There’s a story that I’ve told to friends about prayer and God and my youngest daughter. It goes something like this…
After giving birth to my two older daughters I had a strong sense that our family was not quite complete. I wanted just one more child. And I had a bit of a deadline. I was in my 30’s and I didn’t want a gap of more than 5 years between my children. I had been trying for 2 years and even though my two girls were 3 and 4 years old it felt like I was running out of time.
My constant prayer was, “God, I want a baby.” That’s it. I figured God already knew the details, I just needed to express the prayer. But after 2 years of telling God I wanted a baby I was starting to get the impression that God’s answer might be “no”.
I felt that I was being a little greedy to want one more child. I already had two bright beautiful girls. But I knew I was going to be devastated and that my family wouldn’t be complete. Still I had to come to grips with a reality that might not include one more baby. And that was when my prayer changed.
God, you know that I want another baby more than anything. And I know that this might not happen. If this baby is not to be God then I want you to grieve this baby with me.
It was a startling concept to me that God would grieve with me in my sadness. But it was such a strong revelation that I count it among the few definitive things I can say about God without question. God does not leave us alone in our grief. God grieves with us.
Well like all revelations of God over time we tend to forget just how big and enduring those truths are. I have been grieving for nearly a year the loss of walking the Camino de Santiago in 2020. I not only didn’t think God was grieving with me, I was pretty sure that God was punishing me. Maybe I was making the Camino more important than God. I must have made an idol of my walk. I know the Camino has become very central to my life.
I held out hope up until 3 weeks before I was supposed to leave on Camino last year. At that point I had to tell myself I wasn’t going to be able to travel to Europe. I wasn’t going to see my cousins in France and one has died since then of Parkinson’s with complications from Covid. And I was not going to be walking in Spain. So I cancelled my reservations and set my sights on 2021.
Those of you who know me know that I do have 3 daughters. My oldest two were 4 and 5 when our third daughter joined us. My family is complete and still growing with 5 grandchildren to add to the count. The youngest was born just 6 weeks ago.
Do I still want to walk the Camino? More than ever. Will I be disappointed if it doesn’t happen this year? Absolutely!
God, you know that I want to walk the Camino de Santiago again more than anything. And I know that this might not happen. If this Camino is not to be God then I want you to grieve this loss with me.
Addendum: I just got my first covid vaccination and am scheduled to get the second one on April 1st. Gee I hope that won’t turn out to be an April Fool’s Joke 😮