So the godparent thing was a blessing for obvious reasons but also because of my struggles over the past year with our baby lost to miscarriage and facing the end of our fertility. During our travels yesterday it was so clear to me that we will probably not have any more children and what a gift God gives us in this opportunity to help raise this little guy to know and follow Him. I can see why grandparents love it...it's all the snuggling and loving and gifting without the day-to-day raising (although, hopefully, we will always be there praying and listening to the good and bad)...I can't wait.
In preparation for the arrival of this miracle, their fifth child and our first godson!, we have been planning out our trip and enjoying the task of buying some, hopefully, meaningful gifts. It is their tradition to keep the name under wraps until the arrival (we did the same) but, being the godparents, it's one of those special perks to know ahead of time. I also love this family because they tend to go in unique but religiously meaningful ways when naming children. This little guy followed the tradition so I had a really fun time trying to find something that would be perfect. As always, when you try (even in my most paltry ways) to move toward Our Heavenly Father, He sends the Holy Spirit along to guide you in each step.
While looking for a gift which would bear our godson's name, I kept running into a parish a bit North of here that had the same patron. Being a somewhat unusual Saint, it made me wonder how many parishes actually had that name. I did a pretty exhaustive search (my stockpile of Royal Pains episodes had just ended - see? even that worked for good) using several hours over the course of a few evenings. My search resulted in exactly one parish, which happened to be 2 hours North.
The other day, my DH said (in the most loving manner), "most wives say 'vacation', mine says 'pilgrimage'!" yes, that's me. Since our trip to Slovakia, and even before, it just makes sense to seek out the religious opportunities in our every day life. Travel can be so stressful and uncertain. I want the little people to remember that it's not just us, alone, on our journey...whether it turns out good or bad. So, we started planning...head up one Saturday afternoon to the namesake parish, offer Vigil Mass for our soon-to-be-born godson and family, have the object blessed, take some photos, and head back home. The only question...when to go?
I looked at our calender which I have, thankfully, been able to keep free most Saturdays. Once the gift to be blessed arrived mid-August, I was free to choose from among 4 or 5 weekends. I'm not sure what prompted me (ahem...Holy Spirit) but we chose Saturday, August 30th. I do remember thinking that it was a full week before his due date so we could get in some good prayers before his arrival and have him and his mother blanketed before labor began.
I read my friend's blog the other day and she mentioned that "Jesus, I trust in You" was going to be her constant prayer for the next weeks until baby arrived. How fortuitous (ahem) that The Divine Mercy is one of our kids' favorite EWTN shows! So, when I got a "we could use some extra prayers now" around 8 AM on Saturday, August 30, we got to praying right away (truthfully, she sent it at 6 AM but I didn't get to it until I woke up...God's timing being what it is, I think it counted). Around 9:30 (8:30 WI time) the kids began their song, which continued off and on for the next hour.
This is the part that had me so excited on Saturday. If you have read my blog at all, you know how much I try to look for the Holy Spirit and listen to the guidance when it is provided for me. Most days I am too tired, distracted, whatever to get to that place (although sometimes I see it afterward). Saturday was one of those gloriously in-tune days. I was still tired and such but I just felt so pulled to concentrate on my friend who was so far away preparing for our godson's arrival.
We continued through our day a bit and in a few hours I received the email. Our godson had arrived!!! A week early but everyone was happy and doing well. God is so good.
I know this has been a long post so I'll wrap it up. It was only while I was packing the car for our pilgrimage that I realized what had happened. We were heading to a parish that bore the same name as our newly arrived godson...the only parish I could find in the US with that name...and we were going today to pray for him. Today. The day of his birth. What a "coincidence" that I would choose today of all days for this journey. AHEM. God's timing is always perfect. Wow. I was so struck at that moment with His perfect plan for us. How we are all intertwined in this plan and how we can choose to see His hand in so many things if we just look.
Thanks for reading...here are the pictures :0)
This is where we went:
This is why we went: