Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blessed for our efforts

Last year, at just about this time of year, our family participated in the 40 days for Life program in our local community. All six of us went to pray in front of an abortion mill and stood in a very prominent spot on the side of the road with our rosaries in hand and our pro-life message on signs that we held overhead. The experience was very positive for all of us, from Tim and I to our then three year old son. I wrote about the blessings that came out of the experience in one of my earliest blog entries entitled Become like little children. It turns out the blessings may have been even greater than I could see at that time....
This year, we were once again invited by the organizers of the 40 days for Life in our area to offer our prayers in front of the same abortion mill. Tim took our oldest two children and prayed with them on the side of the road, as I stayed home with the younger three kids and prayed from the safety of our family room. It just did not seem practical to stand on the side of the road, just a few feet from rushing traffic, with a 6 week old baby. As I prayed, it occurred to me that one year ago I would not have expected to be now holding our little bundle of joy, blessed with a beautiful new life in our own family.
Upon further thought it occurred to me that maybe I should not be at all surprised by this interesting little coincidence. It has happened before....
A little more than seven years ago the Respect Life committee at our parish launched a program they called spiritual adoption. The idea was to "adopt" an unborn baby who was at risk of abortion and to pray for them for nine months in the hopes of saving lives. Of course, one would never know the outcome of these prayers, as the unborn child was known only to God and the prayers would remain forever anonymous. Both Tim and I eagerly signed up. We took home brochures which explained the program and included information on the development of the baby from conception to birth. It even had a place to name "your" baby. We chose names and I hung the brochures on the refrigerator to remind us to daily offer our petitions. During the nine months we prayed, we were happy to find out we were expecting our third child, making our prayers for an unborn baby even more meaningful to us.
The spiritual adoption program was so well received they introduced it again two years later and again we participated. This time we were blessed with a very unexpected surprise pregnancy of our own. We welcomed our fourth child just before the nine months of our spiritual adoption wrapped up.
Now, I am not sure if it is the prayers and petitions we have offered that has made us more open to the new life God had already intended to send us, or if it is more a gift and blessing bestowed by God as a sort of reward for our pro-life efforts that has resulted in the blessings of our three youngest children but it does seem that as soon as we pray for life God abundantly answers our prayers! I am so very, very grateful for my beautiful family. My life and my home are full of 5 of God's amazing gifts of life. I only hope that He understands why I felt it necessary to warn Tim to be careful what he prayed for as he left the house for this year's "40 days" participation. I am just not quite ready to handle any more of God's answers to our pro-life prayers!

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