On the Street of I Can vs. I Cannot at least there's direct signage to God.
I freely admit last week was not a good week in the Think Strong, Be Strong, Stay Strong Department.
I've tried all this time. I do the best I can. Really I do.
But we all have those days. We all have those moments where there's more "I can't" than "I can." More "Why me?" than "Why not me?"
When Saturday rolled around, I was pretty upset at life. Upset with the news for telling me about some dirtbag that left his baby in the car so he could drink at the bar, upset with God for making me wonder if my baby was ever going to be okay.
Needless to say, getting to church on time Saturday night was a drag my feet, teary eyed affair. I knew I had to go, I knew I needed to go; that wasn't the issue. The issue was it took all my strength to believe and I just didn't know what I had left to believe in.
Finally at 7:34 when I realized church starts at 8pm which translates to 7:54pm sharp I made myself get in the truck. After all, if you're caught walking up behind the priest at 7:53pm the charming elderly ladies pass you a glance that's quite frankly not so charming.
I've always, always been a spiritual and religious person. Looking around to see whose baby is crying during the First Reading or catching up on the bulletin during the homily has no implication on my belief in Angels, a Stronger Power watching us from above, Jesus' love and miracles.
I'll be the first to tell you, Saturday night I had to put the bulletin down and listen.
Our fun loving, happy go-lucky priest, who looks like a little like a chimpunk and intones his voice everytime he's passionate about an issue, had something to say that hit me like a baseball to the forehead.
I've always admired this priest's ability to be real-life. I admire him even more now that it was my real life he hit upon.
The point of his sermon Saturday night was this:
"If you ask a great a majority of religious people if miracles happen, they'll say yes in a heartbeat. If you ask a majority of religious people if miracles happen to them, you'll receive a stammer followed by a blank stare. All religious people believe in the power of prayer, until they think they're prayers go unanswered. All religious people believe in the signs God sends us, until they themselves don't see a sign. The thing is, God answers all prayers, God sends everyone a sign and more importantly God is an equal opportunity miracle provider. You just have to be open and honest with yourself. You have to be direct with what you're praying for. You have to pick the sign or you'll be wandering around forever trying to find one. Only when you're honest and straightforward with prayer will you see the miracles God has given you."
The rush of peace that comes over you when someone truly understands is amazing.
That sense of calm relief was sign number one, right there. Point blank obvious.
I was still thinking about church 20 minutes later when we got home.
I had seen my first sign of this whole ordeal. Where were my other ones? Well, there's a carseat and a crib in my disaster of a baby room. Little Angel started on his 9:30pm party in my belly right on schedule. Then there was the day at a family funeral when I asked God to give me some guidance and send me a healthy child. I looked up to find a baby I hadn't noticed at the start of the service playing in her father's arms. When I turned again for one last glance, she was gone.
So I think I have the signs covered pretty well. What about the prayer though? Believe you me, I'm pretty direct with the prayers these days. After all, If I have to ask God for a great deal, I better keep it short and simple.
This is my prayer. This is the thought running through my head 100xs an hour.
"Dear God. Take good care of everyone who means the most to me. Give David and I the strength to get through this. Please protect and watch over my baby. I can handle any physical issues you may give my child, but please let Little Angel's brain function and allow her to lead a normal quality of life. If you are unable to do this for my child, please provide the Angel Wings Baby so truly deserves."
We'll see what happens.
Here's to hoping the words of a kind priest, a couple signs and a solid direct prayer lead to a miracle come October.