A Promise Kept to Make Her Known...

This is a bit of an atypical post but... I promised I would write it. In a moment of deep suffering and fear, I promised. In gratitude, I fulfill it.

I don't need to get into too many details. Let it suffice to say that pregnancy is generally the most physically miserable time of my life. From start to finish, it is almost a full year of suffering. And I know I am a lightweight when it comes to suffering so take it for what it's worth... what's hard for me is probably a piece of cake for you. Truly. At any rate...

This past week I finally started to feel some relief from the pressing nausea and anemia and other things. I had been focusing on rest and nutrition, amping up my supplements and essential oils, adding chlorophyll, taking extra time for meal prep. My immune system seemed shot but my efforts seemed to be helping.  

In spite of all that, I ended up with bronchitis. No one else in my family even got a cold. For a week I struggled, feeling discouraged and unwell. I had prayed for relief and yet I felt another weight of illness upon me. A gently placed burden, I know. But again, I'm a lightweight. I like my comfort and every feather feels like a stone.

Then came the intestinal virus. It hit the children almost all at once and my husband and I had one of those nights that goes down in the parental history books. "Hey, remember that night that we emptied 52 buckets of vomit, ran 12 loads of laundry, and fell asleep on the bathroom floor?" "Oh yeah! That was insane! hahahaha!" 

Hilarious.

But there we were. My husband was amazing, taking over much of the load that I would normally bear. But there was no way he could do it all and I pushed through. I had none of the adrenaline rush that normally comes during such nights. I started already at the bottom physically and emotionally. And as I lay down with my 2-year old after her 10th round of violent vomiting - her body fluids in my hair and her messy fingers stroking my face seeking comfort - I was afraid.

I couldn't breathe without coughing. My body felt like lead. I was weak and nauseas. The thought of going through what I was helping my children through filled me with a real fear. It sounds so lame to say it now... but I promised I would tell it so I will. I couldn't imagine how I would get through that trial. I knew I could intellectually, but emotionally I was overcome.

When I felt the first stirrings of pain and distress in my stomach, I got desperate. As often as I have bargained with God and the saints in the past, I have always finished with: God's holy will be done. Not this time. This time I just begged. For hours. It was one of the most pitiful displays of cowardice of my life. I prayed for my children. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for my unborn baby. But most of all, I prayed that I would be spared....

Please, Jesus, let me be spared. I am so miserable. I am so weak and afraid...

I asked for Blessed Mother's intercession. And then I thought I should add a saint. Because... why not? And then...

No, no... I need a BLESSED. Maybe there is a blessed who needs some action and who would have particular pity on a poor broken soul.

The first name that popped into my mind was Chiara, and even though I knew very little about her, I was just happy to have found a name so quickly. The fact that she was a female helped. I rested my crying soul on her young  shoulder and begged for her intercession. 

"You suffered so well. I want to learn to suffer like that. But not tonight. Tonight I just want someone to lift it. Please ask Jesus to lift it. Just a little." And I bargained. "If you grant me this favor, I will share you story. As pathetic as my own request is, it will have been a miracle to me... and I promise I will share your life and how Jesus was glorified through it."

And defying the heavy odds - a depressed immune system, direct and repeated contact with an aggressive virus, and pre-existing pregnancy nausea - I got my little miracle. I was sick the next day but I never lost any fluids or suffered in any violent way. Not a canonization level kind of miracle... but to me, it meant so much in the moment.

“Heavenly Mother, you know how much I desire to be healed but if it’s not God’s will I ask you for the strength never to give up. Humbly yours, Chiara”.

So here I am. Humbled by my own ridiculousness and my departure from "Thy will be done." Surprised to find my petition granted. Not surprised that I was not left alone in a weak and small moment. Prayers are not magic spells. I know that God says no. He's said no to me plenty of times. But He's never left me. He has allowed me to suffer countless times when I didn't think I could endure anymore... and has then shown me how He has sustained me through grace. When I say "I can NOT do it" He shows me that I can through His grace....

But this time... He gave me the gift of rest and seemed to say "You don't have to do it this time."

To Sweet Chiara...
I didn't really know you before that night. I still only know a little about you. But after spending hours leaning on the strength of your presence, I do know you. I am so grateful for your companionship, your witness to Love and Joy through your life and death, and your pure devotion to Jesus Christ. Please keep me in your prayers... that I may learn to suffer and love like you, for His sake. 

To everyone else... here she is. In humility (through a path of humiliation), I fulfill a promise. In joy, I introduce a cherished new friend...

Read about Chiara HERE.

 

 

Posted on November 18, 2015 and filed under Faith, Spiritual Life.