There is a reading in the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, which I have written about before, that has been on my mind a lot lately.
The reading speaks about how a faithful man walks into a church and falls prostrate on the floor, calling out in desperation, "Oh, if I only knew how to persevere!!"
And the voice of God answers: "And if you did know how to persevere, what then? Do now what you would do if you knew."
It's been on my mind because I've been thinking about infertility, where it has lead me, and the place it holds in my life currently. I have reached a point that most women can only dream about - the point of not feeling all-consumed by my childlessness, and having an overall peace about it. Though, to be clear, I am not a Saint. There are still days, and moments, when I succumb to all of those wonderfully anger-ridden emotions, particularly on certain days of the month. But for the most part, I have a clarity I used to yearn for, almost as much as I yearned for children.
I used to say that one of the toughest things about infertility was the not knowing. "If I only knew that in 'X' amount of years, we will conceive, or that by the time I'm 'X' years old, we will have adopted, or that I will never have children in this lifetime... it would be easier to deal with." And rightfully so. Not knowing is harsh. It is cruel. It is stripping away our ability to plan the lives we've dreamed of, an ability that most people do have, and an ability many people abuse.
And this is what I've been thinking of lately. How I used to feel that way, but how I don't anymore. I don't yearn to know what the future holds. And it's not because I fear it. No. It's because I trust it.
I began to examine how this change in my perspective came to be, because it seems so polar opposite from where I was. The girl who quite literally flew all over the country in a matter of days getting IVs, infusions, high-tech Doppler uterine profiles, daily injections, uterine washes, etc. etc. etc. How did that girl become this girl?
And the thought I kept coming back to was this...
"If I had only known where my life would lead me, I would have done 'x, y, z'..."
This is the thought of my future self. It is a thought I hope to never have, you see.
Because just like that reading from the Consecration, I think of the oh so simple answer... so simple, it slaps us right in the face with clarity and logic:
"Do now what you would do if you knew..."
And this thought has brought me so much peace, as I continue to navigate these treacherous waters of infertility, childlessness, inadoption, sickness, pain, sorrow, financial stress, and so much more.
It doesn't make 'those moments' less painful. It doesn't make the road any shorter. But it has surrounded me in God's peace, knowing that I am doing now what I would do...
if I had only known.