I know, I'm blogging on a Friday during Lent, but these thoughts have been on my mind for a while and I wanted to get them down in writing.
It may come as no big shock to all of you that my cross (as in this "cross I embrace") is my infertility. But as this week began a 40-day period of reflection and spiritual journey, I really began to try to isolate the part of my life that is my true cross at this moment.
As you are aware, many things have been happening in my life lately. Many bad, bad things. This began last June and has become worse and worse, to the point where now we will not be able to adopt with our former adoption agency, and we most likely will never be able to adopt period. We still have a chance to foster, and we are looking into that now, but all of these horrible developments have left my husband and I at our wits end with no idea of which way is up. We have felt trampled, beaten, betrayed, forsaken. It is truly the worst time of my life.
And yet? The events that have taken place may indeed feel like we are being crucified, but they do not feel like my true cross. Instead, whenever I ponder these things, my thoughts constantly come back to, "Infertility is My Cross."
Why is that? Never being able to adopt is a pain I feel MUCH more immensely than the pain associated with infertility. The events that have transpired to lead up to last June and then this most recent occurence were much, much more difficult to handle than my infertility ever was.
But it becomes apparent, with each trial and tribulation that comes our way, it is ten-fold only because of our true cross: our infertility. We would be storming this weather no matter what else was going on in our lives at the moment- we probably would not have ever been able to avoid these things from happening. But because we are infertile, we don't have that strength of hope to get us through. We don't have that child to hold tight and count our blessings that "at least we have our family." And since we have never conceived, the worst part of it all is that we cannot even (at this time) look forward to heaven, because we just cannot envision heaven. We realize of course that heaven is void of any suffering, but I just cannot fathom being in heaven without children, because we were never able to conceive one with the help of God.
It makes for a very lonely and absolutely helpless place.
But there is another reason why I came to the conclusion that it is the infertility, above any other suffering in my life, that is indeed my true cross in this world. And that is because it is my infertility which I can truly embrace, and turn into good.
Yes, the underlying source of my greatest heartache is also my greatest blessing from God. So far, I have been able to use it to become a FertilityCare Practitioner, become a NaPro Technology Ultrasonographer (soon), reach out to others in need via this blog, the Diocesan Support Group, and even in the most random places... like Marriage Encounter. That's right- we met a couple experiencing some fertility problems at our Marriage Encounter, and had WE not been infertile at the time, we never would have said a word about our struggle. As it turned out, we did say something along the lines of "we've been trying for a while..." when this amazing young couple overheard us and responded that they, too, had been facing problems. Not only that, but they live locally and had never heard of NaPro or Creighton, so I was able to introduce them to it.
I do not question my infertility. Ok. MOST of the time I don't question my infertility. I can see just how God intended for me to use it, even before I started this blog. It has been an amazing experience for me to see other twists and turns along the journey, and be able to say, "Ohhhh! This makes sense! God BLESS my infertility!" (Yes, I've actually prayed that thought in my head, believe it or not. Never on CD 1, though... !)
It is these other hardships, which don't make any logical sense to me, that I constantly question. I have asked time and time again for God to let this cup pass me by (my "crucifixion"), but at the same time, I have tried my best to not only accept but embrace my cross of infertility. I'll embrace it until the cows come home... I'm just not so fond of being nailed upon it.
And I am nailed upon it now. I can imagine no greater suffering than what my husband and I are currently going through. And at the core of it all is the cross of our infertility.
While I cannot explain why, or how, or when we would ever be delivered of this (or whether that time will come in this world or the next), I do hope that like Christ, my cross can remain the symbol of my love for God and for others. That I may never shun my cross but continue to embrace it readily. And not because I understand it completely, either. But because I have been asked to. Who am I to expect a rational explanation of my suffering, after all? I hope that for the rest of my life I can use the symbol of my cross to bring hope to others who walk this journey.
For my prayer buddy this Lent, I will try my very best to offer the suffering I am going through at this time for her intentions. It always, always helps me to have a greater purpose in mind when I suffer, and I can think of no better way to sacrifice for this amazing woman whom I admire SOOOOO much.
May God bring you all a spiritual renewal with this Lenten season, and the peace of Christ.