Those three words pretty much sum up life for us the past year. It’s been a series of really big hills and extraordinarily low valleys. With each passing month, I’m noticing the valleys aren’t as low and it’s a shorter distance to those hills. But, living through those valleys has been the toughest journey of my life.
Sometimes when I hear another mom complain about an early morning with her baby or rushing said baby to the doctor for a little fever. Or an expectant mom complaining about being too big, having back pain or lamenting the “surprise” pregnancy. Sometimes, I have to hold myself back from shouting out, “You’ve got to be freaking kidding me.” It’s hard for me not to want to get all up in their face and beg and plead and tell them that what they are experiencing is a blessing. Yeah, that’s usually about the time I see the plank in my own eye.
I was reading an article today. Completely random, because I usually scroll through my news apps on my iPhone when I sit down for lunch – that is, if five kids aren’t all in my face. Like I said, rare. I picked up the Knights of Columbus magazine “Columbia” only because it had a picture of one of my favorite-people-whom-I-never-met-but-would’ve-loved-to…Blessed Mother Teresa. I’ll just throw this out there, no matter your religious background, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who a) had never heard of her and b) didn’t respect her devotion to serving the poor.
The article began by analyzing the recent press about her “crisis of faith.” I mean, you know, heaven forbid that a person of faith (or none for that matter) has questions and perhaps struggles in their relationship with God. I think it gives other people hope that you don’t have to have an, “Oh, I love God more than anything and He will make it all better” kind of attitude. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂 It’s just not me either. You go MT.
So, as I’m reading the article about her, I was struck by something the author said, “…it is important to note that Mother Teresa did not have a crisis of faith – that is, a real existential or intellectual question, as if on an intellectual or volitional level she entertained the possibility that God really did not exisit. Instead, Mother Teresa experienced a trial of faith and, even more, a trial of love.”
My valleys – and yours too – are trials of love. As Scott and I agonized over what was wrong after listening to Luke scream last night for way too damn long, I realize now we are not experiencing a trial of faith, it is a trial of love. I do not doubt God’s existence or His presence in my life. Ever. Sometimes, however, I doubt His love.
Uh-oh. Step aside. I think lightning may strike.
I wonder if as Luke is crying, laying in his crib, peering around his room through tear-filled eyes, if he doubts our love. That seems crazy, I know. The bambino is only 9 months old. But, just hang with me for a sec.
If our life here on Earth is just a blip in our eternity with God, then I think it’s fair to say we, too, are infants of faith. Innocently looking around trying desperately to see signs that we’re loved. Then…the door opens and God walks in and makes it all better. He scoops us up, holds us for a moment, reasurring us of His love, His compassion and His pain in knowing that sometimes we have to help ourselves. Then, He lays us down and steps aside until the next time we cry out.
Last week, on my way to girls’ night out, I was listening to my FAVORITE show on the Catholic Channel, XM 117, “The Busted Halo Show with Fr. Dave Dwyer.” (BH also happens to be one of my clients – they’re pretty much awesome). The guest that night shared a quote from Quincy Adams that I think is worth repeating, “You do the best you can and then let God walk through the room.”
Oh my. Just a sec, had to grab a Kleenex. Sheez, you know it’s bad when I’m crying!
We’re just doing the best we can. At being Luke, Clare, Anna-Laura, John Paul and Will’s parents. At being a good wife and husband to one another. At decipering all the medical diagnoses and the litany of unknowns. At trusting in God. At remembering to get the oil changed, hineys wiped, checkbook balanced and yard mowed.
And when our best is given and we’re all tapped out, we let God walk through the room. I can’t say there’s always peace, but I can say that there is faith. Like all of you, we have doubts and fears. But I’ve stopped letting them control me 24/7 like the Kathryn of yester-year.