Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Lot to Digest

Through the grace of God, we have been able to get through the past several days, one hour at a time. There is just so much going on, none of it good. Did I mention that the RE called me at home with my estradiol results after the ultrasound, and warned me not to exercise or do any heavy lifting because I may risk ovarian torsion with all of those large cysts?? Nice. He said it most likely would not come to that, though, because there was "literally no room left for your ovary to twist."

I mean, my head is spinning from all of this. I don't know what to be most concerned about anymore.

Next weekend we are going on a Marriage Encounter. I think we SERIOUSLY need this, and I am really hoping nothing happens to disrupt those plans.

I keep coming back to the thought that no suffering is in vain. While I may not have any answers right now, and I may very well never have any answers in this life, I do feel confident that this suffering is for a greater good. It would be wonderful to say someday in the future, "Oh, that time of suffering was all for THIS wonderful thing that happened in my life!" But in this case, I really and truly believe that my DH and I are suffering through this for the sake of the suffering itself. I don't know if that makes ANY sense. But it feels as if we are being crucified on our cross because that is the most perfect, holy, and complete way to suffer.

After all, this blog is entitled, "This Cross I Embrace." It is not called, "This Cross I Question, Reject, Avoid, and Will Only Accept if I Know it Will Lead Me to My Happy Ending."

While this semi-understanding has helped me to keep going, it certainly has not lessened the pain in any way. Nor has it made us feel any less alone. But was Jesus Himself spared the pain of His Passion? Did not every one of His apostles (save John) leave Him alone on that Good Friday? If Jesus couldn't escape it, what makes me think I can?

I've also been thinking a lot about my future, and my vocation. I need to face the truth that, as painful as it may be, I may never be a mother. Now, I have always believed (even gone so far as to preach) that the desire for motherhood is a good and holy desire given us from God. Furthermore, I believe that God would not give us that desire for a very special and holy vocation without fulfilling it one day. And I do also believe that God can move mountains. I have seen His glorious works very recently in so many of my blogging friends' lives, and I know He only wants good for all of us.

But maybe, just maybe, my desire for motherhood was placed on my heart so that this period of suffering in my life would be more complete, more whole. Maybe at the end of this cross, we will come to the conclusion that our marriage is our vocation, and service to others and our Church is God's will for our lives. And maybe at that time, I will no longer desire motherhood. As unfathomable as it seems now, if we believe God can move mountains, we must also believe that He can change our desires.

Many times throughout this cross, I have felt like I was in the pit of despair (no Princess Bride reference intended) and darkness... but I had no idea what despair truly was until now. I know, without a doubt, that we are now at our Golgotha, being crucified upon our cross. And it hurts. It is worse than anything I have ever experienced.

At the same time, it is, dare I say, renewing. I know that some time soon, some huge change will come into our lives. We will begin our climb back up out of the pit, and we will have a new meaning for our lives. And by the grace of God, we will be stronger individuals, a stronger couple.

While we wait, we continue to embrace the cross we've been nailed to, hoping to find meaning on the other side.

17 comments:

Second Chances said...

TCIE - your faith is truly an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing during your most difficult times. Please know that many prayers are being offered for you and please also pray for us as I believe you are very close to God right now.

Sissy said...

The marriage encounter sounds like a much needed break for you. I hope you have a wonderful time and DH gets some rest.

allyouwhohope said...

As I was reading this I just kept thinking that some huge change will happen to make everything new, and then you wrote that very thing! I just KNOW it will. I know that is easy for me to say, but I just feel it strongly. Keep holding on. God has not abandoned you, and is with you every second, helping you through this!

Sew said...

I read a quote that said pain is the catalyst to great change.

Not sure why it has to hurt for so long... But it was very insightful, I thought.

See you in a couple of days!!!

I'm so going to have a drink or two! ;)

JellyBelly said...

My heart aches for you TCIE!

I agree with Sew that this pain will bring you great joy, I just know it.

I continue to pray for you!

Complicated Life said...

You have my thoughts and prayers as you persevere. Your trust and faith is an inspiration to me. God is close, even if it doesn't seem that way.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I'm so sorry. I sometimes want the desire to go away, too, but the desire is what makes it such a cross. I hope you find relief from this suffering.

Leila said...

Your knowledge of redemptive suffering is so beautiful. We Catholics are so lucky to have a theology of suffering.... it has meaning when we unite it to the suffering of Christ on the Cross!

There is a certain married couple here in the Catholic community in my city. They have been married at least six years, and they have a "reputation of sanctity".... I mean, EXTREMELY saintly, almost mystical people, with such love and wisdom, etc. They are as close to Christ as anyone I know, and even the children and teens in the area say things like: "Mr. and Mrs. R. will be canonized for sure one day." Like it's a no-brainer. Anyway, he is very sickly (like many saints!), and they have very little in the way of possessions (quite poor). Despite a great longing for a child, they have remained infertile, year after year. They have no way of adopting (no money, his illness, etc.). It is a GREAT CROSS for them, like it is for you. The great mystery is that this holy couple, whom God clearly loves so much, and who would be beautiful parents, has not received the gift of a child. It is such a mystery.

I often wonder how many souls are being saved, how many intentions are being answered, simply because this holy couple's sufferings are being offered up to God, and their prayers are POWERFUL (as powerful as the Cross!). It is mind-boggling to consider, and we/they won't know the fruit of that suffering until Heaven. Anyway, TCIE, you are so amazing in your faith, and you and your DH's situation reminds me of this couple, and that none of this means that you are far from God's love. Quite the opposite.

Thank you for being a personal inspiration to me.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

OMGosh, Leila- is this couple located anywhere near the east coast? I've been searching high and low for a childless couple to come speak at one of our IF support groups... in my opinion, if they are living happy, faith-filled lives, THEY are the greatest SUCCESS (not the typical success stories of "getting what you want" in the end, kwim??)
Just being able to talk to them about how they are best able to handle their cross on a day to day basis would be fantastic.
I do know one client couple who is living childlessly after years of IF, but they are not practicing Catholics.

Anyway, thank you for sharing about them. I am flattered that we reminded you of such a holy couple(!) - I think we have a loooong way to go before we are that holy ;)

Leila said...

Oh, TCIE, I wish they were near you, but we are in Phoenix! I think that is a great idea, getting a couple like them in to talk! I need to think, because I knew of another such couple, years ago, who were similarly holy. He was a medical doctor, she herself was one of ten children. They taught NFP and the doctor's practice was NFP-only. They were IF after many years (perhaps ten?) of marriage. (She used to tell me they had many "spiritual children" and godchildren). The suffering was clearly very profound, even though they were so dang holy that they were almost literally glowing!! :-)

I had forgotten about them until just now.... I will try to remember where they moved....

I wish I had more east coast Catholic connections. I will keep thinking....

prayerfuljourney said...

My dh and I went on a M.E. weekend...you'll have to let me/us know how it went for you. It is definitely concentrated on the couple...teaches you a way to communicate and then gives you lots of time to practice! My dh and I joined the M.E. community in our area(per the recommendation of a friend)...which is much more social and relaxed.

As far as your cross...I do believe God uses our suffering for the greater good of others. If I find out one day that my suffering saved babies that were otherwise going to be ab.orted...praise be to God. It's worth it if in some way my suffering is saving lives. I don't know...sometimes I just have to find reasons to make sense of my IF.

Praying for you!!!

Kathryn said...

Ah, yeah. You are amazing. What a post in the midst of great suffering.

mrsblondies said...

What an beautiful and faith-filled post. I hope the ME weekend gives you both lots of blessings.

the misfit said...

While I haven't had quite this experience with infertility - I remember going through terrible suffering earlier in my life. Before that, every cross was small, because I realized that if I offered it up, I immediately understood that I could "afford" to carry it and it didn't cost me even enough to make me unhappy. But when the cross you carry gets really heavy, you can run to the cross, and beg for God to help you, and maybe He does; but the pain doesn't stop. Good intentions and a good attitude are not enough to get you out from under it when it's really bad. Which is not to say that serious suffering is never-ending, because it isn't, and I think grace brings a rescue eventually (and I can claim to be the recipient of an undeserved miracle there) - but mere piety is no reprieve.

I confess I cannot get my head around the stories of truly holy childless Catholic couples who suffer much with infertility. As far as I can see, if you are intractably infertile and suffering, you are either rebellious and proud, like me, unwilling to accept that carrying a cross might BE what you're called to, or you are holy and good and will embrace God's will and the cross, but just haven't come to understand that that's your lot YET. I can't understand that they could be truly holy and not at peace with infertility if there's no longer hope for treatment. Because I'm pretty sure that if I were really good, then I wouldn't be unhappy.

Jeremiah 29:11 said...

Sending prayers...

Tucked Beneath His Wing said...

Thanks for your message on my blog. I am planning to post my story on the CF list - hopefully this week. Have to sit down and actually compose the message. I'm glad my story has given you some hope. I know that you and your husband are particularly suffering right now. Please know that I am keeping both of you specifically in my prayers each day.

Praying for Hope said...

You have faith where mine would given out long ago. You're amazing.