Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The "Offer it Up" Is About To Get Real - Will You Let Me Labor For Your Prayer Requests?

April 28th is the feast day of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a saint whom I look up to with great admiration and aspire to imitate as a wife, mother, and friend.  On her feast day, this year, a beautiful friend of mine posted this picture of her:

{Cassie Pease Designs}
Love and sacrifice are closely linked, 
like the sun and the light.
We cannot love without suffering, 
and we cannot suffer without love.

With the expectation that our next child will be born any day, I am holding on to St. Gianna's words, because they remind me that, while the anxiety that I feel toward the inevitable pain that comes with childbirth is burdensome, the pain is not without merit, if it is offered up for others.

Before Joseph's birth, I asked you all to share with me anything and everything that I could pray for you about prior to and during the labor and delivery.  Sometimes the physical discomforts we experience in the final stretch of pregnancy, as well as the ache of anticipation the heart endures as we wait for baby's arrival, are an indescribable suffering in and of themselves. Yet, those aches are eased when I am able to shift my focus from self to others in the offering of it all for your intentions. Lifting up your intentions during Joey's birth was such a gift, such a privilege, and I am eager to take hold of the opportunity to do it again.

Please don't be tempted to think that this is some super-stellar act of piety on my part.  It's not.  Just ask my family.  There's no lack of moaning and groaning over being the temporary house of dwelling for the seventh member of our tribe. I complain far too often about being pregnant because, truthfully, I dislike it very much.  And, since the epidural just isn't an option for me, I also struggle daily with the fear and anxiety of labor  and delivery, because people, it hurts like hell, and I. am. a. weakling.

I hope you don't misunderstand me. I really do believe that pregnancy, labor, and delivery are of the most beautiful, and privileged moments a woman can experience in her lifetime. I'm simply confessing that, for me, they can be more of an opportunity for sanctification than for celebration.

Thankfully, God doesn't ask us to pretend, to not feel, to not admit all our worries and fears to Him. But, He also doesn't sprinkle fairy dust on those worries and fears, especially when we're standing and the bottom of what looks like a mountain of crap that we have to climb. He doesn't even own fairy dust (we should get Him some). Thankfully, He does give us every grace we need to face those mountains and to be transformed by them in the process, if we let Him.  I think they call that tough love.

That's what I love about our faith, and why I hold on to it with all my might.  It's not a faith of glistening appearances, or flighty feelings, but one of sincere intent, of sacrifice, of humility, and certainly of trust. A faith of flesh and bone.
I'll be filling up my notebook with all of your prayer requests over the next few days.  Maybe you know of someone else who also is in need of prayers - please mention those needs here, too. I'll take 'em all!  If for some reason you are unable to comment below, feel free to send me a personal message through Facebook or e-mail (solesearchingmamma@gmail.com).

66 comments:

  1. For those who suffer from anxiety, depression, and fear that their hearts and minds be redeemed. Myself and yourself included!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your prayer request with me. My sister once struggled terribly with depression, so your request is close to my heart. Please take care of yourself!

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  2. Thank you so much for doing this. I am about 8 weeks into my 4th pregnancy (had my 2nd miscarriage in January). I have a lot of anxiety going into this. I pray that I do not miscarry again and I can deliver this baby at full term happy, healthy and alive for both of us! I had a serious placental abruption during my son's birth (he is almost 2) so I also have fear that I wil abrupt again. The risks are high. All I want is a lot of children, and I pray that I can at least get through this next one without incident. I have been praying to St Gianna for comfort and strength, but your prayers will help me even more. I am due Dec 12- feast day of our Lady of Guadalupe! I find that to be a good sign and it gives me hope.

    Also pray for my brother, Chris, who is deploying to Afghanistan this week. Thank you so much again. -Tricia Weldy

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    1. Hi Tricia. I am so sorry to hear of your recent miscarriages. My heart truly goes out to you and to your husband. I will pray to St. Gianna and Our Lady of Guadalupe as well for you and your precious baby. Also, I have a great love for our military and am praying daily for all of them, and will specifically include your brother. Please thank him for me for his service to our country. Hang in there, Tricia!!

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  3. For those who suffer from infertility.

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    1. Of course I will pray, Alyson, for this is one of the intentions that is closest to my heart. God bless you!

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  4. For my own pregnancy/labor/delivery! I am due tomorrow! I have had hg through this entire pregnancy and it's the hardest thing that I have ever done. May I continue to be patient and may labor and delivery be short and safe!

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    1. I have been thinking of you and praying for you, Ryian!

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  5. Susan, I am so excited for you and your family, and I will be praying for you! Thank you for opening your journal and heart to our intentions :) The big ones that I have right now are: our country & the election, and for my midwife, Deb-the midwife practice that she belongs to is closing down, so she's been pretty stressed lately as things transition and change and as she figures out what to do next. Thank you so much, Susan!

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    1. Thank you, AnneMarie, for sharing your intentions with me! I will keep you and your midwife in my prayers!

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  6. Thank you for offering up your sufferings for others. I'd love it if you could remember our family, the Mcadams'. We lost a baby six weeks ago and are still feeling the greif and longing for our baby. I hope that we will not forget her and wish for another baby to welcome into our family. Thank you 💕

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    1. Hi Lauren - My heart and my prayers go out to you and your dear family. May you receive our Lord's comfort and healing!

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  7. Thank you for offering up your sufferings for others. I'd love it if you could remember our family, the Mcadams'. We lost a baby six weeks ago and are still feeling the greif and longing for our baby. I hope that we will not forget her and wish for another baby to welcome into our family. Thank you 💕

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  8. Thank you for praying for us. You have been on my prayer list for a while now and I am very happy to pray for you as well! We are just 5 wks pregnant with our 5th (3 on earth, one in heaven.) Please pray for a healthy pregnancy and baby. We are due Jan. 1st. Thank you so much. God Bless.

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    1. Hi Mia! So excited to hear of your recent pregnancy! I will pray that you and baby are safe and protected until he/she arrives! Thank you for praying for me!

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  9. Thank you for your prayers. Please pray for my husband to find a full-time job and for his business to pick up. I think I may have asked you for the exact same prayer request when you were pregnant with Joseph. So....our prayer requests haven't changed too much since then. LOL Trying to be patient...

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    1. Oh, Amelia, my heart is right there with you as Steve has also struggled with job changes and uncertainties over the course of our marriage. Please hang in there and know that I am praying for you and for your dear husband!

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  10. Thank you for offering you suffering! I just found out I'm pregnant with our fourth, so prayers for a healthy pregnancy and delivery would be appreciated!

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    1. Congratuations, Kelsey! How exciting! Yes, I will pray for you and for your precious baby!

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  11. Why thank you for the offer! Please pray for my husband Brian, & I, we are asking Lord that he may heal my body and that we may be able to conceive a child. We've been hoping and praying for a long time. Thank you, and I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers as well!

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    1. Oh, Anna, I can only imagine how deep your longing for a child must be. Please know that I am keeping your prayer intention very close to my heart!

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  12. Please pray for me that God's will be done and that I will receive his will with a happy heart.

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  13. Thank you so much for offering up your sufferings. Would you please pray that my family find a new home, and for healing of body to conceive a healthy child. Thank you so much. I will pray for you also!!

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    1. Thank you for entrusting your intentions to me, Sonia, I am honored to pray for you!

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  14. If you wouldn't mind, my health. I have had some post partum complications for the first time, and I am bedridden and in pain. I can't hold my kids or take care of them, and as a mother it is so hard to let go and have others take care of me. If it is not Gods will that I get better soon, at least I'd love to let go of the constant fear of pain. Thank you very much, and you are in my prayers as well!

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    1. I have been thinking of you Amy, but didn't realize that you were on bedrest. Oh, my what a difficult challenge you are facing. I will pray hard for your body to be healed and for your heart and mind to be at peace during this time of suffering. My God's grace and mercy abound! Hang in there!!

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  16. Wow, thank you for your prayers, Susan. I have been praying for you and your family. If you could pray for a happy healthy marriage and family life for us, I'd be most grateful. And for 4 friends that have suffered tough losses recently. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Maggie! I will surely keep you, your family and your dear friends in my prayers over the upcoming days/weeks!

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  17. Will you pray for my friend's baby boy? Thomas is 3 and had been suffering crazy headaches this past week. This morning they found a brain tumor. Thank you sweet friend.

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  18. That the insurance company approves a bone-anchored hearing device for my husband Jeff. He has had no hearing in his right ear since he was 4 and was able to do a test trial of the device strapped to his head at the audiologist and he could hear!!! Now we have to get insurance approval. Not an easy task. This would also help eliminate his ringing in the ears, which is incessant. Thank you.

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    1. Wow! Thank you for sharing this request with me! Insurance can be so daunting...but the Lord can surely work in these situations, so I will be praying hard! Please let me know how things turn out!

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  19. What a beautiful thing to be offering up your suffering of labor and delivery for the intentions of others. And we're totally on the same wavelength- that ish HURTS. I will keep you in your prayers, and would love any prayers you could offer up for my labor and delivery in a few months. Wishing you a blessed, peaceful, FAST labor. ;)

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Christina! I hope that this has been a smooth pregnancy for you and that you and baby remain healthy and strong in the weeks to come. God bless you!

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  20. For my friends who are just starting the adoption process. For my brother and his family. Their house got flooded. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Ann-Marie! What a beautiful adventure your friends are beginning with adoption! I will pray for them and that their home will be restored.

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  21. Susan, you are amazing! We'll be praying for you and baby in the days to come. If you could remember my brother and his wife who have suffered years of infertility (no pregnancies) and are now attempting IVF....both were once close with the Lord, but have lost, and at times flat out rejected, their faith...we would appreciate it. Lots of love to you in these final days before meeting the next sweet babe!!

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    1. Thank you, thank you for your prayers, Deme! And, it is my joy to pray for your brother and his wife and for all that they are struggling with right now. My heart breaks for them, but the Lord is gracious and merciful and can do a great work in them as they are open to His grace.

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  22. For my future spouse, wherever he is, that I can wait for him patiently as you are waiting for your baby! And for my friend trying to pay off her debt to enter the carmelites. :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your intentions with me, Marissa! I will keep you and your friend in my prayers!

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  23. For my future spouse, wherever he is, that I can wait for him patiently as you are waiting for your baby! And for my friend trying to pay off her debt to enter the carmelites. :)

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  24. For my future spouse, wherever he is, that I can wait for him patiently as you are waiting for your baby! And for my friend trying to pay off her debt to enter the carmelites. :)

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  26. Please pray for a special intention for my youngest son. Thank you!

    I am so inspired by you; I wish I had known you when I was a young mother, and could have imitated some of your saintly practices!

    God bless you as you welcome the new member to your family. I will pray that your labor is as short and pain-free as possible.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, Laura!

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  27. Thank you! I would appreciate prayers for my husband and me as we balance trying to conceive after two losses and considering other ways to grow our family.

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    1. Hi Kate - I am so sorry to hear of your miscarriages, and will pray for your health and discernment as you seek God's will for your marriage and family. God Bless you!

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  28. What a selfless act for you to do for others! Prayers for the upcoming birth of my daughter the first week of June, for my husband that he is able to find his inner strength and confidence in being a father, for those who have fallen away from the Church that they find their way back to the Lord, for the conversion of sinners, and the intentions we keep in our hearts. Thank you so much! Praying for a wonderful delivery for you and baby.

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    1. Brittany - A new precious angel in June - how exciting!! Yes, I will pray for you, for your husband, and for all of your intentions!

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  29. I'll be praying for you. For patience, for peace, for very little suffering (It can happen!) and for good health for all of you during the coming days.
    Please pray for two new, young mothers from our church/school community who desperately need them. One became pregnant after being drugged and raped. She has recently given birth and is raising the baby with the help of her marvelous family. The other young mom is a classmate of my daughter. She has had a most difficult life and looked for love and acceptance in the wrong place. She is also raising her baby with the help of her grandmother. Thank you for your prayers.

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    1. Christine - Thank you for your prayers! Every week when I go in to see the doctor, there are so many young girls in the waiting room with me. My heart just wants to reach out and hold them. I will keep the young mothers you mentioned in my prayers.

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  30. For the last labor of mine, I found that I handled the contractions much better if I pictured my kids at home looking at me and not wanting me to be in pain. Thinking about them, offering up my suffering for them, and taking my mind off the pain was the biggest help I have ever had while in labor.
    I will be praying that all goes well for you, the baby, and family.

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    1. Sara - Thank you so much for sharing your labor story with me! I am going to take your advice to heart!! I appreciate your prayers very much!

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  31. Thank you so much! For my aunt and uncle who are devout catholics whose daughter just came out and my cousins family that they repair their marriage and not go through with the divorice.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your intentions with me....I will certainly pray for each one!

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  32. for a job for my uncle and better jobs for my boyfriend an for me, thank you

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    1. I will be happy to pray for all of you, Laura!

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  33. I, too, think you are amazing. I'm grateful for your honesty. I will be praying for you too.
    If you would kindly pray for my health I would appreciate it. I have some medical tests coming up and the fear over comes me at times. God's blessings and thank you.

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    1. Hi Susan - I am sorry you are suffering from anxiety over your health. Please know that I am praying for our Lord to sustain you with his peace and the comfort of his mighty graces. Please keep me posted - I would be happy to keep praying for you should your tests come back unfavorably (but I'm praying hard for positive news!).

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  34. Following your spirit ..... I'd love to request prayers for my husband. As a real estate entrepreneur, his job can be a little dicey at times.
    Much love to you, and prayers for a safe and happy delivery for you and Baby Septem.

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    1. Yes, yes. It is impossible to not feel the worry/stress from our husband's work, isn't it? I will pray for him, and for you! Thank you for praying for me - I need it!

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  35. Please pray for me to let me hand my worries over to the Lord. Due to some events that happened in my life during summertime, I have increased anxiety during the summer months. I will continue to pray for a full recovery for Steve. I pray for you both often as my heart relates to the pain of watching a loved one suffer and the uncertainty felt when health outcomes are unknown and up and down.

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    1. Laura, I am so sorry to hear that this time of year is an anxious one for you, but will pray hard that the Lord will lead you on the path to complete healing, peace and that you will know his comfort and love in the days ahead. Thank you for praying for Steve!!!

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  36. Would you pray for a friend of mines Mom. She has just found out that she has a rare cervical cancer, and they can't treat it where we live, so she will have to travel. Also my sister in law is expecting, but had a really traumatising last labour and is very anxious about this next one. And if you have any contractions left :) Would you send up a prayer for me and my family. We are expecting twins, and it is a but overwhelming at times!! Thank you and you are in my prayers! God bless you!

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