Wednesday, March 6, 2013

As You Will

If you had asked me a year ago today whether or not I thought I was a good Catholic, I would have said yes. A year ago today, I thought I was a good Catholic. I thought I had a good handle on what I believed and that I was doing enough to live a Catholic life.

Then, a year ago tomorrow happened, and everything changed.

A year ago tomorrow I was asked to consider whether I wanted to continue on with my pregnancy. And, as I’ve admitted before, I (1) agreed there were options and (2) considered them. If you had asked me a year ago today whether or not I would have considered terminating a pregnancy, I’m pretty sure I would have told you never. But, oh, the difference a day makes.

As I’m sure everyone knows, I did not choose to terminate my pregnancy last year. I wish I could say it was because I was strong in my faith, but it was more because medical science seemed to be on our side. We weren’t sure of the *exact* state of Snuggle Bug’s health until she was born, but most of the medical tests suggested she was (inexplicably small but) fine. And I’m overjoyed that science was right. But I’ve never really recovered from the impact the mere consideration of termination has had on my faith life. I truly believe that had I chosen to terminate my pregnancy last year that I would have chosen to kill a baby. If the tests had come out differently I could have come up with a million justifications for that decision, but in the end, I know in my heart I would always believe that I had killed someone.

One of my favorite Bible stories is the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In that story, Jesus is praying that God spare him from dying on the cross. Jesus prays, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” My prayers to God last March used different words, but the meaning was the same: I prayed that our unborn daughter would be spared a life of disability and disease. And I prayed that we would not be faced with having to decide whether or not to terminate. But in the Bible, Jesus goes on to pray: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” I never prayed that second part. And in my thinking, that really is the most important part. For how can I claim to follow God when I insist on leading the way?

Unlike me, Husband never waivered on the decision to have Snuggle Bug. He refused to even talk about the possibility of termination, despite our doctors’ repeated requests that we be ready with a decision should the results be something other than what we were hoping for. He knew what he believed and was willing to live his life accordingly, no matter how difficult the path.

I admire Husband so much for this. We were faced with the exact same situation, and he responded in the way I wish I would have. He had faith where I had doubt. He trusted in God’s plan, where I considered changing it. He accepted the challenge, without fear of failure. What an amazing man.

I’ve been blessed with a lot this last year. And one of the blessings for which I am most grateful is the example of faith Husband has (and so many of you have) been for me.  It pains me to think how far I was from the path I thought I was on, and how strongly I struggled with something Husband accepted with ease.  And it is difficult to admit, even to myself, that when it was my life in God's hands,I had doubts on letting God lead the way.  But as I learned so quickly a year ago tomorrow, a day can make a world of difference.  So today and each day, my goal is to simply follow and have faith that God will lead the way. 

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