"Would you have said yes if you knew what it would entail?" This was one of the first questions Fr. John asked as we sat with him in the room upstairs at my in-laws. "A thousand times over," I answered with fervor and without hesitation. The question still rings out in my head and each time I think of it, the answer remains the same. How could this be I think? How could I say yes to so much suffering? My flesh does not understand this answer my spirit launched forth. I cannot help but compare everything in this time to our sweet Mother. She brings such consolation to me. I have been given books on grieving and losing loved ones, but the book I find to be the most comforting and helpful is "The Life of Mary - As Seen by the Mystics." Nancy Mills, a mother of five whose nineteen year old son received his crown of new life after battling cancer about eight months ago, gave this book to me. She knows. She gets it. When I pick it up, I feel like our Lady takes soothing balm and gently rubs the wounds of my heart, as only a mother could do. With such tenderness she does this for me and my strength and hope is renewed. The Holy Spirit revealed to Mary all that was to come if she accepted the request to be the Mother of God. And as we know, she said yes. So I say yes too. And as it is shown that even through her parents and the way St. Anne and Joachim were prepared, and then how God prepared Mary, I see in hindsight how God has been preparing me too.
"Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Your ways are not my ways. So far above is heaven from earth, so are my thoughts above your thoughts and my ways above your ways."
(I probably didn't get that word for word correct.) This is the Psalm I read the day before I found out I was pregnant with Stella. I just graduated college in Indiana, moved back home to California where Phillip and I got married that August, and then moved to Arizona where my husband lived. My mom begged me to push the wedding back a couple months just to give myself some time to breath after graduating. We discerned "no." My plans were to go to graduate school at ASU. God's plans were different. Stella was conceived on our wedding night. I know that for a fact. Her Aunt Monica would always say, "Well, if Stella ever starts questioning why she is on this earth, we'll just tell her the story of her conception to prove there is no doubt that God has a unique plan for her." And now I think not only of the story of her conception, but if I would have pushed my wedding back as my mom desired, she wouldn't have been born at all. And I am eternally grateful for God's guidance in that decision. So... a few weeks later after I came home from class, to my disbelief and shock I found out I was pregnant. Tears of devastation flooded my eyes for about a month as I was forced to get used to God's way and let go of mine. For Phillip and I were always convicted that as soon as we had children I would stay home. I just didn't think it would be so soon. During my very sick pregnancy I knew her name was to be Stella and I wanted to honor our Lady so her middle name is Maria. She is Stella Maria - Star of the Sea. On, May 11th 2005 after a very difficult and long labor my little soon-to-be saint was born. I unlike Mary, had no idea what our life together would hold, but none-the-less I did say yes.