|My blooming red roses|
Since my roller coaster ride of chronic illness began, my friends, family, and even strangers have offered prayers to God on my behalf. As I became sicker and sicker, the prayer warriors kept pushing on, sending more and more prayers to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is comforting. It helps ease the stress of a difficult situation by giving it up to a higher power. While in the hospital this past week for the treatment of pneumonia, the faithful kept the prayer chain going stronger than ever. People around the country, maybe even around the world, were praying for me. Wow!
But I will admit, sometimes prayer is frustrating to me. Is God listening? Everyone is praying but I'm not getting any better, I'm getting worse. During those times of doubt, I try to remember, "Sometimes God says wait."
Then, out of the blue, a small glimmer of hope appears. Early Tuesday morning, my first morning home from the hospital, I peeked out my patio doors to see some flower pots my sister planted for me as a surprise for my homecoming. Then, the sign hit me - a big blooming bush of red roses right outside my door in a place where other plants, including a rosebush that only blooms creamy peach flowers, grow. Now, you may wonder what is the significance of red roses? Roses, or the scent of roses, are often a sign sent by St. Therese of Lisieux, a French Carmelite nun known as the Little Flower. There were even small red blooms on a weary rosebush that merely was a few scraggly branches before my medical emergency. Wow!
Skeptics may say the blooming rosebush is merely a coincidence and not a sign from God, but I need to believe that through the intercession of St. Therese, God is telling me that he is listening. That there is hope.
This is not the first time I have seen a sign from St. Therese. Before our beautiful daughter O was born, my husband and I experienced difficulties with fertility. Over a course of two years or so, there were doctor visits, tests, medicines, procedures and more, but still no baby to hold in our arms. At that time, we turned to the power of prayer to get us through this first big challenge of our marriage. Cue St. Therese. We attended a special Mass in her honor where they presented relics from her life to the audience. Afterwards, we prayed a novena to St. Therese for nine days asking her to intercede on our behalf in our desire for a family. We waited. During this time, we continued medical intervention to conceive, and we also started the adoption process.
Then lo and behold, a sign from above appeared to me. I had been teaching third grade at this time, and often children in my class gave me special notes or drawings. One day, a little boy named Domingo came to me and offered me a picture. "I made this for you, Mrs. B" It was a drawing of a rose! A short time afterwards, we learned we were pregnant, and our daughter was born later that year. Our prayers were answered! Praise God!
|Domingo's rose drawing and St. Therese keepsakes|
Today, my journey is far from over. Prayers are needed more than ever, not only for me, but for my family, friends, doctors and other medical professionals, the potential donor and their family, and for others awaiting a life-saving transplant like me. So keep them coming prayer warriors! Thank you!
If you would like to say a prayer to St. Therese, here is one you can use:
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands .... (Mention specific requests).
St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day. Amen.