It's been a week, and what a week it's been. Fruitful, yes, but fruit comes at a price.
I've been struggling somewhat with reconciling the loss of our dear baby Gabriel in February and the knowledge of the new life I am now nourishing. It's something I didn't expect, and now I'm not quite sure how to help my poor heart in this dissonance of spirit. I find myself so torn at times, not knowing if I should be mourning the loss of my child or rejoicing at the life of my child. Both. But how? I don't know how to do both at once, for Pete's sake.
I was blessed by a visit from a dear friend on Tuesday who has been through this exact thing--having lost one baby only to come up blessed with another just upon the heels of the first. She was so kind in her listening ear, and I found myself feeling the balm of God's hand directly on my heart as I sat with her and talked through what I'm feeling.
What a mixed bag this life can be at times. While our first babies came so easily, our fourth was such a struggle. Four long years of unexplained secondary infertility really tested our mettle as a married couple, as individuals, as Catholic Christians trying desperately to understand what was being asked of us by God. On this, the blessed "other side" of those years, I would not even think of asking Him to take them from me. The things I learned about myself as a woman, a wife, a mother, are far too valuable to ask for a different gift. I can only say different, because surely there can be no better.
Losing Gabriel in February was another nudge, I know, for me to look even deeper to find more that He needs me to learn. Trust in Me, He is saying. Lean on Me and not upon your own human understanding. I thought I had been. But sometimes when truth is spoken again to your very soul, you hear it as though for the first time. I suppose that's why He keeps speaking to us.
My Darling and I had the blessing of presenting talks at a marriage preparation day yesterday, with none other than our dear friend Fr. E. Those days are amazing to me; they are a time for us to focus on our marriage and share things that we've learned with young, starry-eyed couples who are Absolutely Certain that They Know Everything About Love and Marriage, thankyouverymuch. Some of them are unfazed by the things they hear. Some of them are mildly interested. Some of them stop us and ask questions about in-laws or NFP or raising kids or being involved in parish life. Rarely do we see any of them again.
Yesterday was an extraordinary day for us because we were witness to a priest really explaining to everyone about formation of conscience and the dangers of moral relativism. It was a real eye opener, I think, for some of the young couples who came because they want to be married in the Church...and sometimes don't really know what that means...and sometimes it's because it's the bride's family's church since forever...and sometimes because they really, deeply desire the sacrament of marriage within the Church. Please pray for vocations to the priesthood--for strong, truthful men with hearts on fire for Christ, who know to speak the Word of God and carry out His Gospel regardless of the consequences.
What a week, indeed.