Archive for December, 2013

God and Infertility

Friday, December 27th, 2013

empty blueI’m not sure about others who have experienced infertility or loss of an unborn child, but Christmas is damned hard for me – even now, years after our last failed attempt at IVF, and my ‘babyover35’ blog should be called ‘nobabyover40’.

I don’t have any more family gatherings with my many siblings like we did when I was little. Now, we’re all grown up and dysfunction wedged a gap too wide in our family that getting together just isn’t a consideration for anyone. We all sort of just have our own lives and there’s no ‘normal’ expectation of togetherness, torturous or otherwise. I miss that we were never the Brady Bunch, but I digress.

One of the things that makes it so hard around this time of year for me is Facebook, where everyone puts on their ‘face’ and shows the world how fortunate they are. That includes some that were blessed with the gift of a child.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my friends and family who have beautiful children. I want to see them grow up and I want to see their school pictures, cute outfits and birthday cakes. I’m genuinely happy for anyone who’s wanted and gotten such a gift.

What rips me apart is that some people feel compelled to remind the world that they are so thankful to have been blessed with their children. Yes, they should be thankful…God is not on Facebook, that I know of.  To proclaim this thankfulness and feeling of being blessed in public is not equivalent to be thankful to God or whoever you give thanks to for your blessing. Rather it comes across as a way to exclaim and italicize how very special you are because you were chosen for such a gift — while I was not. It is, in it’s purest, a dance with conceit, superiority and condescension.

Strong words, maybe. But to recognize winning implies there is a loser. Being blessed implies there are those that are not blessed. It would follow that those of us who were not given this gift of a child were those that lost. Those that were not chosen, were not blessed.

That feels slightly worse than being the last kid to be picked for the team in school.

I don’t believe that my prayers for having a child went unanswered. I believe the answer was just ‘no’. I didn’t like it then, I am not sure if I accept it yet, but I surely don’t feel like I am any less than you, oh fertile one, because of it.

In reality, infertility makes us really examine who we are on a spiritual level, what we believe and how far we can be pushed. It made me look at my relationship with God. It’s easy to get along with someone who does things and gives you things as you’d like. When you get into a disagreement with anyone, that’s when the real test of your relationship comes. In that vein, I dare to say that Christian women who find themselves infertile and can continue to have a thriving and loving relationship with God – the one who holds the reigns – is much more blessed than someone who just … simply got their way.

Another thing I see, and this bothers me any time of year, is proclamations by those that have been sick and recovered. For example, someone who had cancer but, quite wonderfully, it went into remission. Praise Jesus!

As. If.

One of the best men I have ever known in my life was torn to pieces, suffered and finally died at the merciless hands of cancer. Not to mention the torment suffered by his wife, daughter and me who stood by helplessly waiting for it to end.

I guess he wasn’t a winner? I guess he wasn’t blessed? I find that extremely impossible to believe. He was a good man to his very core – a good Christian, if I ever knew one.

I say to the fortunate mothers of the world, be proud, be thankful, but don’t put a flaming torch in my already painful wound at Christmastime. The alternative to your idea of not being blessed is being me. So tread carefully with my heart, Christian woman.

I say to you that are healed of sickness, praise your God in Heaven and be thankful in private, where it belongs – I promise He will hear you even if you don’t post it as a status update. And for the love of God, please save me from thinking you believe you’re more deserving or more blessed than the man that I lost to the devastation of cancer.

In the meantime, I think I’ll be putting a few more people on my naughty (ignore) list this year on Facebook. There’s not enough time in life for negativity, and there’s certainly not enough space in my heart for extra sadness.

Bless you, sisters of this struggle. Bless us all.