Gold is refined through fire; so are control freaks, a mythical kind of fire, a slow-burning one that induces patience when that virtue was not an objective in the first place.
My name is Mireille and I am a Control Freak. Or, as I affectionately like to refer to myself and my colleagues in the Control-Freak-Squad: “Misunderstood Perfectionists with an excellent plan”.
My Family plan was traditional and fairy-tale friendly:
Fall in love: check
Get married to the man I love: check
Have my first child by my third wedding anniversary: FAIL
Have my first child by my fourth wedding anniversary: FAIL
Have my first child by my fifth wedding anniversary: FAIL
Have my first child by my sixth wedding anniversary: FAIL
Have my first child EVER?
Struggles with infertility
Consult the experts we shall. We live in Canada in the 21st century. There has to be an answer and a solution. There was an answer but the solution came with a risk that my husband was not willing to entertain. We had to sign a release form absolving the hospital from my potential death. There was a 6% chance that the hormones could cause my untimely demise. Not the most encouraging document for a couple looking to start a family.
Try as I might, my husband would not sign. “There is a 50% chance I can be hit by a car while crossing the street.” I reasoned. That argument was not convincing. He would not sign. In retrospect, that was the most romantic gesture ever. He wanted a baby just as much as I did. He wanted my safety above all.
Enters Saint Marina (figuratively in our lives)
While in the midst of this emotional turmoil, a dear family friend gave me a book about the life of Saint Marina, the Martyr. It was in Arabic; I left Egypt at the age of 10 – reading the book was a challenge ( it was in literary Arabic). The story of her life and martyrdom(http://www.stminahamilton.ca/2010/07/st-marina-of-antioch-a-martyr-who-overcame-the-devil) concluded with her request to our Lord: that the prayers of those longing for children be granted. There was one proviso, those seeking her intercession were to visit her relics at her Church.
We went on a whirlwind search for a Church, in North America, that would have her relics. My father must have called everywhere. Nothing.
I called my beloved sister in law and mother in law. They both lived in Egypt. I had devised a plan, would they visit her church and call me while there? I would pray while their phone was placed next to her relic. A digital pilgrimage so to speak. They did. I got a call early one morning telling me to start praying as they had placed the phone next to her relics and icon. That was in 2007.
I prayed and prayed and prayed. This plan, also, failed.
The Miracle Baby
In 2009, we visited Egypt and I made the pilgrimage to her Church and to the Monastery of El Amir Tadros, where her relics are also kept.
I must have stood in front of her icon forever. I simply remember crying rivers and imploring her for her intercessions, often aggressively, reminding her of her request to our Lord, reminding her of my messengers and my prayers.I left her side feeling serene and exhausted.
That was in April 2009.
I found out that I was pregnant on June 9th, 2009.
And today, my church is celebrating her feast and welcoming her among us! Her relics are going to be housed at our church; where I can visit her every week!
My plan had failed ( most of them do); God’s plan was so much better ( His always are).
Our miracle child brought us closer to God and to one another. Our miracle child came at the best time in our lives and marriage.
Our miracle child gave us a lifelong friendship with Saint Marina.
Today is her feast day. May all those longing for children have their prayers answered.
May her blessings be with us all.
Our miracle baby, in 2010
In 2015, we visited Saint Marina, with our miracle baby, to give thanks! We recorded the miracle in their roster.
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