Monday, September 9, 2013

A friend's request for a 'Yes' to God story...

My ‘yes’…such a funny thought that at first sounded easy to me. But the more I thought of, the more complicated the request sounded. A ‘yes’ to God is not a onetime occurrence, it is a continual and intentional choice to follow him. The opportunity happens daily, moment to moment.  Our relationship with God is organic and grows and changes.  Our faith is like a river that sometimes rushes and sometimes is calm and slow.

I feel like a ‘yes’ is renewed each time we choose our vocation over our wants, or we sacrifice even in the smallest way. Each day that comes we have opportunities to say ‘yes’. Some we miss, some we don’t. Business I would say is my biggest block from seeing or hearing Gods call to a yes.

But when I look back on the big ‘yeses’ , the pivotal times in my life where I had to stop and take a leap of faith to follow God even when it didn’t make sense at all, I guess the most profound is my first big ‘yes’.
Faith was always a stirring seed but never a committed lived experience for me. It wasn’t really practiced in my home growing up but my grandmother was always a beacon of gentle reminder. But, as an 18 year old college freshman faith became my lifeline.

 I sat one February night with my roommate staring at a very blue (before the stick) positive pregnancy test in shock. Yes, the lucky ‘just once’ over a Thanksgiving break with the boyfriend I missed so much. The best way to describe the moment in that dorm room is a tunnel, a time standing still moment of shock that the Asian flu that I had for months..that everyone else had too, had  actually been a pregnancy. I could hear myself breathe and my heart beating.  Terror, fear, shock; I still say unless you’ve been there you don’t realize how dark and frightening that can be.

I guess for me to have the baby was never a choice really, there would never be a question that I would terminate the pregnancy. But I opened my text book to human development anyway, and there was the little 8 week embryo. I closed the book.  I knew for me to continue, I had to shatter the lives of everyone around me.  I had to look up, ask God for the strength, hold my breath and move forward.
Yes to God does not mean easy for sure.  It was difficult, people’s reactions even more difficult. Rejection and rumor harder still. But deep within my soul was a strength that I couldn’t express. There was no question.

God’s provision and protection was in the people I loved. My parents said simply, ‘We love you, come home’. My boyfriend ran and broke my heart but my best friend stuck by me like glue. Letters and calls came from outsiders once I was home encouraging me with their abortion stories to abort. They just made me sad for them. My boyfriend’s father came to our house when I was five months pregnant with a list of late term abortion clinics, my father kindly but firmly escorted him to the door.

My doctors were hero’s, my friends parents loved me and prayed me through. Even the nasty comments from other adults that made me crazy because I knew what their kids were doing didn’t get me down. The only deep burden my soul carried was the loss of my boyfriend. My broken heart was shattered.
In August that year, my boyfriend refused to stay home until I had the baby and went back to college. I cried and prayed, I knew it make a difference if we was home when the baby was born. Half way to North Carolina his appendix ruptured, he was hospitalized and then sent back to New Jersey. I delivered a baby boy. He was home and saw him. It was the beginning of renewal.

How things change once that baby is born. The heavy stress is lifted and pure joy enters your life. By the time Christopher was four months old, I found myself at the moment of another ‘yes’. Do I completely choose God in my life? I said yes. I began sneak watching EWTN and teaching myself the faith. I started to go to daily mass with baby in hand. I began to read the Bible. My life was forever changed; Eucharist, reconciliation, psalms; all made for a new me.  None of which would have happened if I hadn’t said yes to that baby.

By the time our baby was 3, my boyfriend and I were married. By the time that baby was 12 my husband was a convert to the faith with a conversion of heart to match. By the time that baby was 22 we had a total of 8 beautiful children.  That baby just turned 26, that baby boy is now it Seminary at St. Mary’s in Baltimore and God willing will be ordained in 5 years.

Yes isnt easy for everyone, I was blessed and supported by amazing people and prayer. I do feel Christopher was spiritually adopted. I don’t think that kind of strength was from me. A total of 12 other friends and acquaintances aborted babies within 4 years of Christopher’s birth. I call him a holocaust survivor. There were times when the nay sayers were loud; there were times when I doubted myself. But that one yes has led to so many ‘yeses’ in my life. Some easy and simple, some difficult, but always lovingly guided by the boundless love and protection of God. 

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