Renewed Prayer

This morning started very similar to 2 weeks ago, with infertility-related insensitivity (from the same person and other things). This is the same person I wrote about here. In addition, there were about a hundred babies and 50 more pregnant bellies in church today.

Prior to the 2nd reading (that I was determined to pay full attention to), I was so distracted and wrapped up in my own head and self-righteous anger. I was completely judging at least 3 other women in Mass and I forced myself to stop and focus. Then comes this:

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.

Ok St. James, you have my attention.

Most of the time, the dominant feeling related to our IF is sadness. A deep sadness I didn't know it was possible to feel. Of course there is anger and frustration and fear and all the rest, but if I had to just pick one emotion, sadness would be it.

Except lately.

Lately it is more bitterness. And constant comparing of my situation to others. And jealousy. And self-righteousness when people don't respond the way I think they should. It's been ugly friends. And it was getting real ugly, real fast, in Mass today.

And then St. James stepped in and woke me up with a quick, sharp slap. A slap I needed. Jealousy and selfishness are not getting me anywhere. In fact, they are causing me disorder and foul practice - thank God only in thought and not in outward deed to this point.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but it is so extremely important to me that I walk this road with grace. The list of regrets in my life all relate to responding poorly to situations, and while I don't expect to be perfect, I do have high expectations for being intentional and receiving the grace that He wants to give me.

I've taken the answered part of the prayer I started praying 2 years ago this week for granted. I've come to expect the grace to be there and to do the work for me - to be my safety net. But, as James told us last week, faith without works is dead. Grace is a gift, a gift I have prayed, and begged God for, but He won't open it for me. I am the one that has to embrace the grace and allow it affect my life.

I am not completely sure how to do this. But I know it has to start with renewing my prayer for grace. With acknowledging the grace that has carried me through and renewing my request for it.

I don't know where this road leads, where the bumps are, or how long it goes on. What I do know is that someday I will look back and how I traveled the road will be much more important than the road I traveled. 


  1. I really think that IF is one of the most sorrowful crosses there is. It just is. There isn't anything in our society that helps those with IF mourn their cross. People don't know what to say.

    I have found that being thankful for everything (even IF, etc) brings in more grace and love and keeps out all those other negative feelings. But it is hard to do.

    Praying for you!

  2. I think you're onto something here...about regret s and the journey being important and how you respond to situations, but seriously Rebecca, I really believe you've responded phenomenally to this unexpected turn in the road. Sure not every day is sunshine and puppies but you are so honest with your struggle that I literally feel the grace pour from these pages when I read your heart. I guess its important to learn that grace doesn't always feel like maybe we think it should? Big big hug.

  3. That last line is so huge, I love it! Thanks for that, and praying for your road and wherever it leads!

  4. Were we at the same mass??? I felt like the babies and bellies multiplied at our parish!

    I tried to hard to pay attention to the readings rather than implore God for some answers for my sorry state. I'm so glad that the readings resonated with you. I hope that I can look back and appreciate the journey and not just the destination, especially since I don't seem to agree with God's plan for us.

  5. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with continual insensitivity! Especially at/before/after mass, just when you want to focus on Jesus. I think it's already a movement of grace that you didn't respond in any mean-spirited way. And also a movement of grace to recognize the ways you still need to be purified!

    Your sidebar button always inspires me - "Don't let comparison steal your joy." It sounds so simple but it is so hard! I'm praying for LOTS of grace for you today to bear your sufferings well and even joyfully!

  6. I am so sorry for the hurt and insensitivity you are having to face. Having struggled with feelings of bitterness and jealousy myself I know what a tough fight it can be ~ Prayers and Hugs!

    "Through many dangers, toils and snares...
    we have already come.
    T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
    and Grace will lead us home." Amazing Grace, verse 3

  7. Thanks for sharing! I had similar situations this week with pregnancy announcements and statuses via Facebook. It is a fine line between allowing myself to feel the emotions of sadness without it turning into bitterness and jealousy toward another person. I guess we could all use a little more grace. Praying for you and that God infuse your heart with His grace!

  8. I think we were at the same mass too! We even had two beautiful babies being baptized. Thanks for your posts-good things to think about as always.

  9. I may just ask you to write for my blog from now on.

    :). Love this.

  10. Oh and Alison... Luckily for Rebecca (and me), every day *is* filled with puppies. ;)

  11. I really love this post, my friend. The offertory hymn at our Mass this week was "Amazing Grace." Such a powerful hymn. Such a wonderful reminder that we are nothing without Him who gave us Life...not just human life, but the Way to Life Eternal.

    I've been struggling with prayer recently. And Father said something this week that really hit me hard. He said how the Gospel was clear that the disciples did not question Jesus any further... and he said he has often wondered why they didn't. That some scholars say, it was because they trusted that Jesus had explained all He would or could at the time. Other scholars say it was because they had so much faith in the answer they'd already received. But he challenged us to consider that the disciples didn't question any further because...they didn't want him to require something more of them. They knew that for Jesus to continue to speak on the topic, may mean he was going to ask for more of them. he says that we are like that in prayer...that is why sometimes people don't pray because they are afraid of what the prayer will ultimately ask of them. If we get into a conversation with God...at some point He is going to ask of us something...and most likely it includes growth/suffering/sacrifice from us.

    I think that is where I have been with prayer lately. I haven't thrown my whole heart into it because I'm a bit afraid of what will come out of it.

    Now that I've written all of that...i'm not quite sure what it has to do with your blog post....but maybe you can let me know if it speaks to you at all. :)

  12. Wow, I agree that your last line is a powerful one. We certainly don't pick our crosses, but the thing we can choose is how we will carry them.

    I will catch myself feeling bitter at times too towards others that "seem" to have lighter crosses or no crosses at all. Then the answer that almost immediately comes is that of course they have a cross..I just cannot see it. IF is mostly a silent cross anyway so who am I to think that others that may appear to be without burdens aren't in fact, carrying something quite heavy? Thank you for this. I know you say you don't always do well, but I find you always have such insight and I know this is that Grace you speak of. Still praying for you!

  13. This is beautiful. YOU are beautiful. We should all try to carry all our crosses in life, whatever they may be, in this way.

  14. It is about how we live our lives....so true. How we carry our crosses is important too. I work everyday...to carry mine with grace. I was given my crosses for a reason...and I have to accept that.

  15. R, i can so relate to the inner judging thoughts, ugh they can get so ugly sometimes. I had a good confession once upon a time with an amazing priest who told me these thoughts come and go, but it's what we do with them that matters. You snapped out of it and listened to the message of St. James. In that regard, I argue you are filled with more grace than you think. Love and hugs to you!

  16. Oh man. You are a far better woman than I. I heard that very same reading, and then 10 minutes later at the parish picnic when every.single.married.woman at the picnic (and one teenage girl) were either visibly pregnant or carrying a small baby in their arms....then, I hightailed it out of there before I had a breakdown.

    I find that lately I have bitterness towards God more than any one person. I mean, no one makes themselves pregnant. If someone is pregnant it's because it is God's will that it happen...so most of my bitterness is directed his way these days. Not good, I know. But you are filled with so much grace, you are an inspiration to me.

    Many prayers friend.

  17. I have experienced all those emotions you describe. I can still taste the bitterness in my heart. All I can say is that you are normal in your feelings and judging, because I have SOOO been there.
    I am so glad St. James was there to remind you of Gods grace and help snap you out of it a little. IF is so hard and the road is so bumpy. But you realized your struggle ... and you are trying so hard ... and I pray you find Gods grace soon!!
    Covering you in prayer.