So one of the books I am trying to keep up with is another devotional called Small Steps for the Catholic Mom. Each day, it gives a thought, prayer, and act. Friday’s topic was on suffering. The act for Friday was to think about one suffering in my life and offer it up to God.
I am still having a hard time trying to think of what in my life right now would I consider as “suffering.”
The dictionary defines suffering as ‘pain that is caused by injury, illness, loss, etc.: physical, mental or emotional pain.’ The thought from St. Peter Julian Eymard, "As the result of sin, the virtues have become painful to us; we shrink from them because they mean humiliation and suffering. You do not want to be humiliated? Humiliation is an honor, suffering a joy, because Jesus Christ has placed in them true honor and true joy."
I don't feel I have any true sufferings as defined in the dictionary. Pain from illness, injury, loss... Loss... There is my pain. Miscarriage. The loss of a baby. How have I forgotten? Well, not forgotten. I saved those special days in a file, and tucked it inside deep. That time that I had prayed for and finally saw the positive pregnancy test. Those sweet few weeks when a baby nestled deep in my womb. Then after a few questionable days, the dark realization that my dream was lost, the warm feelings ripped from my heart.
That loss nearly broke me. And I never gave that suffering to God. In my small world, closed off from others, I held it against God. I had prayed for that baby for months, and it was taken away. "How could you do this to me?" I thought. "Am I not good enough?" I was so angry and sad. I stopped going to church. I turned away from God in my own stubbornness. I was cold towards my husband and our daughter. I was falling in a dark hole...
But somehow, my friends were able to help pull me out. They helped me to see that I was not alone in the loss. They opened my eyes to see the many other women (some I was close to) that had shared the same pain I did, and the others who had not yet been able to feel the joy I held, if even for a short time. It was hard, but I came around. In the worst day, I found out God had answered my prayer. I was pregnant again! And now I hold a beautiful 3 month old chunky little boy.
I never offered that suffering to God. I posted about it, but never gave it up. So today I offer it up. There is a reason that my baby went to heaven too early. I may never know it. But God is the almighty, my protector, my strength. The saying "God never gives you more than you can handle," is false. God gives us hardships. But he wants us to give those hardships to him, to depend on him for help and nurturing. Only God can completely fill those holes in our hearts. So I give up my suffering to God, for he will bear it for me and through Him, I will have joy.