Friday, January 6, 2012

The Gift of Hope

Yesterday I received a beautiful gift from a beautiful new friend.

About two months ago, I performed an ultrasound on an older patient who loved to talk. We'll call her "T." Right off the bat I could tell T was fiercely Catholic, and loved being a patient at our office. She told me all about herself and asked all about me; we discussed where we grew up, our careers, our Catholic faith... even a little politics. The exam, which would have taken about 30 minutes start to finish, ended up taking 45.

While I was about to step out of the room, T asked me if there was anything she could do for me, specifically, if there was anything she could pray for on my behalf. I paused a moment (since this was one of the first ultrasounds I had performed without my infertility coming up as a topic of discussion), and decided, what the heck? If she's offering...

So I said, "Sure. If you could please pray that my husband and I will be able to conceive. We've been trying over 5 years."

T sympathetically assured me of her prayers, and began asking if I had heard of/prayed for the intercession of various Saints, including St. Anthony (who I only this year discovered is a patron for infertility). I told her that we had done every Novena to every Saint known to man :) She then told me a story of her relative, who married a woman from Mexico, and how they tried for years and years, only later to adopt several children. She said that while she would certainly pray for me to conceive, that I should always be open to "other options" of growing my family, because God may call me to one of them someday. I nodded and smiled. They're the stories all well-meaning people tell, to make the barren woman feel better. I knew she meant no harm. But I also knew that it did no good to propagate a myth.

So I responded, "That is beautiful. But, while we would love to adopt, we already pursued it and were told that we could not."

T's face dropped. She felt horrible, I could tell. She again assured me of her prayers, asked my husband's name, and thanked me for being so kind to her during her exam.

T returned a couple of weeks later, for a procedure which the Dr performed with ultrasound guidance. During the procedure, T spoke to me about Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all of the wonderful stories surrounding the image on the famous tilma. After the procedure, she told me that she had emailed a priest up in the northeast who has a traveling image of Our Lady, and she told him about me and my husband. She said she hoped I didn't mind, but she was on a mission :) I told her of course I didn't mind! She said she had not received a reply yet, and that she hoped the priest didn't think she was some crazy lunatic ;)

The holidays passed, and with it, the end of my last "actively trying to conceive" cycle, which came to a screeching halt on Christmas Day. I got through it, by the grace of God, and enjoyed a light work week between Christmas and New Year's.

This past Tuesday, our center received a call from T, who asked if I would be in the following morning, because she wanted to bring me something. The receptionist told her that I would be here.

When T arrived, I brought her back to the consult room that I use in the mornings. She handed me an envelope with a card inside. As I opened the card, I saw two scapulars. T told me that the scapulars were from Mexico City, from the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine, and were touched to the wall underneath the image of Our Lady... on December 24th, 2011.

It took all my strength to not cry as I held those scapulars. I was at work, after all - with patients waiting for me right down the hall.

I listened as T told me that her relative and his wife were there on Christmas Eve and sent these scapulars back to T, since she had requested them for a special purpose.
I hardly knew how to respond aside from thanking her again and again, and giving her a hug, and offering to return the prayers.

On the Eve of the birth of the child Jesus, and on the Eve of the start of my period - I was being prayed for at the feet of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In this one moment in time, when so much hope was alive in my heart, in celebration of Our Savior's imminent birth, and the possibility of a miracle pregnancy in my own womb... Our Lady was holding me close to her heart. And she knew that the following day would crash down around me, extinguishing my dreams, washing away my hope of motherhood, but that Jesus - Jesus would still be there.

And it was that hope which she wanted me to hold onto. The hope of Christ, continually working in my life, continually growing in my heart.

I am overwhelmed.

22 comments:

matchingmoonheads said...

what a beautiful reminder...and makes me wonder how many of these things happen with people praying for you that you'll never even know about? your readership seems quite high :) of course its sweeter when we find out about them, but still...

the misfit said...

Agree with matchingmoonheads. I don't have anything fancy from Mexico :), but I am often blown away by how many people are praying for me. Graces abound that we will never realize in this life.

JellyBelly said...

I have tears in my eyes after reading this! what an amazing God-incidence!

There is hope for you, TCIE. I feel it in my heart for you.

2012 is going to be a much better year, I know it.

Anonymous said...

I thought - really thought - I was pg this month.
And that would have been awesome (today is CD1) but yesterday when I was enjoying the thought, I thought to myself, "But if it's a choice, please give one of them a baby instead." I already have two."

Crazy thoughts that go through our heads, like if I get one, you can't have one.

Ugh, anyway.
Praying for you all.

imusthaveprayedforpatience said...

That is so awesome!

Ania said...

Wow she really was on a mission! I'm always amazed and humbled at the realization that near strangers are praying for me. Peace to you, TCIE!

Karen said...

This is so beautiful!

Little JoAnn said...

I like the way this woman operates. Tell her to keep at it.

2012 is going to be a blessed year for you.

surpriseofunfolding said...

Thank you for sharing this - especially how all the blessings come together at a point in time - though they may not be the blessings we are hoping for at that moment, they may be just what we need.

Hebrews 11:1 said...

So, so, so beautiful. I am rarely speechless, but this amazing post has rendered me so.

Angela said...

Oh my gosh, your story gave me chills. That is so beautiful! And I just love when people share stories like these, because it brings hope to everyone and also shows that God is involved in EVERY moment of our life...even when we aren't able to put all those pieces together. LOVE it!

CM said...

So beautiful!

Being Refined said...

TCIE,

That is so special! I am so happy that you got this special gift from God through "T".

I have been lifting you up in prayer in Adoration and Mass each time I go.

Silvana said...

Beautiful!! :)

Rebecca said...

This is beautiful. I love it when God makes it known in very REAL ways that he truly does hold us in the palm of his hands.

Faith makes things possible said...

Goosebumps and tears....so beautiful!!!!!!

Made For Another World said...

So, so touching and beautiful. Wow. It's so good to be reminded that He holds us in the midst of trial. So glad you have a tangible reminder.

Kerry said...

I love super caring and prayerful people like that. What a gem.

E said...

With Our Lady on your side, who can be against you? Praying for a fruitful 2012 for you.

Little JoAnn said...

Hope is everything.

Julie said...

What grace you have been blessed with to see this in such a hopeful way!
I pray you always have hope in Christ!

"All in His Perfect Timing" said...

Wow! T is amazing! Your story blows me away. I'm happy you received such an amazing gift and prayers.
Continually praying for you!