Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Learning to Enjoy the Waiting Time of Recovery

In anticipation of the birth of little T, I talked about how I really was not looking forward to the immediate post-partum recovery time. But I also have to make a confession, I am an impatient person. I confess impatience and my struggles in how I handle it every time I go to the Sacrament of Confession.

I have been trying to be okay with sitting around, sleeping, resting, bathing, waiting to feel better. I have been doing pretty well, but perhaps not as well as I should. The weather is so lovely, I look out the window and see people going for walks, the children playing in the yard, and all I feel up for is napping, reading, and cuddling the baby. I am impatient to feel better so that summer does not pass me by. I am impatient to go for walks. I am impatient to feel normal again. But when a shower is enough to make me tired for the rest of the morning, I know that I have to wait.

I complained about feeling impatient last night to M, and we sat down to do a little silent prayer time. I am back to reading Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales for like the fifth time since we had G six years ago. It is so full of reminders that I doubt that I will never stop going back to it. The last section I read, the night before T was born was on patience. I read it again, and, well God knew what I needed to hear:
As to the trials which you will encounter in devotion (and they are certain to arise), bear in mind our dear Lord’s words: “A woman, when she is in travail, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world.”

You, too, have conceived in your soul the most gracious of children, even Jesus Christ, and before He can be brought forth you must inevitably travail with pain; but be of good cheer, for when these pangs are over, you will possess an abiding joy, having brought such a man into the world. And He will be really born for you, when He is perfected in your heart by love, and in your actions by imitating His life.

When you are sick, offer all your pains and weakness to our Dear Lord, and ask Him to unite them to the sufferings which He bore for you. Obey your physician, and take all medicines, remedies and nourishment, for the Love of God, remembering the vinegar and gall He tasted for love of us; desire your recovery that you may serve Him; do not shrink from languor and weakness out of obedience to Him, and be ready to die if He wills it, to His Glory, and that you may enter into His Presence.

Bear in mind that the bee while making its honey lives upon a bitter food: and in like manner we can never make acts of gentleness and patience, or gather the honey of the truest virtues, better than while eating the bread of bitterness, and enduring hardness. And just as the best honey is that made from thyme, a small and bitter herb, so that virtue which is practised amid bitterness and lowly sorrow is the best of all virtues.

Gaze often inwardly upon Jesus Christ crucified, naked, blasphemed, falsely accused, forsaken, overwhelmed with every possible grief and sorrow, and remember that none of your sufferings can ever be compared to His, either in kind or degree, and that you can never suffer anything for Him worthy to be weighed against what He has borne for you.

Consider the pains which martyrs have endured, and think how even now many people are bearing afflictions beyond all measure greater than yours, and say, “Of a truth my trouble is comfort, my torments are but roses as compared to those whose life is a continual death, without solace, or aid or consolation, borne down with a weight of grief tenfold greater than mine.”

-Introduction to the Devout Life
, St. Francis de Sales, Part 3, Chapter 3, "Patience"
So, even now, I pray for more patience and more joy in being with my newly born baby and in my newly post-partum achey, sore, tired, generally exhausted state. I am not supposed to be doing anything besides taking care of me and baby, and I will work to enjoy it patiently. And when that fails, I will look to the Cross, which carried me through labor and will carry me through now.

This little guy is much more comfort than trouble for sure.
And honestly, I am mostly enjoying it. It is just the sudden moments of impatience that show me I need to grow.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, its so hard just 'sitting' around those first few weeks. I swear the spiders torment me by weaving webs in room corners, reminding me how much housework needs to be done! Ha,ha. But something I have learned is that it can wait. Even if I was able to do everything I wished at that moment, things would go back to square one in a matter of days. Even if the sun is shining and the breeze is warm, it will still be there for another 3 months. The trick is to have peace in the waiting. I think that peace just comes with time and experience and maybe a dash of old age and fatigue ;) I miss you! Congrats again! He is beautiful :)

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