Friday, June 3, 2011
About 8 years ago this month...
...I was asked to chaperone a youth conference (The Steubenville East Youth Conference, for anyone aware of those awesome experiences!) Mike and I had both attended these conferences during high school. It is one of the many vehicles God used to prepare us for our vocation, while bringing us closer together as spiritual friends and prayer partners.
Mike and I had been married for a little under three months at this point. I had been so excited to start a family with him that I took it for granted that our good Lord might call us to wait. I was so saddened when the month and then the next went by with no signs of pregnancy. Well meaning friends and family members encouraged us and prayed for us. I entered this youth weekend with a heavy heart.
As the weekend progressed I was able to pull outside of myself, my own fears and worries to help minister to the youth that were there. One girl in particular, a very rambunctious young woman was having trouble settling into the weekend's more reflective moments. The "big tent event", the Saturday night Eucharistic procession was leaving her jittery to say the least. I had left the group that night, "to go off and pray" with our Lord. I was kneeling there, in the dirt, waiting for our Lord to pass when out of the corner of my eye I saw her, this same girl, weeping in the back of the tent. I quietly slipped out of the side of the tent and went to console her and be with her. She fell apart and opened her heart to me, and to our Lord. It was such a moment of grace for us both. Our Lord was coming, the procession was nearing us. I helped the girl find a place in the dirt to kneel with me, we were right on the edge of the aisle. I began rethinking through my hurts, but I tried to lift them all up and out of the way for this dear soul trembling next to me. As the Lord passed me, I said to Him "I give it to you, I was so busy with this one you sent me that I didn't even get to see your face as you passed me, Lord. But I offer that too, as a great sacrifice for this young woman you've put here with me. O Lord, you know my heart. You know how badly I want a child. But I give it to you. As I didn't see your face tonight, Lord, I don't exactly see your will in this time. Give me Faith Lord. Give me Faith!"
At that moment, the Priest hesitated. Even though he was about 2 feet behind me, I saw him falter in his step, as if being held back. Then, in that moment, it was like the world stopped moving. I saw the priest turning, ever so slowly towards me, stopping right there in benediction over my head. My heart cried out its "fiat" followed by a rush of my human tears.
We came back that weekend a changed group. The young woman went on to be a leader in her youth group at Church. She had healed from a past of sin, and was looking for the means to continue on in Holy Innocence. I still pray for her as I think of that night.
And three days after coming home from that retreat, Mike and I found out we were pregnant. I sought a child from our Eucharistic Lord and my prayers were heard.
Please pray for our family as now this same child is seeking the means to receive our Eucharistic Lord for himself. What a blessing for my first blessing. And now, as a Mom, I must maintain that same confidence of Faith to say "I am a handmaiden of the Lord, let it be done to me as You will."