“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” – 1 Samuel 1:27
This has been my personal prayer since the day we found out that we are expecting a child – a baby boy. It has been eight months of overwhelming joy and happiness mixed with a healthy dose of the anxieties and worries that come with it.
My pregnancy has been nothing like what I expected or imagined. I’ve been lucky to have had no morning sickness and very few complications in spite of my age. I’m 37 now and will be 38 when I give birth, which is apparently considered “high risk.” Yet, my entire pregnancy has proved otherwise so far.
There are many women who struggle with infertility. I know because I was one of them. As a divorced/annulled woman, who is now married to the most wonderful husband, I remember trying to conceive without success. There were many visits to the Gianna Center, a pro-life health and fertility center, committed to honoring “a woman’s dignity and the sanctity of human life.” It was difficult. I had lost all hope for a long time.
Although my heart desired children, I was ready to be OK with not being able to be a mother. It was very hard to take that strong desire and lay it down, to ask Jesus to give me the strength to be OK with that desire not being fulfilled if it wasn’t His will.
And now, after marrying the love of my life, God has allowed the desires of my heart to be fulfilled. I couldn’t be more grateful for this beautiful gift.
In a few weeks, I will enter into a new stage of my life as a mother; I feel ready and anxious at the same time.
Having once owned a daycare, people tell me I’ll know exactly what to do, but the difference is, I don’t return this child at the end of the day.
This child will be mine. I have the responsibility, along with my husband, to fill him with love and teach him many wonderful things, especially all about God’s love and wonderful plans for our lives, about our beautiful faith and how it has helped us come closer to God’s heart with all the gifts He offers us.
I have the responsibility to teach him also about suffering and disappointment – the difficult things we face – and to remind him that though we are in this world, we are not of it. We have an eternity with our Lord to look forward to.
I look forward to holding my baby boy and starting this new journey with my husband. My prayer life has been filled with prayers for us, for him and for God to prepare me to be the mother He wishes me to be. I’m ready to deepen the sacrificial love that comes with the sacrament of marriage.
I pray that God helps me deepen this love as I prepare to put my child also before myself. I pray that Our Lady, who knew exactly what it was to practice sacrificial love, may always be with me to guide and lead me to Jesus when I fall short.
May our Holy Mother Mary always intercede for mothers everywhere, and may God and His love be the center of our family – and every family.
Alverlis is a full-time worship leader in the Diocese of Brooklyn.