Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Wordless Spirit

Romans 8: 26-27
Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.

Greetings to all! As I was reading over the Mass reading in preparation for Mass this afternoon these words that Paul wrote to the Romans really ministered to my heart and gave me consolation in my own lack of words I so often feel. Yes, at times I actually am at a loss for words as crazy as that sounds. As I watch my wife grieve I realize that there is nothing that I can “say” to make it any better and the times I do open my mouth I do the typical husband thing and say something stupid that makes her angry or sad.
As you can imagine the past year of our life has been very difficult. We have found ourselves in places that we never would have thought we would be in our short marriage. The whole pregnancy was VERY difficult on both of us and there was a quiet disconnect that had taken place. Yes, we lived under the same roof, we parented the same kids, but as a husband and wife we lacked “connection” with each other’s heart. After Cate was born and she did so well in the first few months Ali and I truly began to reunite our hearts and it was wonderful. We enjoyed each other’s companionship, conversation, friendship, and really just connecting on the deeper level of being a husband and wife.
Well, here we are again. Another very difficult spot and it is not always a fun ride right now. I am watching the woman that I love the most in this world, hurt, and I mean hurt bad. As, THE MAN, of the house, I want to fix it. I want to take out my tools of the trade that I have done for years and help her “work” through this, but I am STINKING IT UP at times. There are a lot of times that we are just not ready to be around other people yet. So, who do we have but each other? Two people who have said just about everything they have to say to each other right now about where they are at and how they feel. Therefore we just sit in silence a lot of the time. It’s a difficult silence, at moments it can be a deafening silence. It does not make me angry, it just makes me hurt more. I feel like I could not “fix” Cate, I cannot “fix” my wife or my kids and at times I just feel useless and helpless. I know that they only thing that I can do right now
is once again find myself at the throne room door, just knocking on their behalf, because I
do not know what else to do.
On Thursday when I wrote the blog, “Taking Off the Old Yolk” was a particularly tough day. I had called Ali and could tell by her voice that she was just hurting and I sat there on the phone in silence, not knowing what to say. This was mainly because the night before we were on our way home and I tried to offer her my words of “wisdom” and as Dude says, “It’s not working so well.” Thursday morning I had decided to go to noon Mass and I knew that Ali was at her moms just hanging out. I called over there to ask her what I could pray for her for, but she was indisposed at the moment and I was walking into Church so I would not be able to talk to her before Mass began. As I knelt in Church just “groaning” to the father, not know what to say the words, “lighten her yolk” came to my heart and I just prayed for that over and over before Mass began. I had not had a chance to look over the readings before Mass and what was the Mass reading but the exact words, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Spirit was taking the wordlessness of my heart and turning it into the exact prayers that He knew needed to be brought to the Father. Even in the Homily the priest said, “God is For Us!” which is what I read in a book and wrote on a piece of paper and nailed to the backdoor of our house so that we would see it every time we walked out the door. As I read this reading this morning I was reminded that the, “Promise of the Father,” the Holy Spirit is in fact with us. It may not make it any “easier” but it makes me want to continue on. I know that we are not alone on this journey that all of you are with us and praying for us, but it is nice to be reminded that God is on our side too. My prayer is that we all might know and be reminded “that the one who searches hearts” knows our hearts even if we do not know what to say or how to pray at any given moment. We love you all, remain with us and pray that we might be reminded often, that God is with us.
Much Love, The Cantrells


april said...

Hey guys,
I haven't posted in a awhile - I have been keeping up and continue to pray for your family every time I pray.
love you ali

Anonymous said...

My prayers are going forth daily in the name of Jesus for you and your family. I do know that God is so faithful and that he will give you and your precious wife comfort...but it is all in His timing not ours. If I may share something with you...
I have Cate's prayer card on my refridgerator. I have it right next to my baby, Madyson's picture. I have it right where my coffee pot is so I look at it every single day. I love to look at those 2 pictures together...the way Cate is looking in the picture it is like she is looking right at Madyson or the way I like to say it, it is like she is looking over Mady. I believe that little "heart" angels look over the little "heart" babies....
I think of you and your family everyday of my life. I just want you to know that my family is still with you and will be forever.
Stephanie Johnson

the perrys said...

Charlie and Ali,
We continue to pray for you daily. We have Cate's picture on the mirror in our bathroom and we pray for you all everytime we see it. We can't imagine your frusration but we want you to know that we will continue to lift you all up.

"Be full of strength and courage. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged. I will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Blessings and Prayers,
Chris and Denise Perry

kati said...

i have no idea how to lessen the disconnect that must come during a time like this. but the fact that your good intentions are there, coming from good hearts, must be the start. vaya con dios...

Claire said...

My heart aches for you and Ali, but there's not an hour that passes that I don't think of yall and shout out a prayer to Jesus and to Baby Cate.
My prayers will never cease, and you know I'll do everything in my power to be there when you and Ali need to get out of the house.
Don't ever ever hesitate to ask!
Love yall,

Sharon Weil said...

My heart continues to ache for all of you as you struggle to find the good that God has promised to bring out of the bad. I can only imagine the hurt, the anger, the confusion you feel, and while your head might be able to reason out what that good is, your heart is no doubt hurting too bad to accept that a lot of the time. Please know that you continue to be in the prayers of not only those who know and love you, but also of those who only know you through this blog - and love you anyway! :)
May the Lord hold you TIGHT in His arms and fill you with the peace that passes all understanding; and may your marriage not only survive, but be strengthened by, all the challenges you are facing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,
We literally pray for the two of you every single day, and will continue to do so. With God at the center of your marriage, even if you feel a disconnect every now and then, He's got you both held so tight on each side, that there's no way you'll lose the connection....He IS the connection. Sometimes the pain is so deep, there are no words...only that deafening silence. Love holds in the silence. May you both feel the comfort of so many of us praying for you...we want so bad to take some of the anguish off your shoulders. Just know that we stand right on the side of you--you're friends in Christ. All our love to you both!

Ann said...

Hey Charlie and Ali -
We are still with you guys. Thinking of you and praying for your family.
Much love,
Anna and Mike

amy said...

We love you guys and continue to pray for you everyday.
Amy, Ben and Benjamin

The Magill Family said...

My heart continues to ache for your family, though I always keep you all in my prayers! I can't even begin to imagine your heartache, and can't fathom what words could offer you any comfort. I can only offer my prayers, and know that God will help your family through this difficult time.

Ragin-Cajun said...

Man, can I relate to the whole "fix it" theme. If I had a nickel for every time I tried to "fix" whatever problem my wife was having, only find that I had unwittingly made the situation worse, I could retire. Martha's Vineyard.

Sometimes she just wants me to listen and not "fix" it. It goes against every fiber of my being not to "fix" it and I have not a clue as to why "just listening" is better for her. All I know is that for my wife, sometimes that's just how it is.

You're all still in our prayers. If you need something holler, I'm just down the road. Ultreya is the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month at St. Joseph's if you're interested.


Anonymous said...

There are no words of comfort to offer, only a prayer of hope and trust that your hearts will heal and your pain will become less. Marriage takes three and in reading your blog it is evident that the three are there and as long as God is center you and Ali will always be connected even during the disconnect, for our God is the glue that holds hearts to one another. You are always in our prayers. May our Lord continue to wrap His loving arms of Mercy around your family. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU. YSIC, Melanie

Anonymous said...

I am still praying for you and your family every day and will continue to do so! Sometimes there just are no words!

God bless you!
Teresa Clark

kristen said...

Amen, Charlie...thank you for your honesty. Today's Mass reading you referenced to also stuck out to me so much. I just meditated on it for most of the day. Also, I thought of Baby Cate during another part of Mass, where the text w/ the Alleluia said something like "Bless the children for God has showed them the glories of His kingdom." And I felt such an affirmation again for Baby Cate. When we were in New Orleans today, I was thinking about her, and my dad had just showed me your post on Cooper's Care Page when I saw a painting that made my heart glad. It was a picture of a small child sitting in a sea of hearts, with more hearts falling around her. The title of the painting was "All in Love." I can only imagine that is how Cate must be feeling right now in heaven...surrounded by your thoughts, longings, prayers, and love from you and the Father. I'm so sorry for Ali's suffering, and all of yours, but especially the pain she is enduring as a mother...we're offering up sacrifices on her behalf. God Bless.

Still Praying,
Kristen Dunbar

Anonymous said...

The heartache you both must feel is unimagineable,especially for
Ali as a mother....oh, I hurt for prayers continue daily for your family! I know that God will give you both the comfort and reconnect you need in time and I pray that time comes soon!
Remaining in hope....
Breyan and family

Jennie G said...

Charlie & Ali,
A quote comes to mind from Joel Osteen's book, Become A Better You... "You can be in the storm, but don't let the storm get in you." The two of you are most definitely in the storm now. Losing a child is unlike anything else that a person can endure. You both were very strong at Baby Cate's funeral, but no one expects the two of you to go about life like all is well. Cate is in Heaven with many loved ones and Jesus which is a great comfort. However, true comfort for your hearts breaking in this time of loss will take very long days, sleepless nights and that despair that only the two of you can work through. We are here for you in spirit, words and prayers. Sweet Ali...I just want to hold onto her and not let go. I remember talking to her about an amnio when she was pregnant for Cate and telling her that I opted out when the Dr said that Ethan might have a birth defect. I said, why possibly cause more harm than good, when you know you will keep your child regardless. Ali agreed and did all she could to keep Baby Cate healthy before she even entered this world. Two wonderful parents(souls) like you two do not deserve this pain. Make sure that Ali knows I am here if she needs help with getting Ella to or from school or any other little details that seem overwhelming. We love you all.... the Garys (Jennie, Stephen, Ainsley, Ethan)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we, as wives, just want to be held, and sometimes we don't want to even be touched. Alot of times, words don't help. But knowing that our husbands are there, and that we can go to their arms when we are in need of them, makes all the difference. Sometimes, no, MOST of the time, when we are hurting, we just want to BE with our husbands...just exist...and know that he is trying to understand, but that he acknowledges that he can't COMPLETELY understand, and it's okay. We love our husbands because they want to fix everything, but we want to smack them too...somethings just need to be left alone in the Father's hands,...time...time is the greatest vessel that God uses to heal us...and most often, it's the hardest vessel ever.
You are all in our prayers. Thank you for being a Godly Husband for your wife. She loves you more than you know.

4in4 said...

I shared your family with mine several weeks ago, and I just wanted you to know that my children (6, 4, 4, and 2) pray for you all every single night now. One of them, without fail, prays for "Baby Cate's family" when we are asking them for their intentions. The prayers of the little ones are so powerful!

Marin said...

We are still here from you all. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that you guys are going through---I just pray the God will continue to wrap his arms around you. We are here if you need anything so please don't hesitate to ask. Also, we are praying for Baby Cooper as well.
marin, kyle and kaylin

Jamie said...

Offering up a mass for you. Have you made a cursillo?
With a prayerful heart

Lila Lambert said...

A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench...Rather, it is at these times of need that He turns to us full of mercy, love and understanding....when no one else knows what we're going through--He knows and He speaks to us in the "silence" of our hearts...