I Have Been Led

by Karie Kinzler

I’m writing this from my heart for God as He inspires me to do so before the Blessed Sacrament. I dedicate this living testimony to God and for His Glory Only. I’m so grateful to One More Soul for allowing me this opportunity to share my story. My only hope, is that it will help women to respond to the holy inspirations placed in their hearts from God to persevere towards a reversal.

The following story is my story:

I have been happily married for eighteen years to my husband, Jeff. We have five beautiful, healthy children. Sarah fifteen years old, Dan thirteen years old, Jeff eleven years old, and Rachel and Jenny both nine years old. (They are identical twins.)

Rachel and Jenny were born on May 1, 1993. They were born healthy and beautiful. I delivered them without complications and at almost seven pounds each, a good size for twins. I was thirty-one years old. Prior to their birth, I decided to have a tubal ligation after they were born. I remember thinking, if I don’t do it while I’m in the hospital, I’ll never do it. After all, we will have five children who are six and under, how could we ever handle more?!

After the procedure of May 3, 1993, I felt so relieved. The only pain I really had was the incisional pain from my tubal ligation. I never looked back or regretted my decision. I was so relieved to be done with childbirth, or so I thought… Until five years ago, when we were vacationing “up north” in Phelps, WI. I was sitting out by the lake, when this feeling or realization came over me that I could never have any more children. “Oh my God, what have I done?” The remorse and sadness that I felt was overwhelming. I remember feeling a sense of panic and helplessness. God had blessed me with five beautiful children, and look what I had done to show my thankfulness.

I shared these feelings with my husband, who encouraged me to look into our options. When we got home, I remember looking in our Family Bible for guidance or consolation. As I was looking through the pages, I came across a section of beautiful pictures of our Blessed Mother. I started praying to Mary, “Please help me. I’m so sorry, so sorry.”

Within a week, I called for my medical records of my sterilization. After receiving them, I made an appointment with an obstetrician whom a friend had recommended. I was instructed by his nurse to bring a copy of my records, so he could determine if my tubal ligation could be reversed. I had never thought about that possibility. It was in God’s hands. I was so nervous as my husband and I entered his office. “Well, after reviewing your records, a reversal is possible,” he stated. I remember just crying… Thank you, God. But, he reminded us that the surgery was expensive, about $10,000, and that insurance did not cover it. This was something we could not afford. I was already working part-time as a nurse to help out with finances. Now what? This desire to have a reversal has to be from God, doesn’t it?

I continued to pray about this, and what to do. I decided to write our friend who is a priest. I explained everything to him. He gently instructed me to go to confession, as sterilization is a mortal sin. Also, during this time, I decided to visit a Catholic bookstore in town, where I started seriously reading and studying about the Catholic faith and the truths of the Church. I couldn’t get enough. I began to understand and really appreciate for the first time the teachings of my faith.

I finally did go to confession, crying all the way. During this time, I also started going to Adoration and saying the Rosary. God is such a merciful and loving God.

Through the bookstore, I was led to a healing priest, Fr. Peter Mary Rookey, O.S.M. Still grieving and hurting, I wrote to him for spiritual direction and support as my desire to have a reversal was still strong, but we were still unable to afford it. Fr. Rookey wrote back these inspiring words of hope; “While you are enduring this affliction, offer the remorse and the deprivation you suffer as your sacrificial prayer to the Lord; which he may perhaps use as the means to help bring many, who practice artificial birth control, to truth and salvation. Your previous confession, sincere repentance, efforts of restitution, and resignation to accept and do the will of God (even when difficult), will all eventually lead you to that peace and joy you so desperately seek.” I believe that God led me to him to help me continue to hope and trust in God.

This is about the time that my prayer started to change because I started offering my sufferings up to God. It wasn’t so much about having another baby, but now I just wanted to make my body whole for God, and be fully open to Life. But despite my reading and research, there were no programs or grants available to help women finance this type of surgery. If doctors can do this to women, there have to be doctors who can help women reverse this for the glory of God. There just have to be, but where? I remember getting angry. Then one day, at the bookstore, I came across a pro-life book with One More Soul’s address in it. I called for a resource book, and in it I came across the name of Fr. McCaffrey, a priest who does spiritual guidance for women who want reversals. He was very supportive and helpful. He referred me to a doctor who does reversals for God and to a woman who had a reversal by this doctor. I proceeded to call them both, and they both have been supportive and encouraging.

Looking back, if I was able to have my surgery immediately, my relationship with God would not be where it is today–sometimes God delays answers to our prayers to brings us closer to Him. I understand now, more fully, the sanctity of life. I continue to persevere in prayer that He will show me the means to have the reversal or grant me peace.

Until then, I continue to work part-time as a parish nurse. I also work a few hours a week at the Catholic bookstore. I am so grateful that I have been enlightened to what I had done and have been able to make reparation to God in this lifetime. I will continue to strive to do my best for God–the results are His to decide, but my greatest joy now is to be able to work for Love of Him. I conclude with a quote from St. Paul given to me from Fr. Rookey, “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12). I know now to completely put my trust in God and in His merciful wisdom. For He knows the perfect way and the perfect time to answer all our prayers, and I know that He will.

Thank you.