This week will feature a series of posts from Rachel on her losses in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
I remember the day that I lost Frances. It was very still. When I woke up that morning I knew something was going to happen. The worry seemed to overcome me, I was asking everyone for prayers and trying to discern what to do. Now, looking back, the whole day’s gray to me.
My craving for a Steak N’ Shake Frisco Melt and chili cheese fries was really strong. It seemed my body was in constant pain and that was all I wanted to eat. After discerning, I decided to wait until The Scientist got home to go into the hospital. The pain seemed to be coming in waves; little did I know I was in labor.
When I got to the hospital, I made sure to keep in contact with my mom and Kristi, keeping them updated so they could update everyone else. Frances was born. She was beautiful and looked exactly like me, freckles and all.
My heart still aches for all of my children.
That day I was filled with anxiety and today I realized that my faith at that moment wasn’t strong. I was trying to control the situation.
Emotions, in my experience, are intense and they suck.
When I got home, I was filled with emotions of failure, guilt, anger, sadness, happiness, and the feeling of being judged. Lots of unhelpful advice came regarding waiting, not trying again, adopting, and just being content with it being me and my husband. These emotions and advice lead my thoughts away from the path they were on.
Sometimes people don’t really understand that words, and sometimes actions, can help a person think a certain way. Emotions are tough because they are charged by the moment.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it.” Jeremiah 17:9
Hearts can be deceived, and my heart was definitely being led astray. And it was hurt. In my mind, I know that everyone who said and did judgmental, inappropriate, hurtful things to me; they didn’t intentionally mean to hurt my heart.
The truth is your heart after losing a child is going to be sad, sensitive, and it will not be true.
How does one heal and lead their heart and emotions back to the truth?
For me, the first thing I had to do was to give up all of my anxiety, hurt feelings, feelings of guilt, sadness, and anger to God. I sat and prayed and then I kept on repeating this process until I felt lighter. When God is in control of your mind and your mouth, it seems that your heart will follow. God showed me in his time and wisdom what he has planned for me every step of the way.
Through all of these traumatic situations, I have come to rely on God more. He showed me through my pain that my vocation is important to my own household.
Another thing I have learned is patience; with people and myself.
Learning to control my own thoughts and words has really strengthened my relationships.
The only advice I can give is to pray and to wait in the stillness for God’s answers. He will always provide and he will always answer.
It’s October 4! That means that today we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi! A man who cast aside all his wealth (and garments, too!…read the story if you’re unfamiliar) to build a religious, Gospel-driven life, restore the church, and be Jesus to the least in his day: lepers. Known as the patron saint of animals, many parishes offer a pet blessing today. St. Francis, pray for us!
I think, though, that the true legacy of St. Francis should not be in his treatment of and love for animals; nor, even, should it be in his famous “make me a channel of your peace” prayer or his Canticle of the Sun. It should be, especially in this month and in this culture, his upholding of a human’s inherent right to life with dignity.
For those of you who are unaware, lepers were highly contagious, almost certainly a death sentence, and made to live as outsiders and sub-humans in the culture of the time. Francis bathed them, fed them, clothed them, and gave them something no one else would: a few moments of his time.
Many saints have been Franciscan, and it is this St. Francis from whom our pope chose his moniker. Several orders have also been founded under the patronage of St. Francis, and why not? He’s quite an inspiration.
We recently stumbled across the Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen in the United States through the blogosphere. They continue St. Francis’s legacy of treating humans…as humans, and provide many resources on their website through videos, prayers, retreats, and a blog.
I think that, sometimes, we see sisters as out-of-reach and unrelatable to those of us in the marriage-wife-and-motherhood vocation. We’re wrong to think that. Just look at this blog post from the sisters entitled “No Time for Baking?'” and you’ll see that they have so much in common with us!
I humbly submit to you, on this feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, to go read some of their blog posts, check out their website, and consider donating to their mission. It is, after all, Respect Life Month, and helping them in their mission will help us all be the hands and feet of Christ.
Maybe you’ve been here, too. Maybe you haven’t ever traversed this road, paved with jagged stones and puddles. I’m in a weird season right now. It’s one that I know will be brief, but I have to be honest: I’m in survival mode.
For reasons that will become clear in the coming days (so keep reading, friends!), I am exhausted. I am short on time. We’re dealing with a slew of new things: jobs, schedules, responsibilities, people.
But I’m surviving.
How? By also surrounding myself with the familiar. Friends, family, church, my Bible study and mom’s group.
Survival mode is a brief period. Fleeting. But in the thick of it, it can be easy to lose sight of that. So on the chance that you, too, are just surviving, remember that it does get better. And it will end. Until then, solidarity. ♡
We are big fans of friendship here at Hail Marry, having been founded by two best friends, so when we were offered the opportunity to preview the new book The Friendship Project by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet (authors of Divine Mercy for Moms, too!), we jumped!
Not only did we get to read the book (which is great!), we also got to chat with the lovely ladies on this week’s podcast as part of their Friendship Friday Blog Tour to promote the release of this great book.
Make sure you listen closely for wonderful conversation, a super deal on bulk buying The Friendship Project, and how they make it so easy to read together in community as a small group.
Have a phenomenal weekend and a great Friendship Friday!
Bridgette and Kristi spent the weekend in Austin at the lovely Edel Gathering and met tons of cool women, ate good food, and heard inspiring words. Here’s a photo snippet from the weekend!
It started with an appearance on the Jennifer Fulwiler Show on Sirius XM The Catholic Channel. Picture courtesy of Hallie Lord!
Then the ladies embarked on the short journey to the car in order to check into their AirBnB. There was an umbrella…in the car…so our ladies got caught up in a small summer rain. Fun times!
The next morning Bridgette took a SoulCore class and Kristi caught coffee with some new friends (including the ladies behind One Hail Mary at a Time and A Gentle Mother). Then they met up for brunch with Bridgette’s sister. This was snapped just before registration.
Kristi had to snap a picture with Hallie per the request of Little Miss. Side bar: Hallie is one cool lady.
The conference ended with a dinner where Bridgette was a table hostess. Then the karaoke and dancing began…
Here our fearless ladies take the stage to wow the crowd 1993 Salt-n-Pepa style with “Shoop.” They were actually told by a couple of ladies that their charisms were blogging and karaoke!
Hallie had to stop Bridgette to tell her how much she enjoyed the performance. Jen missed it.
Why, yes. That is Bridgette…dancing…in the middle if circle surrounded by women cheering her on. The lady has some mad dance skills. This is her grooving to “Uptown Funk.”