A few weeks ago, the three of us contracted some sort of stomach bug. It was the first time for my little girl, and she was bewildered at daddy holding a bowl under her chin. God was gracious to me by postponing my sickness until after my wife and daughter were on the mend. Of course, the week of our stomach sickness was also the same week as Mary’s transition into her “big girl bed”, which brought much confusion and restlessness. Many mornings we found her fast asleep on the floor on her big pink “pig pillow”.
After a weekend of rest and recovery, we all returned to our normal schedules. A few days later, Mary’s daycare called to inform me that Mary had a fever of 101.5. I spent the entire week working from home and trying to control my baby’s fever with toddler’s meds and sponge baths. Eventually her fever progressed to what the pediatrician diagnosed as “early pneumonia”. By day four, my wife and I both began to experience congestion and grog. (That’s what being groggy is called, right?)
Anyway, it seems now we’re all on the mend again, and not a moment too soon. The adoption agency on Luke’s side of the process forecasts our arrival on the week of Nov 7, and I would not complain if we had not a smidgen of illness during our travel.
The entire adoption process has felt like this month of sickness. Every day is full of urgency that we must hurry up and finish quickly so we can wait a few more days. Lately I have felt this great burden of urgency with not a single shred of control. I suppose that explains the entire human experience, right? We spend our entire lives trying to control everything, and pitch a fit when things don’t go as we planned. Looking back, if things unfolded according to my desire, I would probably not have received the blessings which I enjoy today.
St. Francis de Sales on Patience
Anxiety is a temptation in itself and also the source from and by which other temptations come. Sadness is that mental pain which is caused by the involuntary evils which affect us. These may be external – such as poverty, sickness, contempt of others – or they may be internal – such as ignorance, dryness in prayer, aversion, and temptation itself. When the soul is conscious of some evil, it is dissatisfied because of this, and sadness is produced. The soul wishes to be free from this sadness, and tries to find the means for this. If the soul seeks deliverance for the love of God, it will seek with patience, gentleness, humility, and calmness, waiting on God’s providence rather than relying on its own initiative, exertion, and diligence. If it seeks from self-love, it is eager and excited and relying on self rather than God. Anxiety comes from an irregulated desire to be delivered from the evil we experience. Therefore, above all else, calm and compose your mind. Gently and quietly pursue your aim. – Saint Francis de Sales, from Daily Readings with Saint Francis de Sales