So I came across the above scripture the other day, and I started thinking about how love and suffering often come hand in hand.
As we all know, February is the month most commonly associated with love.
It’s the month of Valentine’s Day; of flowers and chocolates; of candlelit dinners and mushy, soppy words scribbled on cards in little red envelopes.
For many girls, this is the one time in the year where they can feel free to post meticulously edited Instashots of their loved-up selves with their other halves, accompanied by some equally lovey-dovey captions below these little 1080×1080 frames that may not necessarily represent their real day-to-day lives.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against these girls. In fact, I have also been found guilty of this same “crime” for a number of years.
What has been different for me this year, though, is that February has not been as rose-tinted as it had been in previous years – due mostly to the fact that I’m preparing for the birth of my second child. Long story short, when you add a stinking hot Perth summer to the aches and pains of being third trimester pregnant, you will undoubtedly end up with one grumpy, emotional Mama (a.k.a ME).
February has, as a result, been a month of unexplainable bouts of crying for me, and of countless sleepless nights as I lie wide awake in bed whilst trying to ignore the shooting pains in places that I had never even thought would be possible to hurt so much.
It has been a month of anxious anticipation, and of last bittersweet moments alone with my son as I keep realising that some big changes are about to hit both our lives once his little sister arrives.
Now what is the point of all this, you might ask, and why are you reading what is essentially my life update?
Well, the answer is simply that amongst all my pain and sufferings, I couldn’t help but think of our Mother Mary and how much worse she would have had to suffer all those years ago.
Just think about it, there were no flowers or romantic dinners for her, and I doubt there were ever any mushy, lovey-dovey words exchanged between her and Joseph. And then, when she was nine months pregnant she was forced to travel all the way to Bethlehem ON A DONKEY (mega ouchies!) for six days straight without even knowing where they would sleep next.
She would have had to endure all the same pregnancy pains and discomfort without the luxury of a nice soft bed, or the cooling (not to mention calming!) breeze from a Panasonic air conditioning unit (yes, mine has been switched on round the clock since December). And no doubt she wouldn’t have been able to eat whatever she craved back then. Yet I’m absolutely certain she never ever once complained.
In addition, as if that wasn’t enough, after all that she must have needed to sacrifice in order to raise her only son, she was forced to give Him up so that He could save the rest of the world.
I mean, talk about a lose-lose deal.
But did she complain and cry and wallow in self-pity? No. Not even once, I bet. And why did she willingly do all this? Yes, that’s right – because of LOVE.
So, the question is: where does this leave me? Well, I had to mentally slap myself for being so spoiled, that’s one thing.
What about you? What “suffering” have you had to endure lately?
Let us all take a moment in our busy lives and be grateful for our problems and trials, because as the scripture above says, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
And let us all take a moment to give our thanks to Mother Mary for her great love – ie. for enduring all that pain and suffering so that we may be saved through her Son. (CMN)
PS. Mother Mary never once received Valentine flowers during her time on earth, but we can send her flowers now by praying the Rosary – which is what I’m going to do after this.