Have you ever opened your Bible, and found a passage, thinking, “Wow! Wonder how long that was waiting for me??”
2 Maccabees 7:22-23
“I do not know how you came to being in my womb. It was not I that gave you life and breath, nor I who set in order the elements within each of you. Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of humankind and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws.”
Just reading this again forces me to take a deep breath, and remember each of my pregnancies.
With Abby, I had miscarried a pregnancy a few months beforehand, and wanted so desperately to be pregnant again. Her father begged me not to take a pregnancy test, since he didn’t want me to be disappointed. I was thrilled, and immediately started telling everyone we knew.
When I became pregnant with Rachel … I just knew. I woke up, looked at the ceiling, and just felt something. (there’s the whole story coming later!)
Then, the boys came along. We were discussing having more children, and getting to the point to actively start charting, and using NFP to get pregnant, when we got the biggest surprise of our lives.
I’m one of those crazy women who love being pregnant. I didn’t say I love every symptom, but there’s such an amazing sense of wonder and thankfulness when I’m carrying a child. I feel ‘selected’, and so blessed that God has chosen me to carry a new life into being. It’s a time of being introspective for me: to wonder about this child (or children!), who they will become, what life has in store for them, and why I was chosen to be their mother. I love my children to the ends of the earth, but there are still times I wonder why God picked me to shepard them through these early years. I love being a mother, but I don’t see myself as that maternal.
Reading back over this passage, calls to mind my children — created in secret and stillness, brought to life by God. I reveled in growing each of them inside me, and now, growing them into beautiful young men and women. Brett reminds me, as does this Scripture, that our children are not truly ours, but on loan to us from God, and that we are called to do the best possible job we can to raise them in His image.
For all pregnant mothers, or those wanting to conceive, I’m highlighting St Gerard. An Italian saint in the 1700s, he counseled communities of religious women, and came to be looked upon as the patron saint of expectant mothers, or those experiencing a difficult pregnancy. As a mother of four, I’ve asked for his intercession frequently, with this prayer.
O Great Saint Gerard, beloved servant of Jesus Christ, perfect imitator of your meek and humble Savior, and devoted Child of the Mother of God: enkindle within my heart one spark of that heavenly fire of charity which glowed in your heart and made you an angel of love. O glorious Saint Gerard, because when falsely accused of crime, you did bear, like your Divine master, without murmur or complaint, the calumnies of wicked men, you have been raised up by God as the Patron and Protector of expectant mothers. Preserve me from danger and from the excessive pains accompanying childbirth, and shield the child which I now carry, that it may see the light of day and receive the lustral waters of baptism through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessings on all moms today! Join in, link up, and let me know how your Lenten season is shaping up.