My eyes were blurry with tears and my heart ached as I typed out the date in my email: February 11th.
It was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and for years it had been a special day for me. However, on this day, within the early years of my marriage, it was bringing me no joy.
Instead, I was pleading with God, echoing today’s First Reading, “Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day” (1 Kings 8:28).
We were trying to have a second child, and, after many months of failure, we finally conceived and were expecting a precious new life. We were overjoyed! However, a week before my first prenatal appointment, I started to bleed. Eventually, our child was lost to miscarriage.
The following day, on February 11th, I typed an email to my family and friends who were concerned about us and our situation. It read in part:
“I’d often read of saints or holy people speak of suffering as a blessing, but I couldn’t understand how that could be possible. I’m far from holy, but I think I’ve gotten a tiny taste of what that means.
Pondering over my life, I’ve been granted tremendous mercy and grace and now God has finally given me the chance to truly make an offering of love to Him. Placing our child back into God’s hands is my way of being able to show God that I appreciate all His blessings and I trust in His goodness, in both the good and sorrowful times.
However, before you praise my ‘strength,’ know that it is not me. Left to my own devices, I’d be a wailing drama queen. I know firmly that it’s the grace of God, particularly those received through your prayers. God is present and comforting me everywhere I turn.”
Although this email was written over a decade ago, the sentiment still remains. Even in sorrow and weakness, God can transform and strengthen, for God is good. All the time.
Wherever you are in your journey of dealing with suffering, He is not far from you, sister.
This prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes is a beautiful one to pray today.
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.