Posted by: Court | October 6, 2009

CRHP weekend and ttc peace

Whew, what a weekend! Friday night was a bit later than I had anticipated – Tim and I babysat for a co-worker of mine. They have a daughter that will be one in January and a son that will be three in December. We had a great time, and stayed about an hour after they got home just talking. On any other Friday night this would have been no big deal, but we still had a 30 minute drive home, so we got home around 11. I had to eat, shower, pack, and sign and seal letters to the 36 women for the retreat.

I only got about four hours of sleep Friday night. We woke up at 5:15 on Saturday, and Tim drove me to the church. He had volunteered to help clean the kitchen for us with one of his CRHP brothers. The moon was still out, and it was really weird because I don’t remember the last time I was up that early.

Anyway, the weekend was amazing. I got really nervous about an hour before my witness. I was shaking and crying after the woman before me went. I knew I was up next. So many of my sisters came into the Adoration chapel while I was praying with Tim, and they prayed with and over me. It was so peaceful. The spiritual director for the CRHP team that gave to us just so happened to be about to go into Adoration, and saw me outside of the chapel. I was crying and telling her how nervous I was. She is such a gift. She hugged me, soothed me, and asked if she could come in to pray with me.

Right before I went in, Tim handed me the rosary he had just been using to pray for me and told me to put it in my left pocket. I didn’t know why at the time, but he told me this afternoon that Fr. John Corapi says to put your rosary in your left breast pocket so it’s close to your heart, and if you don’t have such a pocket, put it in your left pants pocket because it’s like a sword. Stick with me – if you had a sword, you’d draw it with your right hand (most of us, anyway) from your left side. So that’s why Tim said I should put it in my left pocket. I did, and I was also holding the clutching cross the entire time, running my fingers over the edges.

My right knee shook the entire time I was witnessing. I kept hearing sniffles and gasps the entire time. It was dark, except for candles and a couple of lamps. When it was over and my song had played, the lights came back on and I took a look around as my sisters were coming up to affirm me. I looked at the women on the receiving team and saw tears. Some of my sisters were bawling as they came up to affirm me. We were all a lot more emotional about everything this weekend, even though we’ve heard the witnesses before.

I also got to help out a young woman – age 21 – who was really struggling. One of my sisters who was at her table had asked me to talk to her since I’m the closest to her age. So I had talked with her at dinner and said that I knew what it was like to be the “baby” in the group, but that even though there were women on my team who were old enough to be my grandma, I loved them as if they were sisters my own age. I told her I understood how uncomfortable it could be, but that it was so rewarding to have stuck with it, and that she could talk to me if she needed to.

The night went on, and we were setting up the sleeping room while the receiving ladies were in Reconciliation. All of a sudden, the young woman came running out of the Adoration chapel, tears streaming down her face. I caught her, put my arms around her, and she said, “I just can’t be in there right now.” I took her to the restroom and asked if she’d rather be left alone. She shook her head no. She said she didn’t think she could keep going with the weekend. I told her it was so normal to think that (one of my other sisters was in there and was reinforcing what I was saying), that I had wanted to just walk out and walk home on my weekend, but that it had been so worthwhile to have stayed. Long story short, I ended up going outside with her and another sister and we just talked to her for about an hour and afterwards, she said, “OK, I can do this,” and had a small smile on her face. I considered it a huge victory.

Well, that night, I only got about 2.5  hours of sleep. We had to finish writing little letters to the women at our table, went to sleep for an hour, woke up to go to Adoration for an hour, then went back to bed for about an hour-and-a-half. There were quite a few LOUD snorers in our room, so I had shoved bits of paper towel in my ear (it now feels bruised inside). I just slept horribly, and not long enough. I woke up the next morning and my stomach was a mess.

I can normally fight off feeling sick – mind over matter – but this was too much. I have a bit of a sinus infection. That, coupled with little sleep, made me out of whack. I found one of my sisters (who was co-facilitator), and said, “Is there any way we can get into the other set of restrooms? I think I’m going to be sick.” She grabbed my hand and said, “Me too, let’s go.”

She proceeded to throw up when we got there. I had *ahem* other gastrointestinal issues. And then dry heaved for about half an hour. I tried drinking water, laying down, walking it off…went to the Adoration chapel to pray, and started shaking. I was able to pray with a sister who was about to give her witness, but then I sat back down. Our spiritual director walked over and touched my hand (she later told my husband that I was all clammy). She said, “Do you need to go home?” I started crying and said, “I don’t want to.” She replied, “I know you don’t. You’ve done a beautiful job. You did what you were called to do. Thank you.” I said, “You’re welcome,” then got up, genuflected, and said I wanted to call Tim.

I was SO disappointed to have missed some of the most powerful parts of the weekend, but I’m trying to remember that it’s not about me. I physically couldn’t do it anymore yesterday. I came home and slept for close to seven hours. I got several e-mails from my sisters today saying how wonderfully everything went and how powerful the Mass was yesterday evening. I am bummed that I missed it, but praising God that the women of CRHP 48 got so much out of it – THAT is what the weekend was about. Giving them the blessing of a weekend that will jump-start change in their spiritual lives.

I can’t wait to see everyone on Thursday and hear more about it.

*************

One of my sisters e-mailed me this evening and said that everyone thought I’d been sick because I was pregnant. I haven’t written her back yet. I will tomorrow…

Today was CD 12. I am sick, and ordinarily, that would be enough to make me stress about whether or not this month would be a bust. But I have gained extraordinary peace in the past few weeks about turning it over to God. I’ve always wanted to be able to do so, and God has granted me His graces and allowed it to happen.

For whatever reason, it really sunk in that I am not in control. God is. He will bless us in His time. Do I wish it was definitely going to be this month? Yes. But He knows when the time will be right. I can only do so much – the rest is up to Him. I’m tired of stressing and trying to control every last detail about TTC. It’s exhausting and stressful. It’s a relief to not really worry about being sick or if one teensy thing I do will mess up our chances of conceiving. When we got pregnant last time, we weren’t even trying. It’s about God’s timing, not mine. And I’m at peace with that.

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