceding the Christmas and the birth of Christ.  We wait in preparation of what glory is to come.  I’ve been waiting to wait for this.  Does that make sense?  It seems that waiting is my natural state these days, so it only seems natural that we’d have a world-wide recognized liturgical season to make it feel more like a group effort :)

One of my favorite lines during the the Mass is after the Rite of communion, before the congregation is invited to come up to receive the Eucharist.

Fr: This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Happy are those who are called to his supper.

Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

How simple and beautiful.  The definition of humility.  I feel like I could ponder this line forever.  Today I am struck by what a great mystery the Eucharist is and how we are all so unworthy.  No one is ever “holy” enough to literally receive the Lord, now into their body  or once upon a time, into their home.  How could we be!  It is only through pure faith, only by His will, that it is or was even permissible.

So beautiful.

In other news, Advent Prayer Buddies started up again.  I don’t know if its possible to have such amazing results as last time, but I know I can pray for my buddy with more faith than I had then.  Maybe God will surprise us all.  

Making our move

I’m coming up here on 6 months of Creighton charting and I just received my Hilger’s referral in the mail.  It told me pretty much exactly what I thought it would, that my cycles are “functionally abnormal.”  There is a list of tests to continue with, some of which we’ve already done.  In all I’m just feeling very, blah regarding continuing treatment at this moment.

Its no surprise I don’t want this.  Who would want fertility issues, let alone the decisions that come with them?  Nothing is as easy as just deciding that this month we’ll “not abstain” and see what happens.  Although I pray for a different result each time, I guess that’s where we keep finding ourselves, just seeing what happens.  And until we discern that we are really called to do something different, that’s where we’ll remain.  With how strange starting treatment all feels in general I don’t know what it will take me to get the treatment train going (and makes the intentional decision that this month I will do IVF and have my baby this month seem that much more foreign).  Lightening bolts from Heaven?  In the least, definitely more prayer.  I thought I would feel invigorated when I received my referral, which is written by Hilger’s himself after looking at my medical history and charts, and have a new found energy about where to go from here.  Instead, I’m getting an unanticipated feeling:

“Just stay still already.”

I don’t really like it.  I’m an impatient person.  And its slowly being forced out of me.  I want to move forward or at least feel like I’m moving forward, but something beyond me is urging me to just accept it already, right now.  Even with knowledge of what the next steps would be and what specific tests we need to do.  And even while being forced to spend time away from my husband back here in Texas, months which could very well be used to complete the necessary blood tests.  Over these past few weeks I’ve been finally able to see what the reality and pain of this past year have clouded:  mainly, that I have never been able to visualize my family or my future (which is maybe something that God has given me to prepare me for the “unusual path” which may not even involve a family) and that I’ve always felt a draw towards adoption – which I could not acknowledge/talk about last year – even when prodded – but I’m finally realizing that it is true and not a bad thing or just a weird quirk of mine (but in fact is a very, very good blessing as not everyone has this).

Acknowledging these realities has made those recent desperate moments of “I’ll never have kids” seem not quite as bad, although I will always mourn the loss of kids I never had.  Before, when this thought would enter my head I’d feel nothing but despair, as if my life would end if I couldn’t have kids or that it would be pointless.  Lately I’ve been able to reason myself out of that despair by acknowledging that these other options are good options, and not only that, but that they might really be part of my plan.  Leading me to be able to both feel and rationalize that God has not forgotten me but is just working at His own pace.  This. is. huge.

There’s something about sub/infertility that strips away rationality and leaves just a desperate feeling remaining, like you’re lost in the woods and have no idea where to go and you’re out of food.  But now I feel as if I’m lost in the woods with a slight inkling that if I keep walking in this direction I’ll eventually get somewhere, probably not anytime soon, but eventually.  And that’s waaaaay more comforting, although I am not foolish enough to think that I’ll never doubt myself again.

But it is odd that in order to “walk in this direction” right now, I have to stand still.  My own analogies are starting to confuse me!

Anyway, I’m also having issues on how to continue this blog.  I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable knowing that there are people I know in real life who read this blog who never comment, as if this blog is a one-way window into my life which isn’t reciprocated.  For this reason I’ve had issues with sharing more of the personal details of our journey thus far.  I don’t know if I’ll stop this blog or make a new one or what.  I didn’t anticipate such a personal subject to start to affect my thoughts so intensely and the idea that its replacing real relationships I have is troubling me.  I guess I’ll work through that and decide what to do soon enough.

So, that’s where I am.  And why I’ve been so quiet lately.

The Big Reveal!

As I’ve mentioned before, I took part for the first time in Prayer Buddies this summer!  When I started blogging I wasn’t exactly looking for spiritual support, but it turns out that has been one of the most unexpected blessings of having this blog.  And this summer I had the exclusive assignment of offering one blogging lady and her intentions up in prayer for the last 40 days.

And boy, was it humbling.

I was going to title this post “My False Sense of Power”  because, well, I’ll get to that.

My prayer buddy has been trying to conceive for 3 years.  The first three years of her marriage.  I prayed for her and her husband to grow closer together during this time and for her to be blessed with the baby they so long for. I also prayed for the other requests she posted during this time as well.

I offered up these prayers daily, alongside the prayers I do for my family, before and after the consecration at Mass, during my nightly prayers, as well as during random prayers during the day and with the St. Anne novena TCIE led.

And this experience has been so humbling in part because, in praying for my buddy I have had the privilege of seeing those prayers answered.  Within 40 days!  It kind of felt like a sitcom!

I had the privilege of praying for Waiting for Baby Blondie, who announced on July 31st, that she is pregnant.  Now the waiting is just for Baby Blondie to be born! (Although, I do think that Baby Blondie-Moonhead has a nice ring to it, don’t you? ha!  I’m JUST KIDDING.)

So now you see why when I read her blog, her posts about finding out she was pregnancy, I paused.  Almost, in shockMaybe God does hear me after all? This baby is a miracle and I’m so thankful that God has allowed me to play whatever tiny part and BE HERE where I am, as this miracle was revealed.  Most ironic, is that I don’t know if I would have been had my own prayers been answered.  I know prayers are heard and answered by our God when HE deems best, but it is so, so humbling to be there when it actually happens.  I feel that this was a tiny grace bestowed on me as an offshoot of this incredible blessing:  Baby Blondie!

Thank you for letting me be a part of this and I think my favorite part of watching this unfold is hearing your stories of how excited your DH is.  I will continue to pray for you both!

One last request from my PB

Our prayer buddy summer edition is about to end, and I’m actually really sad about that.  I guess praying for someone without them knowing can happen whenever I feel like, but this has been a fun little experience.  I do have a couple requests for whoever my prayer buddy is.  Only a few more days so I figured I’d take advantage of it!

  1. I’m in a dicey situation at work…I’d appreciate some prayers in helping me keep my head cool and handle it professionally, without letting my emotions get in the way of being effective.
  2. My MIL had surgery all the way across the country yesterday to remove part of her colon.  This is pretty much a life-changing surgery so, I know she’s needs all the prayers she can get for immediate recovery and for dealing with the life changes that result.
  3. We’re having bug problems.  We joke that we have no life (little kids) running around our house so we’re adopting the orphan bugs (and geckos) that want to live with us.  We joke, but seriously, its kind of gross.  I’d rather have little kids than cockroaches.

Ok, maybe you don’t have to pray about that last thing, but the first two I’d appreciate some help on.  Anything anyone else need some prayers on?  May as well pay it forward!

Praying for Others

This is long overdue but I’m posting it anyway.  I’m doing a little prayer buddy thing these days that lasts until August 15th.  Basically the assignment is simple. I’ve been given a fellow blogger via the IF circle of bloggers that have so warmly welcomed me and its my duty to pray for that person.  Come August 15th, I’ll reveal myself to that person and let them know I’ve been praying for them.  Since I’m relatively new to this group, I feel like I’m going to reveal myself to that person and there going to respond, “Who??”

But hopefully I’ll make a new friend!  Because I’ve been praying for this person and the struggles they’ve been going through as well as for their husband, and seriously, how could you not want to be friends with someone who’s been praying for you? That’s what I thought :)

So the other half of this prayer buddy thing is having a person out there that I don’t even know praying for me for these few weeks.  And, wow.  That’s humbling.  Its really hard for me to pray for myself (I feel way more comfortable praying for others), so I really, really appreciate this prayer buddy thing.

But I’m starting to realize I really need to ask for help.  Part of the interesting dichotomy of having fertility issues is that you “just need to relax” but then you’re focusing too much on yourself if you want to talk about it and examine all your feelings of frustration that comes with this with anyone.  I try not to unload on anyone because let’s face it, no one likes a Debbie Downer (actually, that one’s pretty funny – and ironically enough, she even makes a joke about not ever having children!).  I try to deal with this healthily, but I’m just realizing that very, very few people in my life want to or have the time to be there to listen.  So I grow closer to my husband.  And fellow bloggers.

Thanks to those of you who have listened.  I needed that.

So if my prayer buddy is reading this, can I get some particular help with a special request?  I have an impossible-feeling deadline coming up at work (Friday) and I need some concentration and focus.  There’s only one thing I can change in my life right now and that’s the outcome of this project.  I just need the strength to do it.  I also need a little less procrastinating on blogs in order to make this happen.  Thank you in advance:)