Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Thoughts on St. Gianna

On the way down to the shrine last night, I was on the phone with Sew. I confided in her that I was looking forward to the Mass in St. Gianna's honor, because honestly, she wasn't a Saint that I had really prayed to before... I have kept to the same basic 3 or 4 who have become my patron saints through the years, and didn't feel like I should just "jump on the St. Gianna bandwagon" just because, ya know??

Anyway, I was hoping that the Mass would change my perspective on St. Gianna, and allow me to take her on as my own powerful intercessor.

That it surely did!

Now, the story I'm about to tell is going to sound so hokey, it'll probably make you all want to a)throw up, or b) throw things at me. I didn't want to share it for that reason. The last thing I want is for you to think I'm "holier than thou," because TRUST ME, I am NOT!

I need to back up here and explain a change that came over me around Easter time. On Holy Thursday after Mass, when I spent time at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, I believe I received a big answer to my prayers. Prayers I had not even really voiced before. There, as I talked to Jesus (silently, Sew, not with my mouth wide open!), I began to think about life without children. Life in a holy Sacrament of Marriage, and life full of Christ, but without children. One of my clients, who had struggled with IF for years and is now in her mid-40s and living a childless life with her spouse came to mind. Could I do that? The answer came so clearly - Yes! It would not be my CHOICE to live without children, but somehow, someway, in front of that Eucharist, I realized that the same Eucharist is all I really need.

[Insert gag here, but don't vomit yet, 'cuz you'll need that later.]

Ever since Holy Thursday, I have not felt the same way about our infertility, or about our treatments. I have been wanting to get rid of the infection, for health reasons, and I've been a BIG fan of the Hydrocort because it makes me feel so much better, but I haven't really had my full heart in trying to achieve a pregnancy. Don't get me wrong, I would still feel overwhelmed in blessing if it were to happen, but I wasn't heartbroken when my period arrived last time. And with these new plans for ultrasound tech training, I feel like my life right now needs to serve ANOTHER purpose.

That being said, yesterday during the Mass while I was praying to St. Gianna, and I thought about how much lighter my cross has felt these days, I prayed the following: "St. Gianna, please pray for all of my blog friends and their husbands, namely [insert names], and please allow me to carry their cross for them so that their cross can be relieved. I feel strong and able, and I can endure another 'x' amount of years. I know I can. So please, if it be God's will, give me their cross and allow them to conceive healthy children soon." (Inwardly I thought to myself, it would be great if they could all get pregnant one after another!)

[Ok, if you've been holding in your vomit, feel free to let it go now.]

Now, I'm not saying St. Gianna took me up on this offer, or that it pleased God... that I do not know. But friends, I DO know that St. Gianna went to work on our group right away!! First, Life in Mazes got tremendous news yesterday, and there is a great chance Fertile Thoughts will follow! Even without my prayers, I don't think it's a coincidence that Life in Mazes got her positive on St. Gianna's Feast Day!!
How wild is that? St. Gianna is so powerful, and I'm so ashamed I never "took" her into my life before yesterday... but as Living Advent pointed out, I think she came into my life at just the time God wanted her to. I will now be praying for her intercession daily :)

I wanted to share this with you because of how powerful I think St. Gianna's prayers are. After Mass, AYWH and I went down to the Church basement for refreshments (which we never did get to partake in, actually!), and read a lot of information about St. Gianna which was displayed on posterboards, etc. Did you know that her 2nd miracle was a woman in Brazil who went more than 60 days WITHOUT AMNIOTIC FLUID?? She delivered a healthy baby by C-Section, and during the procedure, the Drs needed to surgically remove the baby's foot from the side of the woman's uterus, where it had sort of "fused" due to lack of amniotic fluid!! UNREAL! So, in comparison, the work I see her doing in our group already is really peanuts :)

While I was saying goodbye to AYWH last night, I remember telling her that it was all starting to make sense why we were given this cross to begin with. Does it seem that way to all of you, too? Doesn't it seem like our cross is coming full circle, leading us to bigger and better things that we may never have envisioned for ourselves before? I don't know about the rest of you, but if I were given the chance today to go back to my wedding day and deny my cross then and there, I wouldn't take that chance! I would have missed out on soooo many blessings.

Santa Gianna, prega per noi!

**Update: I can't believe I actually forgot this, but TODAY I received the results from my Immunology testing. And?? Despite the fact that I have an infection running rampant in my body, and Dr Toth himself expected my NK cells to be running amuck... I am IN THE CLEAR! The *only* concern was that 1 of the cells from me and my DH's DQAlpha was a match. However, the Dr. said if that was the cause of the infertility, that it would display itself in elevated NK cells. So, basically, we could do treatment if we really wanted to, but my immune system is healthy! Man, those gloves work quickly ;)


Kathryn said...

Oh my. Thank you for this post. It touches me so very deeply (no gagging or vomiting, just tears).

I am praying to accept a childless life NOT by choice, but by God's grace for whatever reason. It doesn't mean i've given up hope (entirely) but i am praying to let it go. I so appreciate your words. Thank you. :)

the misfit said...

That was a very generous prayer. But I am afraid for you. Like the prayer for humility, that prayer bites back. I will do my best to remember every day to pray for you especially - because you will need it the most of all.

Amy @ This Cross I Embrace said...

Thank you, misfit. Yes, I thought about that myself... like the old addage: "Be careful what you wish for..."
I appreciate your prayers :)

prayerfuljourney said...

That is so kind of you to take up "our" crosses...and thank you for the touching post and most of all for the prayers. You are right...if we had a baby when we wanted dh and I wouldn't know God or the church the way we do now. I doubt I'd be in grad school too (never in a million years did I forsee this). I think about a childless life and lately it's not feeling so horrible (of course witnessing a child throw up yesterday didn't help me want kids! Grrosss!!!) My life is blessed with or w/o children. My dh feels the same way. He goes to daily mass. He is so God centered. God bless you for being so thoughtful. Many blessings!

Living Advent said...

Wow! What a powerful post! I could feel God with me while I was reading.

Yay! for a healthy immune system!!

Sew said...

Didn't I tell you that she works fast and quickly! And she is all in your face! hahahahaha Dang it! Why didn't I do a novena to her this time around!?! Ugg!

I totally understand your prayer for taking on our cross. Seriously, at this point, you can have it if you want it. I will walk to you all the way from good ol' MS. hahahaha (After this week, I can handle being barren for awhile)

It shows exactly where you are....Something is moving and shaking in you. It sounds like you are healing and in total acceptance of your lot in life. It's a very peaceful post.

Your prayer was a true friendship prayer! Thank you! :) I have to go vomit now. :)

Sew said...

I meant to say HAPPY on the healthy immune system! That is fantastic! ;)

Praying for Hope said...

Any sort of peace is a blessing. It's wonderful when you realize that you can and will (if it should come to it) have a perfectly happy and fulfilling life whether or not you're blessed with children.

JellyBelly said...

i didn't feel like i needed to vomit once!!! i am so glad that you wrote about being childless. it's definitely something that we've thought about as well. it would not be an easy choice to make, but if that is god's plan for us then we will accept it.

thank you so much for your prayers. i did the st gianna novena until her feast day, but i admit that i didn't really do it wholeheartedly (i also forgot a couple of days so i had to double up!). your post is proof that prayers to her work, i'm ramping mine up to her ASAP!

i also need to get to that shrine in the summer. i think it would be the perfect place to visit before my surgery!

LifeHopes said...

I am amazed.
I cannot imagine the courage it takes to pray in this way.

Personally, I have a hard enough time carrying my own cross, much less offering to take on others!

But ... it is a very Christlike thing to do for obvious reasons.

I hope and pray that the Lord decides instead to bless you ... instead of giving your more crosses, least of all mine! ha ha! Cuz let me tell you, I'm a hard case!

E said...

I am so glad that you are seeing the blessings and finding peace in the Lord. I would not deny my cross either. (My DH would not be catholic!)Thanks for the prayers, they are always appreciated. We don't have a match either! Yay!! I am glad that you can scratch off the immune stuff from your list. Now, just get rid of that CT!!! (St. Gianna, please pray that God can heal my friend, A, from CT so she conceive a healthy baby!)

Vent-ilation said...

Fantastic news about your health! And what a great, inspiring post to read.

Fertile Thoughts said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe how generous you are with your prayers. Far from vomiting I was really moved by your thoughtfulness!!! First of all you're sweet to pray for us IF girls, but to offer to accept our cross as well, WOW. THANK YOU for your prayers!!! I had no idea Life in Mazes got a + . That is so exciting. And then you mentioned me and I really feel like I am going to disappoint everyone when AF does show up so don't hold your breath. If I do get a + I will definitely contribute it to St. Gianna that's for sure :)
That is AWESOME your test results came back normal! I am so excited for you.
Thank you again!!!!!!!!!
P.S. I am praying for you too :)

Shannon said...

LOVE THIS!!! Thanks so much for sharing!