It's Advent! A beautiful season, but also a tough time of year. I really do love all the preparations for Christmas! ...the hope and joy in the air, the beautiful Masses, times for prayer, tree decorating, baking, Christmas cards, and time with family and friends.
Ever since infertility became a part of our life, Advent and Christmas are also bittersweet. So many of the Christmas preparations and activities are focused on children...which we yearn for, but do not have. Four years in, it hurts to realize that this is yet another Advent/Christmas (and birthday for me) where we still have no children.
Last Advent my dear friend Jen shared this beautiful prayer with me from Seeking the Lamp blog. Please read the short post here. Seeking the Lamp experienced infertility for quite a while, adopted four children, and gave birth to twins this year.
The prayer is this:
"Jesus, if your nativity is the only one I ever have, it is enough for me. Thank you for my poverty, because without it I wouldn't know that you are all I want."
As Seeking the Lamp explains: "I admit I hesitated before I willfully prayed the prayer. I knew it meant that I accepted never having babies on our own, that it meant I accepted our third child's death [through miscarriage]. But I think the Holy Spirit gave me another nudge and gave me the strength to pray it. It was a Christmas prayer full of pain, but so much joy, too. It remains so."
Wow. At first I did NOT want to pray that prayer. But the more I read it, and reflected on it, the more I realized I needed to pray it. I need to surrender, I need to realize that Jesus really is all I want, or at least all I "want to want."
This past year my heart softened. I found myself praying that little prayer throughout the year. It was a concrete way for me to pray for the grace of surrender and abandonment, and to give my little "Yes" to God on tough days.
Now that it's Advent again, I realize still have a loooooonnnng way to go. But, I'm so grateful for this prayer to help put infertility in perspective, and to help me pray that Jesus' nativity really is "enough for me."