By the title of the post you are probably expecting me to announce I am pregnant...sorry that is not the news today, maybe someday. I know of many people who would like me to announce that we are pregnant and believe me I would like to announce that someday. I sometimes feel like everyone is expecting me to announce that, every time I see them or talk to them or when they ask me what's new with hopeful eyes. Since most people know about our struggle there would be a a lot of happy people at that news and we have a lot of people praying that we will become pregnant again. There are a lot of people journeying with us on this road and there are times where I feel like I am letting people down by not getting pregnant. Our parents would obviously want grandchildren from us but how do you let them know that they are hoping for something that may never happen. I guess that is the point of hope, huh? It was heartbreaking when we had to tell our parents we were miscarrying only the day after we told them we were pregnant. So these thoughts of pregnancy and becoming pregnant led me into a deep reflection. Would you expect anything less from a carmelitic heart?
I am pregnant and I am called to be pregnant just like every other woman on earth. You are probably thinking what the heck is she talking about? Has she taken a trip to crazy town? No, I have not gone off the deep end at least not yet. As a woman I am called to be pregnant, it may not be physical but it must be spiritual. I am called to spiritual motherhood and to be pregnant with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are two sources that are the inspiration for these posts. One is JPII's letter to women, Mulieris Dignitatem, and the other is a book called Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. The book is divided into four parts and I will be drawing a little from each part. I cannot recommend this book enough, if you ever get the chance to read it you will get something out of it.
The first chapter is titled Emptiness. Ugh, I know IF can make a woman feel really empty but we must be empty for Christ to take up that space. So what kind of empty are you? Houselander, describes three different types of virginal emptiness that Mary possessed.
" Are we reed pipes? Is He waiting to live lyrically through us? Are we chalices? Does He ask to be sacrificed in us? Are we nests? Does He desire of us a warm, sweet abiding in domestic life at home?"
I feel like I have been all of these at different times through this IF journey. When I am promoting NFP and NaPro I feel like I am a reed pipe being played and the musician is God. When I am struggling through the sorrow of not getting pregnant every month or when we miscarried Cecilia I identify with the chalice. Now I feel like I am the nest preparing for what is to come. I am preparing my soul and womb with love, not just for my children but for humanity. In a practical way I have been making our home more clean, beautiful, and warm; a place where my husband wants to come home to everyday and where a child will be lavished with lots of love. So which empty are you at this point in your life?
Mary's Fiat was extraordinary and yet ordinary at the same time. Mary didn't have to acquire something before she gave herself to God. She did not have to find the secret treasure, do any fundraising, or climb the highest mountain. God used the exact material she was created with, her humanity.
"She was to give Him her body and soul unconditionally...She was not even asked to live it alone with this God who was her own being and whose Being was to be hers. No, He asked for her ordinary life shared with Joseph. She was not to neglect her simple human tenderness, her love for an earthly man, because God was her unborn child."
This passage speaks to me because with IF the husband sometimes gets pushed aside. The blood draws, surgeries, nutrition, and supplements are mostly concentrated on the woman. I know there have been times where I have been guilty of neglecting JJ and focusing too much on the end goal of children. Since I make a lot of my food from scratch because of my diet restrictions there have been times where I just throw a frozen dinner in the oven for him. Mary had the incredible gift of being the Mother of Christ yet she knew her role as a wife. This humbles me as I have a lot to learn especially because we as women can sometimes have the attitude of "I carried the child for 9months what more do you want? or I am the one having to be on this special diet and giving myself progesterone or HCG injections why can't you take care of yourself? or Don't I do enough for you?" We lose that sacrificial love for our husbands that Mary had for Joseph. Our Fiat is in our saying "yes dear, I will serve you seconds...sure I can do an extra load of laundry...sure I can go pick up your razors from target." Now I am not saying that we are our husband's slaves in any way but that we often neglect their needs. I speak from the perspective of IF but those with children on this earth will have a different experience.
We are called to be empty so that the Christ child can fill up that space in our womb and hearts. If we do not love the Christ child and give of ourselves to him how can we expect to do the same for a child we so eagerly await. When we lost Cecilia I felt incredibly empty, there was no baby to nurture or grow inside me. During that time of sorrow and emptiness I was allowing Jesus to be sacrificed in me and offering my whole self, even my not so healthy body. For every time I touched my empty belly and cried out to God to help me understand why He was asking me to be His chalice. Why must we be emptied out? So that God can fill us up, of course! Which will be covered in part two…
Side Note: Prayer Buddy I have not posted it but I have been praying for you! Which I will reveal who you are on Christmas Eve J