St. Teresa of Calcutta is known for telling others to “love until it hurts.” Many of us find ourselves in situations in which loving until it hurts becomes obligatory such as when a loved one becomes ill or is dying. It is much more difficult to seek out pain in order to love, and yet, that is what Christ calls each one of us to do. It isn’t easy. It requires grace and fortitude. Love always comes with the possibility of pain because it is freely given to our fellow Fallen men and women who are capable of hurting us. We also live in a world where death and loss are daily realities. In the past six months, God gave me the task of loving until it hurts. I am not going to lie. It has been deeply painful, at times, agonizing, but it has opened my heart to greater love and selflessness.
A few short weeks after my fourth miscarriage last August, I was asked to help a woman who was considering an abortion at 20 weeks. A woman in the local 40 Days for Life campaign approached me when she saw my sign: “I’ve had four miscarriages. I know the agony of lost motherhood. I’m here to help.” She wanted to know if I would meet with this woman and even consider adoption if necessary. I said yes. I was stunned that out of all of the people in our campaign, I was asked. I was still in the throes of grief.
Before I met with this woman to listen to her and be a resource for her, I discovered that her due date was extremely close to what mine was supposed to be. I told God I did not understand why He chose me out of everyone in our pro-life community. I cried a lot. There were exasperated, confused, and at times, angry prayers and discussions with God. Regardless, I went and met with her. I listened to her story. She told me about her life, her friends, family, and those pushing an abortion. I realized that she had very little healthy support in her life and I felt great compassion for her. I am a mother to one beautiful daughter and I cannot imagine being in the situation this woman was, and still is in, with little support.