24 March 2013

Palm Sunday Resonance

So Holy Week begins.

The end of Lent always seems to sneak up on me. Perhaps it's because I have struggled with my Lenten promises -- we had a visiting statue of the Virgin Mary at the beginning of Lent and we prayed the rosary every night, and when she left we completely fell apart. It may also have to do with the stress of having an incompetent student teacher (who was not happy with her review, but I was happy with what I wrote, honesty hurts, but it had to be done).

Today at mass during the Passion, a couple of things hit me like a ton of bricks.

I have struggled with God's will for my life and my path to motherhood. I prayed for strength. I have prayed for surrender. When our pastor read this I knew that God was talking right to my heart:

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.

Exactly what my heart and head needed to hear.

We met with our social worker on Friday to continue with our homestudy. I felt a bit guilty since we didn't do any of our adoption "homework" which is kind of funny since we're both teachers. There's quite a bit of paperwork to get through and the only thing I did was get my criminal reference check from France (which I am still waiting for, another exercise in patience!).

It amazes me how easy the homestudy is going, thus far. The fact that I feel so relaxed and calm just proves to met that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.

Yes, almost eight years, four surgeries, $50K++ in medical bills, countless appointments, numerous specialists, countless medications and oceans of tears I feel ready to follow another path.

Which brings me to the other part of the Passion that almost brought me to my knees:

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, "Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed." Then they will begin to say to the mountains, "Fall on us," and to the hills, "Cover us." For they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry? 

I am almost certain that my interpretation is probably incorrect, but it was nice to get a "shout out" from the Bible this morning. I don't often feel blessed in my barrenness, but perhaps I am in the process of discovering the true blessings.

I am going my hardest to make this holiest of weeks count. My patience has been tested in more than one way and I know that I need to refocus and keep my eyes on the cross.


  1. That line brings tears to my eyes too, even now.

    I love the peace in your heart about the adoption path. :) I can't wait to watch it unfold!! :) :)

  2. "Blessed are the barren" hit me too, yesterday...

    Can't wait to see what God has planned for you with adoption!! :)

  3. Yes, thought of you particularly (cuz I always wing some prayers your way, but that line is so powerful) when I heard that yesterday at church. I am so excited for your adoption.

  4. I really hope adoption works out for you. It seems you have been through so much.

    One of our dearest friends started the adoption process a few months back and were just picked to be parents. It went so fast for them. In a week or two they will be parents. When I think of this it makes me tear up for joy for them but it also it makes me really wish it were my story too... I hope your process will go by quickly. I hope you get to be a mom soon too!

  5. Praying for your adoption process! Have a blessed Holy Week :)

  6. I've never thought that line a reassurance directed at us - because as I read the broader passage, it seems to me that Christ is saying that the days will become so dark that people will think they had been better off dead, and certainly that they had brought no children into such an awful world. I am sure that there are people who feel that way today - both those with kids (sorry they have to be in this world) and without (relieved they don't have to shelter children from all the awfulness), but I think it's meant to emphasize how bad the world will be, not how good it is to be barren.


    I've been looking for a good translation of the Bible for a while. KJV is probably the most beautiful English version, but I understand it is not super-accurate (and removes certain books, if I'm not mistaken). NAB/NASB is the most common English translation approved by the Church, but it is not beautiful, and I loathe the inclusive language. (NRSV-CE is not really better.) So recently I was at Stations and the meditations quoted Scripture, a particularly lovely translation. I pored over the copyright page and started a mission to find a Douay-Confraternity Bible (I had never heard of that - Douay-Rheims yes, of course, but when I looked into that one, I didn't like it either. I now think the one I checked out years ago was a modernized one, not the 1899 DR, which I like fine). It's out of print, but I found a used copy on Amazon. The language is really lovely - sometimes a bit more opaque than the NASB I've grown accustomed to, but how can I complain about having to think harder about the meaning of Scripture?

    Anyway (I swear I have a point), I excitedly dug into my box and marched into the living room and asked my DH whether he had a favorite verse with which we would test the language. (After which I was headed straight to Psalm 23, Isaiah 7, Luke 2, and John 1 to make sure my favorite passages held up well.) And he said, "Isaiah 54," which I didn't remember having read before (I mean, I probably have, but not often or recently). So I read Isaiah 54 out loud. I can't get the Confraternity online, but here is the Douay-Rheims:

    "1 Give praise, O thou barren, that bearest not: sing forth praise, and make a joyful noise, thou that didst not travail with child: for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband, saith the Lord.
    2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and stretch out the skins of thy tabernacles, spare not: lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.
    3 For thou shalt pass on to the right hand, and to the left: and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and shall inhabit the desolate cities.
    4 Fear not, for thou shalt not be confounded, nor blush: for thou shalt not be put to shame, because thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt remember no more the reproach of thy widowhood.
    5 For he that made thee shall rule over thee, the Lord of hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of all the earth.
    6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and mourning in spirit, and as a wife cast off from her youth, said thy God.
    7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
    8 In a moment of indignation have I hid my face a little while from thee, but with everlasting kindness have I had mercy on thee, said the Lord thy Redeemer."

  7. Those two verses stood out to me yesterday too. I had to read the second one (blessed are the barren) several times before I realized what it meant.

  8. I'm so glad that the doors are opening towards adoption & things feel right! God will lead you through this! Happy (early) Easter!