Some people give up blogging or computer-related activities in general for Lent. I had considered writing a blog post about how, since blogging tends to be such a wonderful spiritual process for me that I would be making a concerted effort to "blog for Jesus" this Lent, you know, being mindful and more diligent to really explore the things that make His presence clearer in my life, blah blah blah.
I never did get around to writing that post, but the thought of it sure came to bite me in the conscience today. It's funny how God knows all and knows me and has this way of keeping me honest, despite my best protestations.
The other day my husband asked me what has been bothering me of late. Bothering me? Me? Whatever could he mean? After responding (by email of course; we don't have the luxury of uninterrupted conversation that often) that it wasn't much, maybe just a little tired, oh and maybe it has something to do with the new supplements I'm taking... I thought about it some more. Only, it wasn't really like a mental process whereby I came to a realization. It was much more an emotional process whereby I allowed something to emerge. I blurted it out, but assured him that I didn't even want to think about it let alone talk about it, for reasons that I know are obvious to him. It is sweet to have a spouse who understands.
In School of Community we read a section of the book on Hope about how life is a trial. This is the nature of life; it is a test. Hope is sure when and because the Great Presence in our lives is sure right now: Christ is with us, so we know Christ will remain with us, come what may. But the "come what may" is the nature of a trial. We don't know what will come, we can only know with Whom we will be, and the nature of that Whom. God is good, life has purpose, pain has purpose. But life is a trial.
I have a trial in my life and it is called infertility. It is difficult to describe the exact nature of this trial, because even for me it changes from season to season in my life. There was a time when my life was consumed by the desire to conceive a child, and this desire served me well and shaped my life, though not without long stretches of misstep and anguish. I have at times found myself completely unable to be in a room with pregnant women or small babies. And I have at times been very much at peace with it all, just sort of patiently bearing with the "maybe" and figuring in a few years (I'm 41) I can start giving away all of our baby accouterments.
Currently the hardest thing for me to face is what those trying to conceive call the "two week wait" when there is something unusual going on.
Welcome to my first week of Lent.
Last week I visited with my Naturopath and started on a new supplement, a chasteberry compound, and rededicated myself to faithfulness with the supplements I had been taking more and more haphazardly. The good news is I can feel a difference. When you deal with hormonal imbalances as long as I have you can feel the presence of progesterone in your body. The difficult thing, which I will explain for those who either aren't familiar or don't spend your life obsessing over these things, is that a rise in progesterone and concomitant feelings also happen when one has conceived. In general, I need progesterone supplementation both to conceive and to be healthy. I used to take HcG injections which essentially mimic the action of pregnancy in the body. Because of all this, I really can no longer trust my senses about things like "feeling pregnant." I can feel a hormonal shift, but I can't say what causes it. I used to say this with anguish; now I just say it as a fact. The last time I started brand new supplements with my ND I had wild and crazy pregnancy symptoms, but they were the estrogen-dominant type.
Let's add in to the mix that the last two positive pregnancy tests I had ended in miscarriage almost sooner than I could turn around.
I am helped by staying with the Great Presence right now, and His assurance that He holds life and death, my life and death, in His hand, despite seismic uncertainty. And I can't quite talk myself out of this being a seismic issue, as much as I'd like to put it more in the category of whether I make or miss the sale on asparagus. What comes tomorrow -- any energy I invest in imagination is really just energy I'd rather spend in what is right now.
But this is a trial. It is THE category of life that most draws me to cling to the cross. At Mass today I reflected on how Jesus handed over His body, placed the control over His sacred body, into the hands of sinners and was violently tortured. Like King David I can only say how much better to fall into the hands of God than the hands of violent men (2 Sam 24:14-15)! I entrust my body, which is given to me by God in the first place, to the One who sustains everything.