Our journey in life has been filled with rivers to forge and mountains to climb. We have often joked that bad luck followed us, but I see how many obstacles in our life have prepared us for the journey we are now taking. We tried for several years to start our family, but of course, it was a long road. After years of trying to have a baby we finally had a positive pregnancy test on this date last year. It's hard to believe a year has past since we first learned we were going to be parents. I prayed so often asking God to bless us with a baby and asking Him why He wasn't giving us this blessing so easily. I see now how He needed us to go through that struggle to walk the road He had paved for us. I think back to one year ago today with joy and happiness. Bill would get frustrated often when I would take pregnancy tests and in his terms "keep wasting money". In his mind it was never going to happen. But on March 30, 2015 it happened! I remember showing him the positive test when he got home and him replying that it was a mistake. I had already prepared for this response so I showed him a second test I took to prove it was correct. He was excited, nervous, scared, and happy for the news we shared together. We didn't notify anyone else until a few days later because we wanted to enjoy that day together knowing our little baby was getting ready for his or her entrance into our lives. All the hopes and dreams of parenting were running through our minds with such excitement. This day still holds so much joy for me because nothing can ever take away the happiness in my heart when I found out I was going to be a mommy. I see how God needed us to prepare for this blessing of our son. I believe that the fertility struggle we faced was helping to prepare us for the difficult choices that laid ahead. I am so blessed that God chose us to be Daniel's parents and will forever hold dear the day that I found out that God answered my prayer by making me a mommy.
The Pope has declared this the 'Year of Mercy' for the catholic church to show us that our God is a merciful God who loves us beyond all our sins. I was attending a church service last night where a local priest was speaking about mercy. Father Bill Kiel gave a beautiful talk about how to seek God's mercy and how much God wants us to accept His mercy. During the talk, I kept thanking God for His mercy on Daniel's life because I know God's mercy was what gave our son those 89 beautiful minutes. At the end of the talk, Father Bill shared a story of a man who felt God's mercy upon him and asked for people in the crowd to share their stories of mercy. No one moved so he asked again if anyone had a story of mercy to share. The next thing I knew I was standing up looking around at all the people in the church telling them about Daniel. I know the holy spirit was guiding me because I shared God's mercy on Daniel in such a peaceful mindset. The words flowed out so smoothly that I didn't even feel like it was me talking. While I was speaking about how Daniel was never supposed to medically have life, I explained how thankful I am that God granted Daniel mercy. I shared how I believe that by so many people praying for Daniel and by Daniel bringing many back to prayer, God gave him life. I see His mercy in our lives and know that part of our task is to share our testimony of His mercy for our son. I think it is important that this is 'The Year of Mercy' and just before it began I was given such a beautiful gift from the mercy of God. It shows that you don't need to seek out justification for what the Bible says and what religious beings tell you to find God's mercy. It's all around us and within our own lives. One of the key points Father Bill shared last night was that we need to also be merciful of others. We can do this through prayer for others, speaking words of mercy, and by caring out merciful deeds. I pray that all of you ask God for His mercy and grant mercy to others around you each day. God's mercy is an amazing gift for all of us.
I became a mommy in 2015 to a beautiful baby boy, Daniel John, who taught me the depth of a mother's love and the sorrow of neonatal infant loss.