Monday, October 3, 2011
My St. Therese Story
Inspired by Margaret who shared her story on St. Therese's feast(Saturday), I'm posting mine.
I'd always marveled at people who prayed novenas to St. Therese and received roses. And I mean LOTS of roses in answer to their prayers. These people couldn't help but find themselves immersed in roses everywhere they turned. My SIL is one of those people. In the past, I was not one of those people.
After struggling for a few years with an unexplained infertility diagnosis, I couldn't help but be drawn to St. Therese and the possibility that she would shower me with roses too. I knew my SIL was praying, so I thought I'd pile on the prayers as well.
I don't think I shared with anyone besides my husband that I was praying the novena. If I recall correctly, I just kept repeating the prayers daily. You know, because I couldn't just let up after praying for nine days.
At some point after that first round of the novena I received roses, randomly, from my SIL. I couldn't believe it! She didn't know I'd been praying and didn't know that I had been looking for my rose. Because, after all, answers like these to novenas such as these hadn't ever been given to me.
Months followed, but I was hopeful that in time the answer to our infertility issue would be fully found and a miraculous pregnancy would occur. I held on to the hope of the roses.
On June 11, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that year, my lab results revealed that I was indeed pregnant. Two days later, at Mass in our small church, my eyes caught roses placed in front of the statues of Mary and Joseph. In our church, this is not a normal occurrence. Rarely in my nine years of living here have I seen roses at our church!
Throughout the pregnancy, my eyes caught small and big signs of roses all over. When I was taken in to the ER at 16 weeks pregnant, my ears perked as one of the attendants who cared for me said her name. I then pointed it out to my husband later. Her name was Rose. I smiled even then knowing that St. Therese was sending me a sign that she too was watching over me and the baby.
Even at Christmas time when I was just six weeks or so away from delivery, I found myself wavering. Fearing. Anxious. The dreaded what-ifs and unknowns of labor and delivery and if everything would dare turn out perfect and our baby would be healthy. Christmas Eve mass brought its own signs. We sang the song, 'Lo, How a ROSE 'er blooming' and our priest in his homily talked about how God grants the desires of our hearts (remember my blog name, right?) and He protects those and sees them through. While celebrating with family, I also noticed an etched rose on a glass that caught my eye. Little wonders and signs that I suddenly couldn't help but be reassured by seeing.
In the end, our Gianna ROSE was born happy, healthy and perfect. We knew we had to give honor to St. Therese in some way and decided that by giving her the middle name Rose would remind us of the extra roses she sent our way.
Since then, I can't recount the ways that roses and signs have come my way. Too many to mention and count. I continue to give gratitude and thanks to St. Therese, because she surely is the saintly sender of them all.