Years ago a priest told me “No one is called to infertility. You’re called to be fruitful.”
It took me a good long time to figure out what this means, but I think I’ve finally gotten there, thanks to Jesus. Let me explain.
For a good 12 years, I spent a lot of time crying over not having a uterus. Now, and really it has to be a miracle, my tears have changed into laughter. That’s not to say that I don’t still feel the pain of infertility (Mother’s Day Mass was very hard), but something else has been going on, and I want to tell you all about it.
About two years ago, someone told me that they received a vision of my children. They (my children) were in heaven, they were with Jesus, and they knew that they couldn’t be born to me and James, but they loved us very much. I wondered, “How can this be?” But now, I think I finally understand.
I’ve had this feeling lately that somehow, despite permanent infertility, I will have more children than my Nana—who had 10. These aren’t necessarily legally adopted or even actual children, but rather they are people of all ages. Just ordinary people with their own lives, and somehow I will be a mother to them. And someday, after I die, I’ll get to see all of them, and who I impacted, and how. I think about this, and it fills me up to a point where I just have to cry – but from joy.
A few months back, there was a moment when I received Jesus in Communion, talked to him about my parish, and he told me that my parish family (and all the Catholic faithful) are indeed real family that even shares the same blood – His. We are blood family. I can’t really explain why that hit me so deeply – perhaps years of feeling hopeless in that my family would never truly grow. But it will. And it’s already bigger than I think it is.
And following this realization, the Lord brought me several opportunities to act upon this, and be “fruitful” in a sense.
In May, I went to a meeting where the Lord used me to encourage and inspire people on my parish staff to go out on social media to meet the world. “Be not afraid of vicious comments.” “Christ has no Facebook page but yours.” What started as a strategizing meeting for these people to pick my brain turned into an occasion for the Holy Spirit. I was on FIRE. The Lord wasn’t just using my professional knowledge to help the parish – he was using ME – my personality, my joy, my enthusiasm. The next thing I knew, they had asked me to run it for them, and here I am finally with a real outlet to use my marketing skills for something I truly believe in.
Also in May, James and I hosted a dinner party at our house for my sister and mother’s birthdays. As usual when we’re hosting something, I told Jesus that it’s his house, his party, and his job to please take care of everything and make sure it goes well. Per usual, he was all in favor of this, and we had the most wonderful time. James and I could really see what the Catechism means when it mentions that couples without children can “radiate a fruitfulness of hospitality.” We’ve had at least two more dinner parties since then, and I’ve found that I am the most happy when I’m having people over for dinner.
We even happened to host several cousins, my sister, and a new priest-friend for dinner on the feast day of St. Martha – which was kind of hilariously ironic yet absolutely fabulous. My sister and I decided we might need to make that a tradition.
I find myself now, at the start of August, brimming with joy. Sure, there are plenty of stressful things going on, but for the first time in my life, I really feel like I’m using my talents for God, and that just makes me so very happy. I’m meeting new people, making new friends, and learning new skills. I feel so alive.
Thinking on all of these things now, I’m in awe of how much things have changed for me. Jesus doesn’t see me as “infertile” or “barren” and he doesn’t want me to see myself that way either. He loves me (and you!) just as we are and will use us in his own way to build up the kingdom. And those crosses that we carry – he’ll use those too, and through all of this, he’s creating something absolutely wonderful.
“Behold, I make all things new.” -Revelation 21:5