I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I probably should have posted what I am thankful for, since it would be good practice in looking at the bright side of things, but I was too busy sleeping and eating on Thursday (in that order, since we drove overnight to get to New York) to do much of anything.
What I have been thinking a lot about, though, is surrendering. Ever since receiving my message last week, I have been trying to reflect on what it is that I am still holding back from God.
I don't want to keep anything from Him. I want nothing more than to surrender everything which would not only please God, but perhaps make this suffering a little lighter as well (in the sense that fighting my cross probably makes it heavier).
I thought about how I had definitely surrendered never being pregnant, never having biological children. There are pieces that I might not have fully surrendered, like the guilt over taking away the ability to have biological children from my healthy, normal husband (and while I know it's irrational, I'm still a little hung up on wondering if I'll have any children in Heaven, or if my adopted kids will spend eternity with their birthparents). But, overall, I have given this to God.
I have also surrendered adoption. I sincerely only want the babies that God has intended for us, perhaps almost to a fault. I'm hesitant to take any new steps in adoption for fear that it might not be part of God's plan and I'll somehow get the wrong child. But I have put the process in His hands and I know that He is in charge.
But clearly I am still upset, still heartbroken, so something must be wrong. I am holding something back and it finally occurred to me what it is.
I have refused to surrender the wait.
I have not been okay with how long this is taking and how old I am becoming. I am still hung up on that. I can't count how many times I've told God that I'm okay with not conceiving, I'm okay with Him blessing us with a child through adoption, as long as it happens NOW.
For a while I've prayed every novena asking for God to grow my family, and I always, always, add the word "soon" at the end. And every single time I said it I had a feeling it was wrong. The word stuck out in my mind as not fitting in with the rest. I just knew that what I was saying was not in accord with God.
I know in my head that I need to surrender the wait, but in my heart I can't help but be fearful of the many more years of suffering that could be ahead of me. Each day seems unbearable and to think I have thousands more ahead of me is incomprehensible. If I had my way it'd all end today! I suppose it's only natural to want your heartbreak to subside as soon as possible.
Part of me also can't help but wonder why surrendering biological children isn't enough. That's huge! But God asks more of us. I have to surrender it all.
So what does this mean? I guess I have to get to a place where I can honestly say, "God, I surrender being childless right now. I surrender the wait ahead of me, no matter how long it may be."
I prayed about it a lot at adoration the other day. I told Him how much I wanted to completely surrender and asked Him to help me with it. I thought about the wait, about how I should truly want His will to be done.
And lately at night, as I try to fall asleep, I envision myself in His presence, telling Him I am surrendering it all. I repeat the prayer that the woman gave us in adoration: "Oh my God, I love you. Help me to love you more and more. This I ask through Christ Our Lord. Amen." I interchange 'love' with anything that comes to mind - praise, trust, worship, adore, thank. If I'm in the right mood, I find that I even get excited to think about surrendering completely.
I'm hoping it will be a gradual process - the more I pray about it and learn to want it, the more I will surrender this wait to the Lord. After all, I will be waiting as long as He wants, whether I surrender it or not!
I will leave you with a prayer that, lately, I have been praying every night. It's actually a good gauge of how much I am holding back. When I am having trouble surrendering, it feels like salt being poured in a wound to say parts of it. And when I am wholeheartedly trying to surrender, it sounds quite beautiful. I hope it helps some of you as much as it has helped me:
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures -
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
For I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
-Blessed Brother Charles of Jesus
Charles de Foucauld