Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Soul-Carving

Life is full right now. Very full. I'm sorry it's been a while since I last came here. So much has happened these last few weeks, months really. I'm not really sure where I should start and do I share everything or keep most of it to myself? Probably a little of both?

We were very nearly chosen to adopt a new baby...a brother for Kilian, due in May. They would have been a year apart, so close. It seemed perfect in so many ways. You can imagine my joy at this possibility. But in the end it was down to us and another couple, and the birthmother chose them. The outcome was hard, but it brought us some pretty weighty blessings....holy and beautiful graces, the real gifts of life and the best kind.

I was packed and ready to head out the door to visit my grandfather one morning. I phoned my dad who had been caring for him the last six months, to say I would be there shortly, when he told me he couldn't feel a pulse. I went immediately, and was able to kiss my grandfather before he was removed from the house. He lay there still, his forehead cold, but what a grace it was to be with him. Such a grace. My family has been here for weeks now settling his matters, selling his belongings, preparing the home I've known and loved my whole life for sale. It is just a home. They are just things. I'm not even sentimental. But this has been harder than I anticipated. My grandfather lived ninety-four years, full and accomplished, but as I sat by his bedside I only reflected how short life is. Even his. I'm still reflecting this. And I miss him.

I've been in and out of the doctor's office due to some strange things happening with my body. I'm waiting on results from blood work now. Please don't worry, the doctor insists it's nothing. I'm hoping it's something, however, so I can explain away the strange behaviors and the emotional rollercoaster ride I've been on for the last six months. I think my husband would like an answer for those things too.

We traveled to another country. A trip planned long ago, only now understood to be a needed reprieve from these highs and lows. I have been perhaps too emotional lately. But through all this I am being pulled closer and closer to Jesus. I have experienced the deep and profound joy only known through the cleansing grace-waters of suffering. Ann calls this the hard Eucharisteo. I hesitate to name mine this....in the scheme of things my little crosses are so very small, my blessings huge and innumerable. But I am beginning to understand the inextricable links of suffering, joy, pain, grace, purgation and....wholeness, in a very real way. And that submitting wholly to any and all He gives is wondrous.

Life in my home is very good. Perhaps more wonderful than ever from one perspective. I think the Lord is working change in me, the kind that can only happen through pain. Sometimes He takes us, His raw and formless slabs of marble, and He carves out all our imperfections with the cutting of the chisel, the tool which can really make of us a masterpiece. Parts of me are being chipped away now.....ideas, attachments, my clinging to safe and comfortable fault....and I am just beginning to see the woman He has wanted me to be for so long, and I want Him to keep carving because what is underneath the formless in all of us is more beautiful than we can possibly know.

19 comments:

Jamie Jo said...

That's a lot to deal with in 6 months, along with a taking care of a family and always striving to be the best.

I'll pray for you.
Beautiful post.

Paula said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I'll be praying for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy you are back! I've missed your posts. I'm sorry to hear about your losses.

Carmen said...

I missed you. Glad you're back.

J.C. said...

So sorry about your grandfather. Your family and he will be in our prayers, Kristen.

Jeannine said...

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your grandfather. Long ago, I remember you posted about his daily rosary, and that has remained with me.

Your carving metaphor is so apt...I will be praying for you as you submit to these trials. You are a blessing.

Right Said Red said...

What a lot to deal with Kristen! When my grandfather passed away, it was much more difficult than I had expected, and he was 96. Prayers for you as you sort through all these crazy emotions and potential health issues.

Ellen said...

So sorry to hear about your grandfather. You are so fortunate that he lived a long life. May his soul rest in peace.

Aren't we lucky to have our faith to see us through such difficult times? I don't know what I would do with out it.

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

Kristen, I'm so sorry to hear about your Grandfather, and about the loss of a hopeful adoption as well. It sounds like you've had a lot of heart ache in the last few months. The carving is so fruitful, but never fun and always painful. Lent seems to intensify it for me. I hope you get to the Promised Land soon! (Have you ever read Hinds' Feet in High Places? I think you'd love it. It's an amazing book.)

Karen E. said...

Kristen, I am so sorry about the loss of the baby, and the loss of your beloved grandfather, too. My grandfathers both died around the times I had two of my miscarriages, and sometimes the compounding of grief upon grief can feel like it is simply too much. But, like you, I was beginning to see connections I had not seen before. May you keep feeling the embrace of Jesus through all of this.

Kristen Laurence said...

Thank you, dear friends. I love you.

Julie said...

Prayers for you and your family... for all of your highs and lows. My grandma will be 100 this May and I can't even imagine the day I will have to say goodbye. I also feel some soul-carving happening here, too. I'm ashamed to say that I'm not liking it too much. I've having a difficult time trusting- only fearing.

Mary said...

prayers, blessings and grace my friend...

Kristen Laurence said...

Oh Julie, I am pausing to pray for you right now! Be strong! I am only beginning to learn that the dark hours are really the most wondrous...when we feel alone and friends abandon. How He gives us these times to draw us closer to Him!

Ruth said...

I'm so sorry, Kristen. I'll remember you in my prayers.

Grace in my Heart said...

Kristen, I am so sorry to hear about all you are going through right now. Please know you are in my prayers.

I've missed you here in blogland and am glad you are posting again! Your sweet K is getting so big. Such a cute picture of him!

Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss.I never knew any of my grandparents but my parents are getting older and are not in the best of health. I dread the day when they pass on.
On another note, my husband and I have been waiting close to three years now to be matched with a birthmother of what will be our first child. So many opportunities have fallen through and I know well the pain of it.
I was wondering if you have any advice on adopting multiple times on limited income. We'd love to have more children after the first one finally arrives hopefully soon. Honestly, it'll be tough paying the adoption expenses for this one and I'd like to be a stay at home mom but don't know how we could pay our bills. Still hoping we can manage somehow God willing.

Christine Falk Dalessio said...

I just happened on your blog through little catholic bubble. It seems like you are dealing with so much, and loss in every way can be so heavy in a woman's heart. Your thoughts are so open and encouraging, and beautiful - thank you for sharing.

Judi Nowak said...

Dear Kristen, Hello! I stumbled upon your blog while searching for something else and soon became fascinated with your writing style and your story. You are an amazing young woman! I hope you are well since it's been a while since your last post. Sending you prayers for many Easter blessings. Judi