It was a bright spring day in May. Only two weeks left before summer vacation, and my first overnight school trip with my oldest was later in the week. I should have been excited, planning for our trip with his class. However, earlier that same day I had received news no one wants to hear. My baby had passed away. I was eight weeks pregnant. Compounding my sadness was the fact that this was my second loss in a matter of a few months, having started the new year the same way.
I came to school to pick up my daughter from her after-school activity and found myself there early (not something that happens often with my genetic make-up!). It just-so-happened that it was also the day of our parish’s Eucharistic Adoration. I had been to Eucharistic Adoration a couple times in my life, but it wasn’t something I had made a priority. Oftentimes, I had small children with me the whole day, and I could easily come up with one excuse or another as to why it would be disruptive or disrespectful to take them or that I didn’t know what to pray or…not to mention that my schedule is pretty full taking care of my children and family.
But this particular day I was feeling so empty, so lost. I couldn’t understand why God would let me lose not one but two babies in such a short time. And there I was, in the parking lot of the school and church without any other children and waiting… so I went in to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Walking into the church from the back, I quickly and quietly knelt down in a back pew. After a few minutes of prayer, I sat down on the pew. I poured my heart out to God – about my babies and my feelings, the sadness, the emptiness. And there, in that moment, I felt the arms of Jesus wrap around me. I knew He was with me, crying, suffering right with me. I didn’t have answers about why, but I did know I was not alone in the sadness. The empty feeling left, and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace.
Very few people knew I had lost my baby that week and on that trip (I had told a few just in case I needed to be able to go home). My roommate on the trip and good friend comments even to this day about how peaceful I seemed. She says she didn’t know how I held it together. I know it was those precious moments with Jesus and am happy to explain.
These days when the opportunity presents itself to go to Eucharistic Adoration, I try not to let myself rationalize away the moment. Alone or with my children, I try to go, to follow the nudging of the Holy Spirit, even if it is only a few minutes before they start to get restless. Those moments are rejuvenating, filling me when I feel empty on energy, on patience, on faith. Some days I have specific prayers and intentions; some days I am able to sit in silence and listen; some days I pray like I am talking to a friend. Regardless of how I pray, I am renewed in the True Presence of our Lord.
Our moms’ group has even met in the crying room a few times, which allows us each to take turns before the Blessed Sacrament. Have you been to Eucharistic Adoration? What have your experiences been? Will you take the next opportunity to go reflect before the Blessed Sacrament? There are beautiful prayers written to be prayed at Eucharistic Adoration. I have also found that pouring my heart out and then sitting in the quiet shadow of the Blessed Sacrament have been among the most clarifying moments in my faith journey, the moments that have brought the most peace to my soul.