Rejoicing Through Heartache

By on in

Editor's Note:  During the month of November, as the Year of Faith draws to a close, we will be celebrating all the fruits of this year.  Each day we will feature a short reflection from Catholics all over the country and world, sharing what God has done.  If you want to share your own fruits with us, email us a short reflection (no more than 500 words, please) to  We’d love to hear how God has blessed you and deepened your faith this year!

Little did I know last year when the Year of Faith was inaugurated how much our family would grow in this virtue!  Since last year, we experienced the joy of welcoming baby boy #5 into our family, suffering through extreme and unjust hostility at my husband’s job, a very public and humiliating loss of his job, our names drug through the mud in the media, the scare of what we thought was the loss of child #6, unemployment, and then rejoicing at a new job and a healthy pregnancy.  In October however, Chris suffered a life threatening illness that nearly killed him causing kidney failure, a heart attack, and four leg surgeries in a matter of days.

Some may ask, “How can they rejoice through all of this heartache?”  It is our Catholic Faith that has sustained us.  Throughout all of our trials, we knew that God would always take care of us.  We didn’t know how things would turn out, but we trusted in Him alone.  This didn’t mean that we didn’t have periods of emotional upheaval bordering on despair!  We clung to the Sacraments and our prayer lives, and when it seemed like all hope was lost, we asked for the prayers of others, our friends on earth and those in heaven.

It is actually because of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick that Chris received twice in a week and the prayers of others, that Chris is alive.  The surgeons and infectious disease doctors who attended his case said that science could not explain why the flesh eating bacteria that Chris had did not take his life or at least his limb.

We knew that the reason that he survived and will one day be fully recovered was because of the blessings of God.  But God used others as his instruments this year.  Without our family and friends’ prayers and generosity during all of these trials, I’m not sure where we would have been.  It was through God’s gift to humanity of the priesthood that we could readily receive Jesus in the Sacraments and have Masses offered for us in Fort Wayne, Chicago and Spain.  It was through the workings of the Holy Spirit that inspired thousands of people around the world and here in Fort Wayne to intercede in prayer for our family.

Why can we rejoice?  Because no matter what trial comes our way, we have the Faith and Hope that this life is temporary, and we are on a brief journey (and a wild ride!) to our Eternal Home.  Along the way, I hope that we will raise six healthy, holy and happy boys who will impact the world in a positive way for the Kingdom of Heaven.  I pray that we will continue to grow in holiness and in our Catholic Faith.  And that is a reason to rejoice.


~Chris and Kelly Ley, Fort Wayne, IN