Thursday, March 10, 2011

Let us approach the fast with joy (?)

Lent 2011 began on Monday.  By last night we had visited two hospitals, had three x-rays, three waiting rooms, and hours of slow commute from our small town to the big city as our little girl decided to inaugurate the fast by swallowing a push-pin.  Mere hours after I had texted my dear friend E. about how we were praying for stability in the midst of our chaos, we were flung into the midst of the most terrifying moments I've ever experienced as a parent.  In the early afternoon while she was supposed to be napping, A.J. found a way to ingest a small, red push-pin.  Felicity called me at work on the way to the hospital, and we spent the rest of the afternoon and all night waiting, praying, and dreading that we'd have to watch our little girl go through a very invasive procedure.  As it turned out, the push-pin has moved into her bowel and so they couldn't operate, and now we just have to wait and pray.

Lent has never been a dull experience for me personally.  Every year God decides to put me through my paces and really takes the time to refine me just a little bit more.  I'll admit that my first thought was to complain.  "Go Lent" was heard from my mouth more than once.  I was so upset (not like angry upset, but upset in the way that a basket full of fruit can be upset) by the whole experience.  I couldn't even think to do anything but to pray and pray and pray and pray.  I just kept repeating, "Lord make speed to save us; Lord make haste to help us" over and over and over again with occasional Lord's Prayers and intercessions to the Theotokos.  I needed words of prayer and salvation (prayer A) and I needed a mom (prayer B).

Right now our little girls is laughing, smiling, and playing games with her baby sister.  She's talking about the Toy Story characters on her little sippy cup, and seems oblivious to the stress of the previous night.  I am so overjoyed and so thankful for all the prayers that were offered up (but here on earth and in Heaven).  I'm so thankful for the ministrations of her Guardian Angel who has watched over her these two years.  God has been so good to us, and I realize that you can't experience the joy of the Resurrection without the pain of the Crucifixion: that there is no Lenten spring without the hard work of germination and growth through trial and sometimes pain.  "Normal" may have to wait, but I pray that God continues to show himself to us every day over the Fast.

Sorry if this is incoherent, but I'm sure you understand.

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