Overcoming the Fear of Suffering

I hesitated to write this letter for a long time because I see my life as “normal.” No, not normal. Privileged would be a better word, if I’m being honest. For most of my life, suffering has been an abstract and unfamiliar concept. I usually associate the word with traumatic experiences like war, abuse, or assault. Often it makes me think of the distress that comes with being diagnosed with a terminal illness, experiencing homelessness, or being discriminated against. Growing up in a safe neighborhood surrounded by a supportive family, I never imagined that God would call me to know suffering in a physical and intimate way.

In my early twenties, I started experiencing regular abdominal pain. At first, I thought it was just bad menstrual cramps. As I moved through graduate school, the pain worsened; I chalked it up to stress. But when I started to learn NFP in preparation for marriage, I realized that perhaps this “normal” pain wasn’t quite so ordinary after all…

Read the rest of my letter at The Catholic Woman.

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