It all starts with Ash Wednesday
It all starts with Ash Wednesday.....
Pre-warning.....It's a long one.
Ash Wednesday, where from dust we were created and dust we will return.
It is a time we return our whole hearts to the Lord, not just parts of our hearts, but our entire heart. It's the start of a sacrificial season focusing more intensely on Christ, 40 days of fasting, prayer, and alms giving.
I always anticipate Lent, with an excited happy heart. I can't help but love Lent. So much. I love how close I am to the Lord during lent, because I make more time for Him, and He always shows up when I go to my desert, just like He returned to His desert before He was to face the Cross. He shows me so many times how he is there, with me, even when I'm the saddest.
In 2012, when I had my last miscarriage, we had loss our 3rd baby, and I felt like I was on the Cross again. Shackled and unable to do anything to ease the pain and suffering in my heart and in Ryan's heart.
Ryan watched my face, and my body trembling as I laid on the hospital bed waiting for the nurses to take me back. He knelt down and watched as each tear fell, each drop of pain and suffering, and as he held my hand tightly and stroked my face with tears in his own eyes, he told me "I love you."
I always admired his strength and the way he always wanted to take matters into his own hands to reduce the stress and pain in mine. He is always there for me. He shows up.
As we drove home in silence and tears, I heard his voice, and he did as any husband would do to protect his family, and try to figure out a way to protect me. He told me he wanted to have a vasectomy. He just couldn't watch this happen to me again. I listened as he shared his desire to help as we left the hospital after my DNC. I let him speak, and when he was done I softly uttered the word "No". It was just too permeant, and we had to think this through. What if one day we wanted to try again for a baby. I was only 32 at the time, and that possibility was always in my heart.
Well time passed, 5 years of us saying that we were okay with just Estelle, and whatever His plan for us we would live with, but deep in our hearts we yearned for more babies.
Well that one day came not long after I made my Cursillo in 2017. There was just a tug at my heart that couldn't be silenced any longer.
I love babies. They make my heart flutter with excitement and glee. I'm the one that wants to steal every baby that walks into my path, and smother them with kisses and baby tickles. So not being able to have more babies, has always been a struggle for me. But as much as I loved babies, my heart was so tender that even saying the words out loud to my husband was a challenge for me.
I was so happy to hear him say, me too. So we began trying again sometime in 2017, but told no one at the time. Then slowly it came out over the course of the next year, but saying we want to get pregnant and doing something about it was not the same thing. We didn't talk about doctors until the latter part of 2018. I saw my OB, purchased an AVA bracelet, and began really praying diligently for a baby.
Estelle and I even picked out names one day while we were getting dressed for bed.
So it was no surprise that after contemplation of seeking further medical advice, we landed at Dr. Cudihy's office and had a good conversation about what was going on inside of my body, and surgery was planned.
Ash Wednesday morning I went into his office for my pre-admit appointment, and was given my instructions for the next day. I was having a laparoscopic endometriosis surgery and a hysteroscopy to clear up anything that was preventing Ryan and I from being able to conceive.
So many people were praying for Ryan and I and it was so noticeable as the days unfolded.
I was hosting a middle school girls retreat at John Paul the Great where we talked about dignity and indentity. My talk was focused on the relationship of Mary and Elizabeth and what true friendship looked like. When Mary ran to Elizabeth to share the good news, and they embraced each other as pregnant mothers.
I had trouble staying focused that day, because I kept thinking about having to go and finish my pre-op paperwork at the hospital. So needless to say, I was a bit distracted. It's so funny how the Lord meets you in your worries to remind you that everything will be okay.
When I left for lunch for my friend and I, my total was $13.33 and I paid for it, as we giggled. The number 333 is also so significant to me, because it reminds me of the Crucifixion. Jesus was crucified on April 3, 33. My address is also 333. So I thanked the Lord for showing up.
But he was not done yet. I went back and finished up my day with the girls and headed to do my hospital pre-op paperwork and bloodwork. My nurse was named Kimberly, so is my sister, who always is checking up on me and making sure I'm okay, so I noticed it right away. The small simple ways the Lord shows up for me. She proceeds to tell me that she too had this same proceedure with Dr. Cudihy, and that she too had 3 miscarriage, and loss 3 babies. With tears in her eyes, I told her I was going to pray for her, as she continued on with her paperwork. She then told me she needed to collect for the surgery, and that my total was $333.00. Again, I giggled, and share with her the story at lunch.
After I was done telling her the short story, she looks at me and tells me, and it's 3:33 pm. WOW.
The Lord shows up when we need him, and boy did I need him now.
The next morning, the morning of my surgery we get into the truck and Ryan puts on the rosary as we drive to the hospital. The Luminous Mysteries, which is my favorite one to recited, because it holds my favorite mystery, the Transfiguration.
My nurses were so sweet, and I loved talking to them, and of course one of the nurses' baby was named Emma. Then my anesthesiologist resident was name Elizabeth, like in the talk I gave, where we talked about finding your Mary and your Elizabeth. And she didn't talk to me from afar, she came close to me with her beautiful blue eyes, soft voice, and the cutest scrub flower hat. And when she left, I began to weep, because all of the small signs that Jesus was showing me, that He had me, and that everything was going to be okay flooded my heart with tears. He really does show up when you give Him your heart. When you reset that button and give it to Him, He carefully places it in the palms of His hands and protects it.
I had a great experience yesterday in surgery, and I feel like the Lord carried me through the last few days. I don't just think, I know he did. And I feel like He was showing me time and time again, that if we are faithful in the little things, there is grace and rewards in the big things.
I don't know if we will get pregnant from this surgery, or that it will take care of everything it needs to take care of, but I so know that His will has already been done, and I'm at peace knowing He has been there all along.
I love you Jesus. Thank you for loving me.