BY DEBRA VERMEER
I’ve struggled with Advent in recent years. It makes me sad.
All this preparing and waiting for the birth of a baby at Christmas is painful when in your own life you are trying desperately to come to terms with the heartache of infertility. No baby is coming for me and my husband.
So, these beautiful weeks of Advent, so evocative, with the lighting of the candles and majestic readings of salvation history, pointing to the birth of the Messiah, have been hijacked of late by my emotions, my sense of loss, of grief for the babies I dreamed of, that will never arrive.
And yet, this Advent, in this Year of Grace, I can feel God’s grace stirring within. I feel stronger, more at peace. Looking back, I think this rich vein of grace began to flow when I surrendered. When, emotionally exhausted, bedraggled and flattened, I truly laid down my own dreams, plans and will for the future and surrendered with every fibre of my being to God’s will for my life.
As I type this, it looks so simple, to surrender. After all, that’s what we pray for every day isn’t it? Thy will be done.
But human emotions are never simple and so it has taken me the best part of eight years to acknowledge infertility, come to terms with it, and grieve for the babies we will never have.
– Debra Vermeer is a freelance journalist working in both the Catholic and secular media.
I’ve struggled with Advent in recent years (Debra Vermeer / The Good Oil)