Yesterday, for the first time, we took our little munchkins to mass. Andrew was doing the second reading, and it just felt like time. I was terribly nervous, mostly due to the germs they could be exposed to. We snuck in, sat in the back, and tried to avoid letting anyone touch the babes. Thankfully, it went off without a hitch. Andrew held Barnes and I held Frances for most of the service, and we were able to worship God together as a family unit...the way it was intended to be.
Over the past year, I've had my share of ups and downs with both my faith and the Catholic church, which I call home. When we couldn't maintain a pregnancy and seemed to be facing loss after loss, it was hard for me to sing of God's goodness. I felt like we were being punished, and I was angry that God was letting us go through such pain. As it became clear that our children would be conceived through IVF (if at all), my views on my church started to get more complicated. The Catholic church teaches that IVF is wrong, yet it also teaches the importance of family. Andrew and I prayed over our situation, spoke with authorities both in the church and in the medical field, and made the decision that we felt was right. We found our own peace within the contradiction of a Catholic doing IVF, though it was far from easy at times.
As I sat in the back row yesterday cuddling our daughter and catching glimpses of Andrew holding our son, I was overwhelmed by how God truly does provide. It often doesn't look the way we thought it would, and unfortunately there is no way to opt out of the hard times, but God's faithfulness is real. It is embodied by my loyal, loving husband who always looks for the bright side; by my precious twins; by a church family and priest who are a little different but more accepting than any other Catholic community I can imagine. Yesterday, as I received the Eucharist with Frances in my arms, I was flooded with thankfulness for God's faithful provision.
I can't say that I remember which songs were sung or exactly what the homily was about, but I know that I will always remember our first mass as a family.