Getting shots

December 11, 2009

Yesterday was Abby’s 6 month check up.  While it is always fun to see how much she has grown both in height and weight, I hate the fact that vaccinations are also part of the check-ups.  Yesterday- she got 4 shots.  Yuck!  While in my head I know that the vaccinations are necessary, my heart hurts every time she gets them.  Just like every other time, Abby was smiling, laughing and cooing at the nurse.  Then all of a sudden the nurse gives her the shots, and Abby’s smile suddenly turns into what I call the “silent wail”.  This is when she is so mad that her face turns bright red, she takes a deep breath in, and her arms and legs flail.  I know that in a matter of seconds this hard, loud cry is coming.  This cry is like nails on a chalk board for me.  It hurts to hear!  I know she is in a lot of pain, and there is not much I can do about it other than pick her up and love on her. Despite her cries, I know that she will be fine in the end.    While her cries are brief and intense, she eventually settles down, and the pain she struggles through is for the purpose of keeping her safe from some pretty serious diseases. 

Perhaps, like Abby, there is something in our lives we are going through that is causing us pain or discomfort such as a transition in life, a period of intense growth, a loss of a relationship, or insults from others.  The reality is there are things in our lives that hurt us, whether the pain is from our actions and decisions or even another person’s actions and decisions.  Jesus understands this.  He suffered pain.  He was not always welcome in his home town.  He was mocked and laughed at by others.  He experienced pain on the cross. Through Jesus’ pain and discomfort, though, hope emerged for all of us.  

While the period of pain is never fun to grow through, I find that we often tend to come out better on the other side once things have settled again.  Despite my cries, I will be fine in the end.  That being said, I know it is not always easy to see the growth we have experienced or why the discomfort in our lives is there.  The good news is God is present for us at all times during the both the sadness and joy in our lives. 

Mary and Joseph found solace in God when they were in a period of change, uncertainity, and growth.  Do we? 
Jesus found solace in his Father when he was in pain.    Do we?
Do we turn to God in those moments of pain to journey with us?
Do we see the growth and possible graces that are emerging from our discomfort?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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