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My Empty Womb

In 2001, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. At the time, it was a condition not known by many, and being treated with few options. I was a young mother in my early 20s, and also distant from the beautiful teachings of the Catholic Church.

I put my health first, and did not invite any spiritual discernment for my choices.

I did not experience infertility like other women, but I experienced a tremendous amount of pain a few weeks of every month. My pain also created a distance between my husband and me, limiting the beautiful intimacy that God designed for us as a married couple. After much frustration, I succumbed to the pressure of society and went on birth control. I also received monthly injections, and participated in medical research studies.

It seemed like I was doing everything I could to get rid of the pain, but it wasn’t enough.

Finally after the birth of our third child, my doctor encouraged me to have a hysterectomy. He convinced me that going through with the procedure would eliminate all my pain, and allow me to live life to its fullness. Once again, I didn’t consult God, or enter into spiritual discernment.

My husband and I felt it was our only option, so we agreed.

Immediately following, the endo pain went away, but a new pain emerged in my heart. What did I do? I had always desired more children, but now I could no longer conceive or carry life in my womb. I blamed myself and fell into depression.

That is when I finally invited God.

I have no idea how different my choices would have been with God involved early on, but I do know that he would have eased the pain in my heart. Why do we wait so long to dwell with him? Through all the years of pain and confusion, Jesus was available to comfort me – all I had to do was make the invitation. That would have opened up other doors of support within the Church, my community and forgiveness.

It’s never too late to spend time with Jesus, especially when you are in pain and filled with despair. Because of his intervention, I forgave myself. I no longer carry the burden of my choices; I am finally free and you can be too!

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Jo Holt

Jo is a carpooling, multi-tasking wife and mother of three whimsical teenagers, who frequents the sacraments and finds humor while juggling her complicated life and praying for the gift of bi-location, so she can enjoy the art of simplicity.

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