It is so much work just to advertise in bulletins especially because the archdiocese is not really giving us much attention or help at this point, even though they say this group is needed and they approve of our group. They have put our advertisement in their archdiocesan wide bulletin which has been super helpful but as far as anything else, I am pretty much on my own. I have written a letter to Archbishop Gomez almost 2 years ago and to our regional "bishop" who is a Monsignor over a year ago. I have gotten no response whatsoever from them personally or their offices. I have done follow up calls and email with no response as well. It is so discouraging. Now most of you right now may be making up excuses/reasons in your head as to why the Archbishop and regional "bishop" have not gotten back to me or you are thinking "well you need to try again by doing XYX," please just don't go there. I just need you to listen to what I am saying, these couples are hurting and it seems that no one in the hierarchy cares about them! Don't even get me started on the lack of pastoral care on the parish level where priests tell you to "stop creating your own misery and appreciate what you do have" in the confessional or think that the main reason you want to go to a woman's prayer/discussion group is so that you can "be with all the babies." Oh yes I am a baby crazed woman where I want to be around babies any chance I get because I am infertile, thanks for perpetuating the stereo type father if you were listening to me it's actually quite the opposite.
So am I really trying to just complain in this post? No, like I said I am not even sure what I am trying to say. All I know is that lately this cross has been oh so heavy lately. Not just my cross of infertility but as I am getting inquiries from the retreat coming up I am hearing more stories of pain and loneliness. I am hearing of couples dealing with infertility for much longer than we have been and mamas losing their babies at the 5th month of pregnancy. I am hearing fathers who are devastated that they just lost a child due to miscarriage. I am dealing with clients who are having surgeries to find out why they keep having ectopic pregnancies or to find out if endometriosis or blocked tubes could be the reason for their infertility. I am working with clients who have tried IVF and it has failed them, fed them lies and took their money. I am listening as clients pour out their hearts to me because no one else has seemed to care that they haven't been able to have children or grieving with them as they come in post miscarriage.
I told Jesus during my prayer time that "I can't do it anymore all of this suffering it's too much. Are you sure you want this of me?" It was all becoming just too much and JJ was noticing that I had been having a difficult time with the retreat and taking on clients when I said I would try and take a break. I originally said I wouldn't take on more clients until my intro session right before the retreat but when I get calls from people who are seeing our NaPro Dr. then I just can't say no because I remember what it was like to just want to get started to get some answers. I have a heart for the infertile ones I just can't help it, plus it's my job. So after some discernment I decided to leave the Catholic St. Gerard face.book group for a little while. JJ thought it was a good idea so as painful as it was to do that I left the group. I couldn't handle organizing an emotionally taxing retreat, wanting to take on more clients and being a part of the group to offer up prayers, support and give advice to those in the group. I was trying to do too much in the infertility world and I needed to take a step back.
All of this suffering around me has been difficult because all I can really do is pray. I am not Christ, only He can actually take on the suffering to conquer it. I can only simply give it to Him. I am just part of the assembly line passing my prayers and compassion for the suffering to Him to be united to His cross.
Compassion is not an easy trait to come by because it means to suffer with. It means to walk the road with the suffering and not try to fix their suffering or compete as to who has the worst of it because we ALL have a perfectly fitted and made for us cross. You don't have it worse than your neighbor and vice versa because CHRIST took it all on. Having compassion also takes humility because our pride will tell us "I am going through more than you are" or "I can make it better if you just take my advice." It takes real humility to know that the only person who can alleviate someone's suffering is Christ. Yup, God gave me a huge dose of humility the past couple weeks with this lesson! So anytime I am trying to do more than I know I can or take on too much I just say "I am not the Christ" and I give it to Him. He had the heaviest cross and can alleviate our burden when we unite ourselves to Him.
It is no coincidence that this week, the week leading up to Mother' Day I have gotten the most inquires about the retreat. This day is one of such pain for so many people. No, they can't get over it because it does not go away and their pain is very real. It is no coincidence that my period came two days before Mother's Day and a possible adoption for us looks like it is not happening (long story will explain in a different post). Yes I will be seeing my mom on Sunday and trying to focus on her but I will definitely be praying and keeping all those in pain close to my heart. I will also be honoring the ultimate Mother, Mary who carried Christ in her womb and knows what true compassion is. She is the one we should be honoring on Sunday for she is the conduit in which God became flesh. She walked the road of suffering with Christ and had perfect grace flowing through every step she took. She is the mama bear we run to and who prays for us when the enemy tries to attack us. She is the beauty to which the proverb says "many are the women of proven worth but you have excelled them all."
So happy Mother's Day to all mothers, godmothers, grandmothers, those who long to be mothers, those mothers whose children are in heaven, mothers whose children are in the NICU or are sick, big sisters who are like mothers, all women because you are called to be a mother and to Mary the beauty of Carmel, the mystical rose who is my Mama. You will all be in my heart this mother's day.