Friday, April 25, 2008

Lessening the load

On Monday - the day I had to come to terms with not having an ultrasound series and the day I really began to feel more peaceful - my husband and I ventured into a Catholic gift shop near our home (which is interesting in its own right, since Catholicism isn't that big down here, at least compared to where we used to live. I thought I'd have a much more difficult time finding a shop). So I bought a little book of healing prayers as well as a book called "Let Go". I'm not a big reader, but "Let Go" is not exactly a tough read. It's by Francois de Salignac de La Mothe Fenelon, the archibishop of Cambrai, France, during the seventeenth century. He served as a spiritual advisor to a group of people in Louis the Fourteenth's court who were facing immorality all around them. The book is a collection of letters to individuals in this group, and deals with suffering, dying to self, and finding peace and joy.

I feel like these letters were written to me. Since they are so fitting for the cross of infertility, I thought I'd share some passages from the book. Hopefully they will help others as much as they have helped me. I'll start with just one passage in this post. This one really forces me to view the cross differently:

A cross which comes from God ought to be welcomed without any concern for self. And when you accept your cross this way, even though it is painful, you will find that you can bear it in peace. But when you receive your cross unwillingly, you will find it to be doubly severe. The resistance within is harder to bear than the cross itself! But if you recognize the hand of God, and make no opposition to His Will, you will have peace in the midst of affliction. Happy indeed are they who can bear their sufferings with this simple peace and perfect submission to the will of God! Nothing so shortens and soothes suffering as this spirit of non-resistance.

But usually we want to drive a bargain with God. We would at least like to suggest some limits so that we can see an end to our sufferings. We don't realize how we are thwarting the purposes of God when we take this attitude. ... Ah! What must be His love for those who, in cheerful and absolute abandonement, give themselves completely to be crucified with Christ!

Wow! How well do I know that resisting the cross only makes the suffering doubly painful! I need to trust that to accept it will only serve to lessen the burden. It just makes so much sense. It's always more difficult when you fight something and if we look at the cross as a gift, well, we shouldn't be fighting it anyways! And I am constantly trying to "drive a bargain with God." Anyone who has read this blog can attest to that. 'God, I will gladly suffer this cross if you can let me know exactly what is going on.. and as long as you assure that I will be pregnant in a couple years.. and if you can take away the pain.. and so on and so on.' Why do I think I know better than God? There's a lot I need to work on.

As for my current cycle, I'm on day 30 and it's my sixth day in a row of spotting. Since I have no idea when my peak day was, I have no idea how many days my luteal phase has been (do you even call it that when you don't ovulate?). I'd really like to know what the spotting is caused by (probably low progesterone) and have it treated. All in due time!


  1. Wow, that really hit home!! Thank you so much for sharing it. I might have to go out and get that book for myself!

    I hope you find that kind of peace very soon!

  2. That is a great quote from the book. I know the feeling of trying to make a bargain with God!