Whenever discussing our struggle with infertility, I always remind myself that I know God has a plan and we will have a baby. Recently I was asked how I can be so sure of that despite all the obstacles we have faced and are still facing. I have faced the same questions myself on more than one occasion. Every time I begin to look down another path and give up on becoming a mother, something happens that calls me to be patient and continue on my journey. It may be some good medical news, a particular verse in the Bible that seems to jump out at me, or someone sharing a story of their own struggles. But each time, I am reassured that being a mother is in fact my call. Even so, it is certainly difficult to remember at times.
Almost a year ago I was having a very hard time with it all. I decided to delve deeper into my faith and make an honest effort to keep myself truly open to whatever God’s will may be. Around that time my parish women’s group was beginning the 33 Days to Morning Glory retreat in preparation for Marian Consecration by Father Michael Gaitley. And I decided to participate.
The purpose of the retreat is to bring you closer to Mother Mary, and thus grow closer to Christ. My mother participated in the retreat long distance. She and I would discuss the daily readings and I would call her after each weekly meeting with my women’s group to tell her what we talked about. In late November, while in the midst of our retreat, my mother called me early one morning to tell me something wonderful.
She told me that the previous night, she had a visit from Our Lady. She was unable to see her face but could see her robes, could hear her voice, and knew without a doubt that it was Mary. This was not a dream. It was more than that. In her visit, she told my mother to let me know that she sees my pain, she knows how deeply I long for a child and that I will have a baby! She did not say how. She did not say when. But she did say how important it was to remember my blessings and to keep praying because our prayers are so very powerful. She said that there is something else that must be finished first, but that I should not be sad because God hears my prayers and I will have a child.
Now some might say that is just a dream but I know it was more than that. The peace that my mother felt and that I had upon her telling me this was surely from God. I truly believe that the Mother of Our Lord came to my own mother here on earth to deliver a message for me, in a way that perhaps only a mother can.
The message from Mother Mary was an answer to my prayers. I didn’t find out when or how I would become a mother. And almost a year later, I still am not pregnant. It can be tempting sometimes to say that my prayers have not yet been answered but I know that is not the case.
I was at a crossroads praying for direction. My heart and soul longed to be a mother and I felt such pain in the thought of letting go of that dream. I believe I was led by the Holy Spirit to participate in this retreat because through the 33 Days, I found myself letting go of more and more of my own desires. I was giving more of myself up in preparation to fully give myself to Jesus through Mary at our consecration. And by opening my heart up in this way, I received the answer to my prayers.
I received confirmation that motherhood was indeed my calling. And just as important, perhaps even more so, was the message to remember my blessings and to continue on in prayer. There have been many struggles since then and many times when I do not know how in the world I will become a mother. There are times when it seems like I should give up. But I remember the message from Our Lady and hold tight to my hope and faith in Jesus Christ who I know hears and answers my prayers.
Answers to prayers come in many forms. It might be the answer you were looking for. It might be a gentle nudge to move in another direction. It might be the pull to a particular Bible verse that speaks to your heart. For me, I am incredibly thankful for the blessing of Our Lady in her visit to my mother which uplifted my spirit, renewed my hope, and led me to a greater faith in her Son, Jesus Christ who gives me the strength I need to continue on my journey.