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Ellen Kenst: God's Gifts

I am a cradle Catholic & my husband is a convert at age 25. We were both raised to be faithful Christians. As young newly married people, we valued our Catholic faith & went to mass every week & prayed together at night. Things were pretty much going our way, we were very content & happy & didn’t have many cares. 
 
Our prayer life became more important when we were hoping to become pregnant in 2008. It took longer than we thought it would; we prayed nightly for a child, & we did become pregnant after several months of trying, welcoming our first child, a daughter, in December 2009. When we were ready to try for a 2nd child, we actually became pregnant quite quickly. What we never expected was that we would never meet that child.
 
Thus began our journey with grief & infertility over the next 2 years. We suffered 3 miscarriages between 2011-2012. Each time we lost the baby between 7-11 weeks. We were blessed to have been able to see the heartbeats of 2 of those precious babies at early ultrasounds. After the first miscarriage, we were very sad but found out miscarriages weren’t uncommon & figured it wasn’t something to be concerned with going forward. But when we became pregnant the next time, had a normal ultrasound & saw the heartbeat & then lost that baby shortly afterward, our faith was shaken.
 
When the third miscarriage occurred, this time closer to the end of the first trimester & again after seeing a healthy baby & heartbeat on ultrasound, we were absolutely gutted. I remember being told by someone at the doctor’s office that our first child (successful pregnancy) may have actually been the fluke. That was devastating to me. What was wrong with me, I kept wondering? Why were we losing these babies? We had always planned to have a nice big family & this dream was rapidly drifting away from us.
 
It was during this very challenging time that we truly found the Lord. He revealed Himself to us in Mother Angelica’s Miscarriage Prayer - I don’t remember how I found that prayer, but when I read it the first time it really hit me how God’s plan is better than any plan we could ever have. And that these beautiful babies were home with Him, telling Him all about their mommy & daddy they knew only briefly. Our lives were changed at that point. We now understood that things weren’t always going to go our way, that life is not perfect no matter how much you want it to be.
 
So we turned ourselves over to God & His will. We started praying more fervently & passionately for His will to be done in our lives & for a better acceptance of that will. And at that same time, He led us in the direction of reproductive specialists to help us figure out what was going on & why we were miscarrying. It was also during this time that we were introduced to several wonderful saints that we could ask intercession of to help us - St. Gerard, St. Gianna, St. Catherine. This was the very first time I had ever prayed for a saint’s intercession. We found this to be so very very helpful.
 
We became pregnant a 5th time in the Fall of 2012 & with God’s help & close monitoring from the specialists we had a viable healthy pregnancy & welcomed our son in July 2013. We have always considered him a miracle child & a true testament to what faith & prayer can really do. Since then, we have welcomed 2 more beautiful miracle children - another daughter & son.
 
I had never viewed children as a gift from God when growing up, regrettably - I just assumed everyone was entitled to have them if they so desired. After our experiences, & through our deepening faith & prayer life, we began to understand how God works in our lives. And what true blessings our children are - true gifts from God. Many people have asked us over the years “are you done having kids now?” & our reply is “it’s up to God,” or as St. Gianna said “whatever God wants.” We have learned to trust in God’s plan & timing & that it is always perfect, even if it’s not necessarily what we had in mind. So although we still miss & grieve our children we lost, we thank God for their brief but important lives & for the lessons they taught us. And we pray we will be reunited with them in heaven someday.

Ellen Kenst
 

Miscarriage Prayer

My Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord— dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face— it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child— do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty— he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth. ”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool— forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.

-- Mother M. Angelica

 
 
 
 

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