Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Thousand Times "Yes"

"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.


  1. Sweet Francesca, I am in awe of your strength and trust in our loving Lord's plan. It's one thing to say "I do" to God, it is another to completely and fully live it out. You do this so beautifully. I know this loss only draws you closer and closer to Mary and her Son. We never know what cross(es) we will carry in life but we are taught to always carry them in honor of our love for Christ. You are setting such an amazing example for all of us to follow.

    I want you to know that I attend morning mass daily and have been talking to Stella asking for her prayers for me and my infertility struggles. I can see her now just talking to God about bringing me a baby one day:) It brings me great comfort to know that she is right there in the arms of Mary and Jesus. This thought is almost overwhelming, it is so amazing. After my pregnancy ended and I lost my baby last year, I learned that I was actually blessed with a gift...one that isn't granted to everyone...I was given a true angel in heaven to watch over Bernard and me. Knowing now that Stella is up there with my sweet angel is such a comforting thought. I hope this thought brings comfort to you as well.

    I love you. I look forward to deepening my faith more and more through your guidance on this blog. I miss you:) Hugs sweet friend

  2. Francesca,

    Monica is a dear friend of mine, and passed along your blogsite. We have the same circle of friends, but I don't know if you and I have ever met, though your Stella has changed my life forever. My husband, Joe, were married the day after Stella's funeral, and we have been praying for you, your family and sweet Stella. I was in Melanie Pritchard's house when Monica called saying to start praying, that Stella was en route to the hospital. Our hearts break for you, and yet we are drawn closer to God by your suffering and faith. Thank you for your transparency and for your example that God's plan is great, and we will continue to hold you up in prayer as you walk day by day with God's grace.