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Laughter and Pain

Today is my daughter’s birthday, she is one, and those are words I never really believed I’d ever get to say.

When I became Catholic in 2013 I made a promise to embrace one of the tenants I really struggled with—to say goodbye to contraception and welcome God’s plan for my motherhood.  Within a month I was pregnant with my second child, and within two months my second baby, a boy I’ve always believed, was gone. Three more babies followed that loss over the next two and a half years and all of them called home by Him before we ever saw their faces. My family of seven definitely didn’t look like I expected. It was my dark night of the soul and not something I ever thought I would have to live through and there was the usual steps of grief and mourning—anger, denial, depression, bargaining and eventually acceptance.

On October 1st, 2016 my husband and I visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin and for the first time, I did not arrive to bargain or scream or beg.  I went there to accept whatever it was God wanted of me and for the first time, I left with no expectation and a lot of peace.

I understood why Sarah laughed in the First Reading. Three weeks later and nine months later, to the day of our visit to the Shrine, on July 1st, 2017 I gave birth to my sixth child, my daughter.

I think Sarah laughed because she must have, just that morning, accepted her lot in life, just like me. I think Sarah laughed because it was better than giving voice to all the memories of all the months she too spent bargaining, begging and screaming at God, just like me. I think Sarah laughed because as much as she wanted to trust, it must have hurt so much to remember the months turning into years of waiting, just like me.  I totally understand—I laughed too, just like her.

I hope anyone reading this today who is going through their own dark night waiting for a child, waiting for a husband, waiting for that sign from God will remember the words of the Angels to Sarah—there is nothing too marvelous for the Lord to do. I don’t know what that marvelous thing will be for you. If you are waiting for your rainbow baby or any baby, I pray fervently that you will have a happy ending, too. But I do know that God is the God of miracles, big and small, and I hope one day, when He shows you your marvelous part in His grand story, that you’ll catch yourself laughing and remember that Sarah laughed, too.

Let us pray together, today, sisters, for a trusting in God’s grand story.

Molly Walter is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She, a Catholic convert, wife and mother to two children on Earth and four babies called home to Jesus. She has a deep love of her faith, her family, literature, handcrafts, gardening, and Star Wars. When not working full time outside the home or wrangling her next family adventure, she blogs about all the good things in life. You can find out more about her here.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary
    July 1, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I had to laugh as I read today’s Scriptures and your commentary because, as I wait for my son to be released from jail, God is working out a miracle that could only unfold without mine or anyone else’s intervention – all the Glory to God for awakening the soul of my son thru His Word. In jail, there is no one to lean on to make things better and God would use this as an opportunity
    to speak to my son’s heart thru Sacred Scripture. He called at the beginning of the week to say he picked up the New Testament because it was the only thing to read and after 10 days of having absolutely nothing to read – hey what do I have to lose… I could tell in his voice that the Holy Spirit was flooding him with God’s Grace – God can move mountains with just a little faith. And that’s exactly what He is doing with my son as I wait for his release from jail.

    • Reply
      E. Crowe
      July 1, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Mary,
      God speed be with you and your son. And let us pray for all of our hearts to be open to God’s word and His plan. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Christina Harris
    August 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I have kept this reading and reflection open since it was posted and have looked at it every so often to remind myself of your words and Sarah’s plight to God. I feel Sarah’s pain, anguish, anger and sheer disappointment when it comes to motherhood because our stories mirror one another. I know the disappointment month after month, the pain and loneliness she must have felt- I’m sure it was a daily struggle for her, like it is for me. Like you, God has called one of our gifts before we could see their face and that devastation is something I love with everyday. This journey has not been easy. It continues to test me and my marriage daily and there are times where I curl up in a ball and just let those tears flow. I pray I find the comfort and acceptance like you but I also pray God gives me the greatest opportunity to give life. I will continue to look at this reflection because it provides me with comfort that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. It’s those moments when I’m so down and weak that I find these words give me strength to carry me through the day.

    Sincerely,
    A Sarah from the modern world

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