I feel like I should probably start with a disclaimer of some sort. I was born and raised Catholic, still am. I don't care what your beliefs are or what God, if any, you pray to or lean on, this post is simply to illustrate yet another example of my efforts to start a family.
Growing up I went to mass every Sunday, rarely missed a week. Once I made it to high school my family life had changed a bunch and I worked at a local diner every Sunday morning for the "church rush". Now, things are definitely pretty lax. I make it to mass on all the major holidays, but tend to miss the every day type Sundays. Aaron and I have talked about this a few times and we've basically reached the conclusion that not going to weekly mass does not lessen our faith or make us bad Catholics. We practice faith quietly and internally. I think this is what makes religion such a personal experience, it's how we practice or the ways in which we let God in that form our own basis for faith. Honestly, when I'm in the middle of a plank, I pray. It distracts my mind from the searing in my abs and puts the time to good use. When I'm out running alone with my thoughts I have the best conversations with Him. Hiking the mountains and climbing in elevation just gets me higher and closer to Heaven. As the days turn into months without a positive pregnancy test, my faith seems to be changing a little bit.
Whenever I lost anything as a kid I was always told to pray to Saint Anthony and when I traveled as a college student my mother made sure I wore by Saint Christopher pendent for safe travels, but it's been a few years now that I haven't thought about the Saints. Until a couple weeks ago when my mother sent me link to an introduction of Saint Gianna Berretta Molla Patron Saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. I browsed through the website for quite a while and eventually submitted Aaron and my name to the site for a request for prayers. In short, Saint Gianna was a pediatrician and mother of four. She died shortly after delivering her fourth child, while knowing throughout her pregnancy that if she did not terminate the pregnancy she would likely not survive it. Now, women around the world pray to her asking to be blessed with the gift of motherhood. I have since jumped on that train.
And so, I pray. To Saint Gianna I pray to become a mother, I pray she bless us with a healthy baby whether from my own genes or that of another incredibly strong woman willing to trust Aaron and I to raise her child as our own. I pray for our unborn child, currently just a dream of ours. I pray for all the women out there in the midst of motherhood and all it's struggles. I pray for the women currently carrying unborn children struggling with the decision to place their child up for adoption. I pray that children everywhere feel loved and know that each is a miracle.
Here it is, sitting right next to my watch, the one thing that comes on every run with me. Perfect place for it. Now everyday as I take off on my run I'll have my rosary right where it needs to be to fill my miles with faith and prayers.
Up until this point science has clearly failed us. This is where faith comes in. If nothing else, this challenge of conceiving may renew my faith in God. Maybe He will bless me with patience while Aaron and I prepare ourselves for our child to finally come to us. In the meantime, my Miles to Motherhood will be filled with prayer to Saint Gianna.