Monday, January 16, 2012

DH's Heart and The Summons

Time flies when you're childless.

I keep meaning to sit down and write a blog post, but things just keep coming up. Sorry to leave you all hanging (I'm sure you were all holding your breath waiting for an update ;) )

DH was in the ER on Friday. He was having chest pains since late Wednesday, and made a cardiology appointment for Friday morning. It got "better" enough for him to not go immediately to the hospital, but then it got bad again on Thursday night. He actually started saying his goodbyes to me as he tucked me into bed Thursday. I didn't mean to laugh, but... it was kinda funny ;) He didn't die (obviously) and went to the appointment on Friday, and the cardiologist suspected pericarditis, an inflammation around the heart due to a virus. He scheduled DH for an echocardiogram Tuesday and sent him home with a prescription for Motrin.

On his way home, a car cut him off and his father (who was driving) had to stop short. This caused increased pain, and DH called the cardiologist who told him to return to the ER, and get further testing. This in turn caused TCIE to get a little worried. After several hours waiting for the labs and chest x-ray results to come back, we got the news that there was no need to stay at the hospital, that everything looked ok, and it was, again, likely pericarditis which would be helped with his Motrin prescription.

Crazy day. While I was definitely worried, I did also feel a strong sense of peace during the whole thing. That is not usually the way I react to things, so I'm thinking that my prayer life has led me to a place of greater trust. For that, I have infertility to thank.

I've been thinking a lot about how much our infertility has done for us. I can't help but think that I need to be more grateful for this gift God has given us - the chance to do His will, even if we don't understand it, and to bring light out of darkness. I've gone to so many shrines, asked so many Saints for their intercession, prayed so many Novenas... thinking that the answer to our prayer is "just around the corner," when in actuality, we are living the answer. Have I ever thanked the Saints? Thanked God?

The readings at Mass this week were, as usual, so intricately linked to our present struggles. It was another reminder that when God calls us, we need to answer that call and live it out. I am SO THANKFUL that He has called me to this life - this life of struggle, of pain, of sorrow - and has given me the opportunity to do His will through the cross.

It really hit home during the Presentation of the Gifts, when the congregation sang "The Summons." As I texted All You Who Hope late last night, I immediately recollected her blog post years ago about this very song, and how appropriate it is to any cross, particulary infertility with its intrinsic humility-factor. I completely lost it trying to sing the fourth verse:

"Will you love the 'you' you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?"

I don't usually make resolutions. But I know in my heart that I need to live these words. I've been working so hard, living out the 3rd and 4th line - using my infertility and my struggles to reach out and help those around me, letting God use me as He sees fit. It's the 1st and 2nd line of this verse that caused me to choke up and have no voice.

Will you love the you you hide...? I've shown my humiliation, I've revealed it to the outside world... but that's not enough. I need to love what humiliates me so.* Every part of it. Because it is a part of the body of Christ. In our weakness we are made perfect.

Will you quell the fear inside...? Fear. It seems to be built into every fiber of this journey of childlessness. Fear of the diagnosis. Fear of the treatment not working. Fear of not being able to adopt. Fear of how long it's going to take. Fear of the unknown.

But He has called my name. And so I must respond by loving, and trusting without fear.

Thank you, almighty God and Father, for allowing me to continue learning and growing in faith through this cross.

* Here was my original comment on AYWH's blog post. I went back and read the comments after writing this post, and it's funny how even back then, I knew what I had to do...

"Wow, I haven't sung that since HS... and the words probably meant nothing to me, then!

I especially like the part, "Will you love the 'you' you hide if I but call your name?" I think the me I hide is the infertile me, not infertile in the can't get pg sense, but all aspects- not able to do things I think I should be able to do. I do not love that me.

But God is calling me to love that me."

Interesting ;)


Sew said...

damn is all i have to damn.

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

wow, that was a crazy day! I hope everything works out.
Very inspiring with the song. Love it :)

Thankful said...

Great song and reflection on it. Sorry to hear that DH isn't feeling well. I have chronic costochrondritis that causes a similar feeling on occasion. Definitely scary and painful.

January said...

I'm so glad DH is ok!

We sang The Summons at Mass last night too, and it definitely hit me in a way that it hasn't before. Back in college we used to joke about how it has the rhythm of a drinking song, so I often envision the congregation holding pint glasses and swaying along to the verses.

C.C. (aka Crunchy Catholic Mama) said...

Actually I have been waiting for an update ever since I finally saw your text on Saturday. Sorry I only e-mailed back but you know I'm hopeless at texting.

I love The Summons... definitely hard to live out for most of us. God is working hard in you.

prayerfuljourney said...

I don't love the IF part of me either...I try to forget about it actually. How can one love something that causes pain? We must live on, right? Great post!

St. Rita's Roses said...

Geez, I am glad R is ok, does he need antibiotics for that?

Hebrews 11:1 said...

So, so, so beautiful...the song, and the reflection. We should all live by these words!

imusthaveprayedforpatience said...

Singing that on Sunday really got me choked up, too. The embarrassment of IF is really hard for me.

I totally identify with the husband "saying his goodbyes." Mine is so melodramatic when he has the tiniest illness. I think all men are big babies when it comes to being sick.

All in His Perfect Timing said...

Beautiful reflection! I usually tear up when I sing the words too. :-) They are so powerful!
I'm glad your hubby isn't in the hospital, but I'm sure it was super scary for you just the same.
As always, you make me reflect.

Ania said...

Goosebumps, period. You are inspiring, do you know that?

Alive in HOPE! said...

Thank you for this post.

Odd... I found that song as I was plunkin' keys on a piano in the church one night (the year before I was to be married). Chose the song for our wedding - not knowing what was yet to come. 7 years have passed and that song (which our choir director added to the Sunday hymn list after our wedding) still touches my heart. The last verse stands out when I think of this cross...

"Lord, Your summons echoes true when You but call my name. Let me turn and follow You and never be the same. In Your company I'll go, where Your love and footsteps show. Thus I'll move and live and grow in You and You in me."

Your faith inspires me! Thank you again!!

Rebecca said...

A beautiful beautiful reflection. We sang that song at mass, but I was somewhat distracted and know I'm kicking myself (although lately the tears have been so close to the surface, I think God is gifting me with slight distractions at certain times during each mass so I can keep it together).

And wow! I will keep your DH in my prayers...scary. But so beautiful how you responded.

Karey said...

Love that song. I remember writing my post about it, how it reminded me of the Catholic infertility bloggers and how everyone had answered the call and followed God to not pursue illicit treatments. It makes me tear up thinking about what a call that is and what saying "yes" to it really means.

I love your reflection too. Gives me a lot to think about.

Catholic Mutt said...

So glad your DH is okay!

the misfit said...

So glad to hear your husband is OK. I continue to marvel at your journey of faith.

JellyBelly said...

The Summons is a song that gets sung often at school board events and it's one of my favourites. I love that you drew parallels to IF and its calling.

God is blessing you in a special way, TCIE. Wonderful things are going to come of your time of waiting.

Julie said...

Very inspiring! You truly speak Christ to all who read your work!

Anonymous said...

So happy your hubby is okay! How scary :(.

barbie said...

You are such a beautiful, are you sick of me telling you that yet? Sorry about your hubby, glad he's ok. The prayers continue.

Being Refined said...

I am glad your DH is OK. I hope he gets better quickly!

This reflection is just beautiful, and touching, and inspiring.

God is working in you in wonderful ways. You are always in my prayers.

Mike Brummond said...

Beautiful, I haven't heard that song for a long time. It is hard to love the IF part of ourselves, but God's will has brought us here and we need to be thankful for his providence in our life (even if that providence is not being able to have a family). Jesus, help me be thankful for your will in my life!