So, as you all might have guessed, I prayed for a baby. I was very specific in my request, asking "for a pregnancy and a healthy baby within one year," because you should always be clear in your communications, even if you're communicating with God. He might get confused. (Haha, very funny, I can see you're thinking. Dorky theology major's idea of a joke.)
We went to confession in the afternoon on Christmas Eve and in the bliss of post-absolution purity, I prayed the second-to-last installment of the Christmas novena. As I knelt in front of the tabernacle, peace poured into me and soothed me. I felt more open, more trusting, than I have in months. In that moment, and all through the glory of the first day of Christmas, I held on to that joy. I felt real happiness - I was cradled in the palm of His hand - so I did not mind that I was completely vulnerable.
Well, it's easy to let yourself be vulnerable when you feel safe. As the feeling of joy dissipates, as I am forced to trust that the hand is there even though I can no longer see it, I start to wobble. I want to say, "You are the potter, I am the clay," but I recoil in fear. I can be open in the safety of the sanctuary, but the uncertainty of the coming months, my dread of yet another fruitless cycle, rubs my openness raw. I am exposed, and I am cold and scared.
But in spite of what I feel, I cling to what I know. I know that I must never let myself become deadened to the pain. I truly believe that if you are not capable of feeling real pain, neither are you capable of experiencing real joy. Even more so, I know that if I stop hoping, I turn my back on the One who gave me being.
I pray for the fulfillment of my hopes. I pray that there may be a time when I can hold a child, when I can think of future Christmases, without my heart tightening and my eyes tearing. But, as I told Michael, haltingly, I do not want to lose my openness. I would rather be rubbed raw than grow callouses on my soul.