Monday, February 21, 2011

Struggling With God`s Will

In my attempt to purge my heart, mind, and soul in preparation for Lent, I am praying the rosary every night and asking for God`s will to be done in my life.

Actually, the nightly rosaries wasn`t my idea- I owe that to Gloria.

Last week, I was doing breast ultrasounds all day when towards the end of the evening an older Latino woman wearing the Rose for Life sticker on her lapel came in. Her name was Gloria. When she came up onto the exam table, I could see she was also wearing a crucifix around her neck.

This has NEVER happened before, but I suddenly got the urge to ask her to pray for me. I dismissed it, because I was at work, and that`s just not appropriate. Plus, I knew her mind was occupied, because while most breast ultrasounds for fibrocystic dense breasts are negative, the patients are always rightfully nervous about having been called back to have an ultrasound. (We do them because mammography is not great at penetrating the denser tissue.)

By the end of the exam, I was able to tell Gloria that I hadn`t seen anything of concern, and she was relieved. But the urge was now stronger than ever. Like a voice literally shouting in my head, "Ask her!! Ask her now!!!"

So I bit the bullet and went for it.

I asked if she was a religious person (um, ya think? ;) ) and she said yes. I asked her if she would mind praying for me and my husband because we had been trying to have a baby for 5 years (yeah, I round up after the 1/2 yr mark. She asked if I was Catholic and I said I was, and she told me she would pray to the Blessed Mother for me. I had such a huge wave of relief, probably from the fact that she was SO receptive to my asking her such a personal thing in a very awkard place, but she couldn`t have been sweeter.

She then told me to pray the rosary every day. She couldn`t have picked a better person to tell that to, because rosaries, for me, are SO DIFFICULT! I don`t know why, I think maybe as a child they just seemed to take 5 hours to finish, so I dread even starting one now. Of course I always feel wonderful when I`ve finished, so this assignment from Gloria was just the initiative I needed.

I thanked her for being so sweet, and told her about my nudge to ask her to pray for me. She said I was very blessed, that she could see that, and that our "attraction" to one another was us seeing Christ in the other person. I tell you, I almost lost it right then. She then got off the exam table and went over to her purse, saying she had something for me. She pulled out an Our Lady of Lourdes medal, with St Bernadette, and gave it to me. Then she pat my hand, assured me of her prayers, and left with a big smile on her face. I`m sure my smile matched.

So I`ve been doing my nightly rosaries, and truthfully, falling asleep before I ever get to the Hail Holy Queen (but Sew tells me my guardian angel finishes for me), and I`ve been feeling a lot better in general about God`s will for me... but then out of the blue the other day, I burst into tears while looking at pictures of a fellow blogger`s babies. "What in the world??" I remember thinking. I`m pre-Peak, and not weepy and depressed like I am in the late post-Peak. So what is this all about?

I realize I`m at a crossroads right now. My soul wants to give in completely to God`s will, but my heart still longs for motherhood. I`m sure it always will. But in that moment, the tears seemed to "feel" different. They seemed to be tears of acceptance, of mourning a loss and accepting the unknown future, whatever it may be, that God has planned for me.

Don`t get me wrong: I have not yet made peace with any of this, I`m still trying to work it all out. I want so desperately to WANT God`s will, but I`m so scared of venturing into the unknown future which may not involve children... ugh. it is so hard!

I know what my Lenten intention is going to be. Hurry, Lent!

30 comments:

CM said...

What a great story! Good luck with the rosary; part of me thinks it's beautiful, but the other part just has a really hard time praying it.

Tridentine Wife said...

Dh and I are working our way up to a full five decade rosary. We are still on one decade but it's only been a few months of praying it. Good luck, you are one determined lady!

St. Rita's Roses said...

I think ur Gloria story..I love when God sends a graceful stranger my way w/ a message.

I have a hard time too w/the rosary. And my catholic confession: I still have not memorized the mysteries! I am a bad catholic ;)

Perfect Power in Weakness said...

The last part of your entry resonated so strongly with me- wanting to want God's will in your life, but being scared to want His will fully because of what God's will might involve (ie. no biological children). I am there right with you on that. Sorry I don't have any advice for you, but I'm praying.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

Ah, Gloria! I love that woman! I love how the Body of Christ works. God is so good.

I am with you... the rosary is hard for me. I have the best intentions, but it would take a moment of grace like you had to get me motivated and keep me there.

I am praying for you always, and it's so beautiful to know that Gloria has joined the chorus of prayers!

allyouwhohope said...

It is so hard for me to pray the Rosary too. It overwhelms me I think and I have a hard time focusing. And when I have gotten on a kick of doing it in the past, I have fallen asleep during it more times than not.

The Gloria story is beautiful. I'm always praying for you and if I start doing the Rosary for Lent (inspired by this post), I'll pray for you during that too.

Little JoAnn said...

When we are able to feel the prompting of God and follow them no matter how strange or odd or out of place or inappropriate it seems....

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN.

So glad you spoke up and out.

Just found a qoute from St. Rose of Lima for you.

Will come back when I get my hands on it and post it.

It reminded me of your blog.

JellyBelly said...

I'll pray with you TCIE!!!!! We have a visiting statue of the Blessed Mother and we've been praying the rosary for two weeks. Knowing that you're doing it will help me do mine!

I love your story and God put her in your path when you needed it!

Hugs and prayers, my dear, sweet friend!

Joy Beyond the Cross said...

Amazing story. In confession last week a priest told me "There is no problem in the world the Rosary cannot fix". (We weren't talking about anything related to IF, but still...I was intrigued.) But I have yet to take him up on his advice...same story for me. I think it is very beautiful, but I just don't seem to make time. But tonight I will. Our Blessed Mother wants nothing more to help us and bring our intentions to the foot of the Lord. Thank you for this reminder!

Simone said...

What a beautiful story. What a perfect name -Gloria. I bet she went home and told her family about meeting you and how much it meant to her that you asked her to pray.

Nicole C said...

Wow I'm so proud of you for asking her! I'm not sure I would have had the humility!

I'm so glad you posted this. Like you, I'm TERRIBLE at being consistent with the Rosary. In fact every New Year my resolution is to say it every day. Never. Then for Lent, that is my Lenten resolution. Also never. But this year I'm going to do it! I love the part about the guardian angel finishing! I always fall asleep too!

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

What an incredible experience with that woman. Kind of reminds me of ALWH's story at adoration. I love what St. Rita's Roses wrot-e a graceful stranger. Might I tweak that to a "grace-filled stranger"!

Praying for you as you try to let go and embrace His will as well as you've embraced His cross.

Jen said...

Wow, your story is beautiful. Isn't it funny how God brings people together in a meeting? He knows just what we need and how we can minister to one another if we're open to it. Maybe I should start praying a Rosary every day... Do you know for how long you'll be doing it daily? Until Lent or past that?

Katie @ Persevere in Prayer said...

How inspiring! What a beautiful story :) And yes, your guardian angel does finish your prayers for you if you fall asleep (my grandmother told me that when I was little)!

The Comeaus said...

This is such a lovely story! What a blessing it is to have that kind of encounter, and I agree with Gloria's belief that you were encountering Jesus in one another. Just beautiful.

This may be very unconventional, and I don't know what the Blessed Mother would think of it, but my husband and I have found that the best way to not skip the daily Rosary is to say the Rosary one decade at a time throughout the day. So, we start the day with a decade, say another at his break (he works at home), say another at lunch, another mid-afternoon, and finish after our son is in bed, along with our other prayers.

Because we do Scripture reading and other prayers every evening after a tough day and feel like crashing afterwards, we thought that breaking up the Rosary this way would still give us time to spend with each other while also making sure we are faithful to our prayers. Maybe it could work for others? To just say a decade every time you have a break?

We've also found that it really does sanctify each part of our day and keeps us closer.

The Comeaus said...

Oh, another little tip that helps me be faithful to the Rosary (and this is coming from someone who almost never prayed it, except in childhood, until this past October): when I don't feel like praying it, I remember that, ultimately, talking to my Mother Mary and reflecting with her makes *her* happy. That is really the best thing to make me do it: I want to make her happy and do what she has so often asked us to do. I guess it all boils down to it being a matter of love when all else fails! And it IS such a beautiful prayer, if we can discipline our minds to shut everything else out for a few minutes...very hard to do...

polkadot said...

Love this story. I think it (and you) will be an inspiration for those who read it. :) I have heard that since the rosary is such a powerful spiritual tool, it makes sense that we would face great temptation to avoid it, not finish it, or become distracted during it (my biggest problem). Your perseverance is beautiful. And what you said about wanting to want God’s will but desiring motherhood at the same time is such a struggle for me too. I can’t wait for Lent either. :)

C. said...

Beautiful story!

barbie said...

Grant and I say a daily rosary together and I always pray for my blogger ladies. You will continue to be in my prayers and I know the rosary will help you as well!

Julie said...

I too struggle with saying the rosary! It is the hardest devotion for me, but I really need to try harder this lent!

I will pray one for you so that God's Will may be done in your life!

alliemich said...

what an awesome Guardian prayer angle that was sent to you today. I am glad you had to courage to ask her for her prayers.

I used to feel the same way about the rosary, felt they took forever to finish and I always fell asleep when praying. After Fatima/Lourdes I started saying my rosary on the way to work. Do you have a 15 minute or more commute? It is a great time to say it for me!

E said...

I am not so good at the rosary at home, either. I am more successful in a group or at Adoration. I have felt that anxiety of God's Will many times in my life, its like dipping my toe in really cold water but knowing that once I get in, I will feel just fine. :)

sweet jane said...

I love this! I love that you said what you needed to say to Gloria, and I'm not at all surprised she reacted the way she did. There are so many beautiful, wonderful people in the world, and God smiles at us through them. I recently met a woman who happened to mention her ongoing annulment to me, and I felt odd about it, but decided to go for it and tell her we should get together and talk soon. 1st time meeting. I just liked her immensely right away, and she seemed happy at the invite. God crosses paths for reasons.

I'll say a prayer for Gloria too. And you - as always.

Megan said...

When I was reading your story about Gloria, I could feel the Holy Spirit washing over me with goosebumps, and again as I am typing this comment.
I have no doubt that God gave you the actual Grace to do that, and that is wonderful that you responded. I firmly believe that Gloria is a powerful woman of prayer, and God is going to use her prayers for good in your life.
You are amazing, TCIE, and I am praying for you daily!

Awaiting a Child of God:) said...

OH my gosh. I got chills and then the tears came for me when reading this. God really does bring people into our lives to remind us HE is THERE! What a blessing Gloria was to you.

Your words mimic mind. God's will is so hard but it's people like you that help remind me that it is His will that is best. HUGS friend

The Comeaus said...

Another thought I had about this lovely story today: perhaps Gloria has the gift of intercession? It is one of the spiritual gifts, and people who have this gift are extraordinary at interceding for others... Perhaps this is why the Lord put her in your path! And I'm sure your request blessed her, too. It must have made everybody's day. :)

Living for the Lord in 2011 said...

Amazing! I have been feeling the pull to do a decade of the rosary with our whole family each evening for Lent!

This is my confirmation that I am on the right track for a Lenten devotion!

Thanks for being so open to the Spirit and His promptings! I pray for you often!

Little JoAnn said...

I found the quote I wanted to share with you, TCIE.

"Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."

--St. Rose of Lima

a thorn in the pew said...

I've cried like that. It's not fun because I usually don't know why I'm crying until I'm finished. Hope you can find direction and grace this Lent...prayers.

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

How amazing, God always seems to send people to us at just the right time! :) I'm still praying for you!