When the rubber hits the road

Remember my post from Sunday about being called to be saints? Well, when I wrote that I meant it. We’re not just called to be saintly when times are easy and when things are going our way. If we can’t put forth the effort to overcome temptations to small things, how do we think we will do when something big comes along? 

I’m not exactly having an easy time right now. Gabriel is dead and I still haven’t gone into labor. I know that for those who have experienced the loss of a child during pregnancy, they understand how hard this is. For others, perhaps they can imagine (but I had to learn a long time ago to forgive those who don’t understand).

I have to keep going. Keep taking care of Miss Moppet. Keep trying to drag Pickles through spelling and math and reading. Keep breaking up arguments, keep washing clothes, keep going to church services three times a week. Keep functioning and going to doctor’s appointments weekly.

More importantly I have to keep praying. Keep resisting temptations. The demons hate us and want to destroy us. They don’t take breaks out of compassion when we’re suffering. They follow up to their own advantage. They use situations like this to sow seeds of discord, to tempt us to compare ourselves to others and thereby to feel envy. Every single time I have lost a baby, it was while I was due within days (or even on the same day) as someone else I knew. It was painful to watch someone else’s pregnancy progress normally long after my baby had been buried and “Memory Eternal” sung. Long after people had forgotten, and thought I had too. This time is no different (of course) and I am struggling again. But we are not given a free pass.

On the one hand, people can say it is natural to feel this way. But it is also natural to feel anger, envy, etc., and we call those things sins. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is good or acceptable. We are supposed to be, with the help of God’s grace, overcoming our natures, not wallowing in them. On the other hand, we are not called to beat ourselves up either, feel self-hatred for entertaining the temptations the demons throw at us. God never wants us to hate ourselves. That too is from the devil. He has been around a long time and has a lot of experience. If we reject a temptation then he throws at us an additional temptation to pride. If we fall into it, and we later reject it, then we get a temptation to self-loathing. The important thing is to never stay down when we fall. Always get back up, ignore it, look to God and keep going. The slings and arrows of the evil one will not stop. In fact, they will increase. But they can only penetrate when we allow it.

I’m not saying this because I’m good; far from it. I fall down like everyone else. Every single thing I say not to do, I have done, over and over. As I said, I’m struggling. But the important thing is to keep struggling. With God’s help and everyone’s prayers, this too will pass.

4 thoughts on “When the rubber hits the road

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