Infertility, A Spiritual Journey - Part 6


#1

It was indeed a privilege to go to Fatima especially to be there for the Feast of the Holy Rosary. Having arrived there, the first thing that struck me was the silence and the peace and i think that current ran right through the pilgrimage.

I guess i felt lucky to be there probably a little more lucky than most people because i had won this pilgrimage but not only that , just the day before.. i had lost my passport and thought i would not make it to Fatima. That night i had gone to bed in tears disappointed giving up hope of getting to Fatima and I could not sleep so i woke at almost 2 am, searched the house for a black pen and sat and filled in a passport application form and put in a wake up call for the following morning... the next day, i packed a tiny light suitcase and set off for the passport office in Dublin. I have never travelled so lightly. Our Lady must have been watching over us... it was 11am when i got to the passport office.....and by some miracle , i was at the airport with my new passport by 1.40pm (20 minutes early for check in ) .. sooo arriving in Fatima, walking out onto the balcony of a Hotel looking up at the Basilica in the Cova , I dont think it is any wonder that I felt such peace and could feel the silence. Every morning we woke to the sound of church bells ringing out Ave Maria .. how beautiful.

On our first day, we took the tour up the mountain to the place where Our Lady first appeared to the three little shepherds - Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. As we walked along through the Holmoak and Olive trees on the mountain, we prayed rosary as a group and sat at the apparition sites especially the place where the angel appeared and taught the children to pray. It was nice to sit and just absorb the atmosphere there

That evening, we went to our first candelight procession at the shrine where they said rosary and we walked behind the Cross and in front of the statue of Our Lady. As we returned to the Capellina ( little chapel at the Cova) , i felt really honoured to be part of a guard of honour on each side of the statue as it was wheeled back into the Chapel. The amazing thing was this seemed to happen every night.

The pilgrimage was so full of wonderful things....but i just want to share some of what was moving to me... firstly i mentioned the peace and the silence. it is as if just for a few days, we have left our worlds behind... then the faith of those who kneel and move on their knees praying rosary out of gratitude, out of prayer requests, out of penance.. these people pray across a long path around the shrine.. some on hands and knees.

While in Fatima, We went to confession on the First Saturday and we got the opportunity to start observing First Saturdays in reparation for sin. This was very special starting this in Fatima and we both hoped to be able to observe the 5 First Saturdays that Our Lady requested.

Later in the week, we both walked back up along the mountain to the apparition places by ourselves and as we walked, we prayed openly the rosary - all 20 decades and we looked at the countryside, imagining the scenes with the little children and the angel and Our Lady. The forecast that day was for heavy rain all day and yet the sun shone for us and there was a fresh breeze always there refreshing us...... This was the highpoint of the week for me ... being there, on our own, away from the crowd, praying all 20 decades of the rosary .. imagining that is what those children were doing

The week also had a message for me anyway and it was about sacrifice and offering sacrifices. As you read through Sister Lucias memoirs and accounts of the apparitions and even the prayers and the messages of the angel to the children, You begin to hear a call for sacrifice, for offering up even the smallest things, even our sufferings and pains, problems and worries. I think reading about Jacinta and her purity of faith and willingness to sacrifice her food, her playtime for Jesus and for reparation for all the sins in the world was very striking.

The most beautiful prayer I heard which was repeated quite often...... O My Jesus, it is for Love of You, the conversion of sinners, for the Holy Father , in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These words were said by the visionaries when offering their sacrifices and it made me wonder how many times i could have made such a beautiful offering instead of grumbling and complaining.

Being in Fatima also allowed us to go to adoration where there was perpetual adoration and we made a few visits there. Again sitting there, you could almost hear the little shepherds saying Most Holy Trinity, I adore You, My God, My God, I love You in the Blessed Sacrament..


#2

On my first day in Fatima, I got a sign that something had changed. I believe that when a fertilised egg implants in the womb 15 days after conception, a small piece of the womb lining comes away giving a trace and stain of blood. This blood stain surprised me and I dismissed it as an extraordinarily light unexpected monthly cycle… I did not realise it then but I was actually now PREGNANT and my baby had settled in my womb.:slight_smile:


#3

Serene, your story is so beautiful. I know what it's like to struggle with infertility. I am in a phase now where financially my husband and I aren't ready to look into adoption. But I accept the life God has blessed me with.
People carelessly ask me all the time, when I'm going to have kids, but a preist once told me to tell them "God doesn't want me to have kids right now" and leave it at that. I have to say that I don't ever say that to people, but thinking about that phrase somehow makes it easier to accept.
It's a great thing knowing that my heavenly Father who created me, loves me, and knows me better than anyone including myself, will make things happen the way he sees fit. I hope to someday at least have one child either naturally (although it's highly unlikely) or through adoption. But for now anyway, I am trying to be open to living without planning too far ahead. -Jess


#4

P.S. I'm so happy for you! When are you due?


#5

Hi Jessica

I have had a lot of replies and private messages from people since I posted my story across the threads here in the forums but I especially would like to reply to you.

First of all, a big thank you to everyone for their kind words and congratulations.
These replies have shown me that there is something a lot more beautiful here than my story. It is the amount of faith, acceptance and charity within the infertility forums .

I came here years ago in the depths of struggles and lack of acceptance of infertility. I felt then that there was an undercurrent here of being a victim comforting each other in a terminal hopeless situation. I did not want to be a victim but I felt victimised. I think what got to me the most was that most of the people here ,had accepted the Infertility. I guess that is why I stayed quiet for so long.

Some people may think I was wrong to put up such a fight ( that I did not just accept and surrender ) - Some people may think I was right (to not let go of the fight, not handover my desire to be a mum). I know there were times when I did not handle it very well.

Everyones spiritual journey is a little different. Some peoples journeys take them to dark places, as mine did - places where you seem so alone and God seems so far away. - but yet the fact that I seemed to always search for answers from God meant that I had some residual faith that there was a God out there somewhere. I could not see Him, I could not hear Him, I could not find Him but now I truly know that He was there.

looking back now, it is amazing to see Gods handiwork in my life although then I did not know it, God was working away quietly in the background and I just want to share with you how I see now Gods work which I hope can be of help

  1. Our Lady for some reason from the very start seemed to show a special interest in me , from bringing me to the rosary and back to the sacraments and to the church. She was guiding me. It was at an online rosary that I first heard about IVF being wrong. The rosary was so often my refuge and I think praying with others and feeling empathy with others was a good way of moving my focus from myself. The rosary is a great gift and Our Lady, as a mother, was giving me some short respite and peace. There is always peace after you pray a rosary. I met some wonderful people through the rosary , whose relentless faith really touched and inspired me and I was in awe of them and I guess in a way it was giving me an avenue to release some of that unused loved and care that a mother has. I believe that Our Lady brought me to Fatima. I tried to give that pilgrimage away many times and nobody was taking it. It was meant for me. It was a miracle that I even got there with my passport problems and I know that my baby settled in my womb on the first day of the pilgrimage. so Fatima does have a message which I will echo - PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY.

  2. God brought some special people into my life at the exact time when I needed them most and I will always be thankful for that. At the time when I was questioning God and in very dark places and very upset, a friend introduced me to an amazing priest from India online. He had a picture of himself with Mother Teresa on his profile. I said to him immediately - O Look you got Mother Teresa, he said "Yes I have" . I said .. look how tiny she is..and then he quoted Mother Teresa to me - "Accept everything God gives you with a smile and Accept everything God takes from you with a smile"....... It had been so long since I smiled and I replied "I am accepting with tears" and so I began to tell him my tale of woe and he just listened. As I spoke my eyes were focused on the picture of Him with Mother Teresa and the more I looked at it and focused on it and emptied my troubles onto this priest, the tinier she seemd to get. When I told the priest everything, I said.. what do you think ? and He answered me with one word - Pride and so He taught me the Litany of Humility. This priest was amazing because every day He posted the Gospel to me and We would talk about it online. I was home sick at the time and It was like I was getting nourishment from the daily Gospel. Later I went on retreat with the priest in Poland.He tried so hard with me to guide me. There were times we argued and hurt each other but we forgave each other and I know I will always be thankful for the spiritual guidance and patience of this priest who was another of Gods gifts to me.

  3. The time off work sick which I never had before was like God pulling me aside and getting my attention. Epilepsy and Lymphoedema had set in now. Losing my highly stressful job and being such a career girl, It was difficult for me to see Gods will but God was good to me. I got a less pressurised job working from home 4 days a week and 1 day in Dublin. I had to take the train home because of my epilepsy and this allowed me that time to go to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Dublin for adoration where I won the prize of the pilgrimage - Isn't Gods handiwork marvellous ?


#6

.. continuation of response to Jessica

  1. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament - Looking back now, this was a repetitve current in my story so perhaps God had some wisdom in this . The words "Go to Jesus", the adoration of the Magi Nativity scene, the amazing wonderful valuable blessed time I got to spend in adoration and how I got that prize of Fatima. .. Fatima the place where the angel taught the three little shepherds how to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to pray. There are real graces to be found in adoration and in going to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

  2. Charity - The catechism sets out and guides us in another vocation, one of doing charitable acts. Not everyone is called to Adoption ( it is an admirable vocation) and even though I did all the courses and really tried to go towards adoption, God had other idea's for me. Again, through visiting the Blessed Sacrament, I found out how I could help someone in need. That wedding dress was symbolic of my dreams - giving it away, I often think now that this was a turning point for me in my journey towards acceptance. I hope it was a blessing to someone else.There are ways where our capacity to love as mothers can be used to do others good. I know that I too through that priest friend got the chance to sponsor the training of a seminarian in India

I have pointed these out to you Jessica because I would like you to watch out for how your life could be changing, how God is present with you in the small things. Look out for them and give thanks for them. Your life is going in another direction to how you planned it when you got married but enjoy that journey that you walk with God and watch out for his handiwork. You are in my prayers.

My last comment to you is one about something you said there in your response to me - something that made me want to post this reply to you.

""I hope to someday at least have one child either naturally (although it's highly unlikely)"

I guess You may be one of the reasons why I have come to this site with a message of hope. When You replied You had not seen my last posting on the journey.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=581474.

There is something I wanted to say there which I want to say again to you. It is a message of Hope,

"NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD"

God Bless You :)


Ps: A kind gentleman helped me in posting all the thread links together in the infertility forum. I am not sure if you got to read my full story but it is listed here if you have some spare time to read it...

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=108039&page=77


#7

Serene, Thank you for your reply. Like you said, everyone's journey is different. I don't have ovarian cysts. I have POF, so that's why it's highly unlikely for me. I've had plenty of time to absorb my infertility although, occasionally it bothers me. But my husband and I are open to anything God has in store. We have absolutely no hang ups about adoption, and will be looking into it as soon as we have the money/opportunity. God Bless :-)


#8

Jessica, I wish you all the best in your journey to adoption. It is a wonderful vocation and You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you will be able to progress with it speedily and without obstacles . God is with you in your journey. (NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD) :slight_smile:

The little steps which I mentioned in my response may also be a help - the Rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and I guess you have one of them covered excellently (Charity / Love/ Self Giving ) in your choice of adoption - I wish you every success and would love to know how you get on.

I have added you to my friends list. God Bless You :slight_smile:


#9

… The following thread is a continuation of this journey …

Infertility - A Spiritual Journey - Miracle of Hope


#10

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