Thanks to Sew, I was able to enter into a drawing for a patron Saint for 2010, which another Catholic blogger has so generously offered to anyone who asks.
What she does is she picks a name out of a bag at random, after first praying for the person who has made the request. Often she knows little to nothing about the person, but has attested to the fact that the Saints chosen seem to be intended for that person specifically.
So, I made my request last night, and today I went to check who my Saint is, fully expecting to be able to force a connection if one wasn't immediately obvious. (For example, if it wasn't St. Gianna, St Gerard, St. Anne, etc... I was sure I could somehow make a connection between the Saint and my infertility- like, St. Monica- prayed for many many years for her son's conversion of heart, and despite not getting an answer, she never gave up. I could definitely connect that to my incessant prayers for a family.)
But when I saw my Saint, I didn't have an immediate "A-Ha!" moment.
I got the Archangel Raphael.
Of whom I no little about, other than that he is an Archangel. (And this part did make me chuckle, thinking, "Yup, my case is gonna require a celestial being, no human can handle it!")
So off I went to go google the Archangel Raphael.
I learned about the story of Raphael as told in the book of Tobit. That he appeared disguised as a human to help Tobias, who was betrothed to Sarah. He came to answer Tobias' prayers, who was fearful for his life, since all 7 of Sarah's previous husbands had died. And he also came to heal Sarah of whatever demons were inside of her, causing her to become a widow 7 times over, each time on the night of her wedding. (When I read this, I thought, "Oh, that wasn't demons... she had CT!!" And then, of course, my patron Saint choice made complete sense, hahahaha!!)
At the end of the little blurp about St Raphael, it said, "Raphael comes from the Hebrew for 'God Heals.' "
OK. Now it was starting to hit home.
For about the past year, I have been struggling with my diagnosis of CT, and my ongoing TEBB (tail-end brown bleeding) which was in fact the symptom that lead Dr Hilgers to suspect I had it. After going through 10 days of IV antiobiotic drips, transcervical uterine antibiotic washes, and 2 months of strong orals, I then completed about 7 cycles of cyclical Zithromax, and repeat uterine washes for 7 days.
My brown bleeding kept coming back.
As much hope as I have experienced in finding the blood clotting diagnosis, and then finding Dr Kwak-Kim and immune treatments, underneath it all the belief that has been coursing through my veins has been, "But I know I cannot get pregnant, because I still have, and will always have, CT." My case was stronger than most, too, because as Dr Toth believes, I did no retract this from intercourse, but have had it since birth.
This underlying feeling I've had is really a distrust of God. When our adoption process fell through, I was mostly upset because it didn't seem to me that God was closing that door because He wanted us to concentrate more on the TTC... I just knew in my mind that it was impossible for me to be healed physically. And this made the failed adoption process even more traumatic.
But FJIEJ has continued to tell me (since we went through treatments with Dr Toth at the same time, she definately "gets" my feelings about CT), that I need to believe that God has allowed me healing of it. I cannot let myself get stuck into the signs and symptoms of its return. God can heal ALL things. And that's what I need to put my trust in.
Because Raphael means "God Heals," he is also the patron Saint of healers (physicians, nurses), the blind (which I believe myself to be, spiritually), and travelers, which, if you want to stretch that you could also say I've been a traveler on this whole journey through infertility. But really all I care about is that the Archangel chosen for me has that very strong connection to healing... and its a healing that comes directly from God... a healing I need in every sense of the word.
It gets better.
The site mentioned that there have been many miracles attributed to Raphael, at the various shrines devoted to him throughout the world. So, I googled shrines to St Raphael and found this site, which mentions a Father Joe Whelan, who heads up the Saint Raphael and Tobias Healing Ministry. The name of the priest immediately looked familiar... but when I saw that he sent out healing oils as part of their ministry... well, that's when the "A-Ha!" moment struck me.
I jumped out of my chair, took 3 steps over to the countertop nearby... and picked up a bottle of "Archangel St. Raphael & Tobias" Holy Healing Oil, Prepared and Blessed by Fr. Joe Whelan, MS.
How did I come to have this exact oil on my counter, and why didn't I remember that I had Raphael oil when I first saw the name of my patron Saint, you may wonder?
Well, the latter question can be answered simply. I am a forgetful person :) Plus, when I first received the oil, I only knew that St. Raphael was an Archangel, and didn't know anything about Tobias, so it meant little to me then (other than the fact that it was healing oil).
The oil was at the bottom of a bag of things my mom had given me, which belonged to my grandmother. In the bag were some postcards and letters I had sent my grandmother when I was studying abroad in Italy. Other items included some of her favorite religious movies (on VHS), and town newspaper clippings she had saved of me from when I was in high school. The oil was at the bottom of the bag, along with a couple of religious ornaments.
At the time, I thought the oil was "fitting" for my grandmother to have, since a) she had cancer, and b) the contents of the bottle are "olive oil and rose petals." How apropos for an Italian woman named Rose.
But as soon as I saw the website, and made the connection to my patron Saint, I knew this was JUST PERFECT. A healing Saint. A Saint whose oil I have inherited from my grandmother whom I loved so much, and who promised to pray for me FROM HEAVEN. She is, indeed, praying. And she knew I was meant to find St. Raphael. I am certain that this is a little gift from her.
I am still in awe over this. Thanks to "Where Angels Blog," I now have an Archangel on my side, whom I have begun to learn more about and who will be interceding for my healing.
I will close as I opened, with these powerful words from Saint Raphael himself, in the book of Tobit:
"God has healing in store for you, so take courage!"