Ok, I'm going to start by asking you to forgive me for the lapse in posts. There are beans to spill, but before spilling them I had to process them myself. And now it is time. (Don't worry, this post is long enough to make up for the lapse!)
Remember a long time ago, during one of my 7QT posts, when I said that we might have secret (not baby related) news? And how there might not be any news at all, but if there was, I was going to share it as soon as I could?
Ok, and then remember when I told you about the story of RG, and how, at the beginning of that story, I told you about how little A was planned for a very particular time in our lives? Remember how I said that she was my witness that women don't need abortions in order to do great things for themselves?
Well, I'm feeling a little more affirmed in that insight right about now. I really do think God is asking me to witness this very particular truth, and He is asking me to be a witness for life and the Church in my own life, and in kind of a big way (at least, it's significant to me).
Ok, ok, the news already! Sorry. I'm a fan of prefaces.
I've been admitted to a doctoral program in medieval English, set to start three weeks after my due date. And we're going. We're picking up and moving across a few states, and we're going to live in student housing with our toddler and our newborn. I'm going to study medieval literature, and continue my research on the sacrament of penance in secular writing of late medieval England. It's absolutely a dream come true. Really, it's many many prayers and much hard work come to fruition. It's a whole lotta sacrifices made by my husband that are becoming fruitful in the way we'd always hoped they would. It's the Lord asking me to do this now, at this time, in this situation. And it's Him asking me to trust Him in a big big way, again.
You see, we had applied for Ph.D programs before. We applied before we even dreamed of RG. And I didn't get in to any programs then. That was a difficult disappointment, but it was only the beginning of a really difficult period in my life. The Lord was asking me to do something else for a little while--something else that included the worst thing that ever happened to me, losing my baby boy. The Lord was asking me to grow with Him for a while, before sending me off to do this. O God, how I praise you for your providence! For He knew I'd be heading into a very secular and worldly place (the land of academia), to do His work.
I know it's His work, because a long time ago, the Lord had put it on my heart to spend my career researching real Catholicity in medieval literature, because that period is so misunderstood as the downfall of the Catholic church, due to the protestant reformation. And, though it may not be humble to admit this, I honestly feel the Lord is asking me to do what I can to redeem it through my research. And it has been this very research that has been the most successful, and the most fulfilling. But He knew I would need Him in a way I couldn't have before.
I knew I would need to trust Him, and that really trusting in His plan would be the only way to be happy. I only really came to that realization as a result of RG's death. Yet, when we were trying so desperately to conceive after RG died, and we kept getting BFNs, I was getting nervous, because I knew there was a chance that I might be accepted to one of the programs for which I was applying, and that the longer it took us to conceive, the closer our potential due date would be to the start (or the middle) of the academic year. And once October passed, with no positive test, I knew it was up to us to either keep trying to conceive, and put our trust in the Lord that He would make it work if both possibilities came up positive, or to stop trying to conceive and put it off for another year.
However, the Lord made it clear to me that if we stopped trying, and put it off for another year, then we weren't really trusting Him at all. We would be taking matters into our own hands, and not respecting His ability to give life when He wishes, nor his ability to make things work for us in the event that both would happen at the same time. It would be flying in the face of the call to witness I had felt when we had little A. So we made up our minds to will ourselves to trust, though I have to admit I was afraid. I had given birth during grad school before, and it was rewarding, but it wasn't easy. At all.
But since when is trusting in the Lord an easy thing to do? If I really loved Him, then I needed to trust in Him.
And now, I do. I know I need the Lord to do this work. I need to trust Him more than ever before, and I need to serve Him by doing what He has asked me to do. Even though it's going to be hard. It's going to be exhausting being a mother of a toddler and a newborn while attending classes, writing papers, and teaching. I'm going to have to work really hard and be at the top of my game, compared to most of my colleagues who have no such responsibilities. But the Lord will sustain me. And it will be worth the work, worth the lack of sleep.
And honestly, it is going to be fun. I know I'm not the only one out there who has done this, so I truly hope I do not sound boastful. I just have to say what is on my heart. I know there are women out there who have shown this challenge their victory faces. And I'm ready to join their ranks, because God is asking me to. And as with everything I've been trying to do since RG died, I must give Him my fiat.