Saturday, September 7, 2013

He's in control, baby

It just so happens that when you ask the good Lord for something, He gives it to you...  I feel like in the moments of my day where I do have time to pray, I am always asking him with a sincere heart to take my life and do whatever He wants with it. I use to be somewhat of a control freak, very anxious, wanting everything perfect and very impatient about it. It's still in there. But He has a way of sanctifying all that we are, especially when we ask. He strips us of everything to fill us up with holiness and self sacrifice to make us more like Him.

I love the homily Fr. Steve gave last week at Mass. He was speaking of rituals young boys have gone through throughout history to be initiated as a man. There was 4 common goals in these rituals and he compared them to the Christian life. (Because, yes, being a real man and a Christian are certainly two high standards that have much in common). He listed them as such: 1) Life is hard  2) You will die  3)You are not as important as you think you are  4) Your life is not about you

It was all very inspiring. And a great reminder to me of what the Christian path looks like. It's not about me. It's a total self giving, self sacrificial life. One point I have been reflecting on about self giving is self giving in marriage in particular. One of the easiest "rules" or should I say "teachings" of the Church for me has always been the issue of birth control. By its very nature, my heart has always understood on a very practical level and also a very spiritual level the meaning and depth behind this law. It is not in our right to take the gift of fertility out of the hands of God and into ours. Along with the harm it does to our bodies, the chance of chemical induced abortions that are caused by the pill, and the way it destroys marriages, taking out the "possibility of life" and leaving only the pleasure to remain. But, I have to say that now, more than ever this has been a challenge for me... not because my understanding has gone away, but because I have come to a point of real surrender to God. I am in a moment where I am exposed, out of control, and in a place I could argue (maybe), I did not choose.

This has left me scrambling for answers. How do I explain now that NFP works? Especially if I followed the rules. How do I explain now that I am not an idiot? Or irresponsible? But, then I realize, these are not the questions I need to be asking. It is not about NFP. It is not about what others think or even what I think of myself. It is about God. It is about trusting in Him. It is about letting all my control go and letting Him choose what is best for me even when I discern something different. It is a complete surrender to His divine plan. A plan that He hopes will make us more like Him. "This is my body, given up for you."

It will take me a lifetime to figure out how to surrender. Holiness comes slowly. It comes very
s l o w l y. When I pray for a generous heart, at this moment, he is not allowing me to cook more meals for people who are struggling. When I pray for more patience, he does not only want me to be better at waiting in line. When I pray for everything to be in order, his order is different than my idea of order. Generosity comes from allowing him to take my life, however he wants to. Patience comes from waiting for 16 weeks to feel better from morning sickness, and another 24 to get through the back discomfort, the restless legs and the heartburn. The order he wants, it must come from me ordering my life through the tiny souls He has entrusted me and the daily tasks to help them survive.

Baby Bentley #4 is due April 3rd. Our most unexpected expectation! After a week of tears, I came to realize more than ever the gift and miracle that I have been entrusted with... and that life is hard, I am going to die, it's not about me and I am certainly not as important as I think. On the other hand, to God I am so important... so much so that He made no mistake in giving me this gift. So, now I accept it with a full and open heart.

Thank you to a husband who celebrates, pulls SO much weight and just loves on me every single time we find out we are expecting. For a man who has no limits in his giving. Already, he lets me nap more, makes me eggs the moment I wake up to help curve the sickness, and pushes through those difficult moments of kitchen clean up and dirty diapers for Adam. I could not manage this path of fidelity to God without you. It is very hard. But, it is an eternal soul, who will exist for all time. My child is worth mountains of sacrifice and love and suffering.

I want to offer this pregnancy for some intentions very close to my heart. For those who have been told they may no longer have babies. For those who want a child so badly and can not. For those who have a difficult time conceiving. For those who have recently had a miscarriage. For those who lack appreciation for their fertility. And lastly, for those who are pregnant often, struggling through the tired and sickness, the acceptance and the appreciation for this gift.

Lastly, I will leave you with a part of a beautiful letter a friend sent to me when I expressed I was struggling this time... so tired and so confused at God's plan... she sent me part of a writing by a very holy priest, Fr. Jacques Philippe.

"If we decide to make an effort to achieve some spiritual progress according to our ideas and our own criteria, we are by no means sure to succeed.  As we have seen, there is sometimes a big difference between what God is actually asking of us, and what we imagine he is asking.  We won't have the grace to do what God is not asking of us.  But for what he is asking, he has promised us his grace: God grants what he commands.  When God inspires us to do something (if it really is God who is the source of that inspiration), at the same time he supplies the ability to do it, even if it is beyond our capacity or scares us at the start.  Every motion that comes from God brings both the light to understand what God intends, and the strength to accomplish it: light that illuminates the mind, and strength that gives power to the will."

Let's do this. Totus Tuus. I am totally yours, Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! I just stumbled on your blog from Tricia's.
    I am pregnant with my second, both were joyfully expected, but this experience has been more of a challenge for me. I slept through the first trimester of both of them ;) Persistant dull headaches last time, a month of migraines this time. Reflux with both - 2tbsp apple cider vinegar in 16oz of water has helped when the next Pelcid dose isn't close enough.
    By far the weirdest though has been having an anterior placenta. I couldn't feel the baby very well until about 22 weeks. Then the baby's movements came thudding late at night, heavy like bumps or punches. I felt much more distant and didn't even have a slight hunch as to the gender. The last I was 99.9% sure and totally correct.
    Anyway, I can't speak to the NFP stuff except to say you're not crazy. A well seasoned NFP person once told me, "Let's just say God REALLY wanted this baby to be here!" That baby was the biggest blessing and they are not able to have children anymore.
    I will be praying for you. I love that you have intentions for your pregnancy. I like to do that too.
    And I have slowly come to grips my little bruiser because I now realize it's not his fault he can kick so many organs, or ignore my pokings and proddings to get him to just once interact where everyone can see him!
    Insomnia is a blessing when I can read posts like this.
    You've reminded me... Pregnancy is like a variety gift basket full of all sorts of crosses :) I hope I don't take the whole thing for granted!
    Thanks again for your honesty!