There are some days where I really don’t feel like being sociable or nice. If you know me, then you know I can be a complete witch when I want to be. Notice I substitued the b for a w. As I age, I’m getting less tolerant of being politically correct. Too many people are getting their feelings stepped on and have absolutely no spine.
I’m in the process of some major life changes. The home that I shared with my folks is being sold. Yesterday, I watched as folks gave their testimony about their faithwalks and while inspiring there was a part of me that really got frustrated. See, their faith walks have made it to where they either have a family now or they have come out on the other side with no bitterness. In 2004, I was pregnant. I was married. I was miserable. I lost the baby and recognized that my marriage was over. I hated the thought of being with someone who didn’t respect me. I chose to change things and while I’m grateful for those changes, my faithwalk has suffered.
How many of you struggled with infertility? Out of those folks who did, how many of you actually either have a child now or were able to adopt? What about those who really wanted a child but life said no? Did you ever stop and wonder what was so wrong with you that you weren’t allowed to have children in any capacity? Did it give you a sinking feeling in your chest every time you saw parents with their children knowing that you were being denied that option? It’s a never ending struggle. One of the women said it best, that you go through the 5 stages of grief every month.
For me, the feeling is overwhelming. I watch women all around me who either had difficulty and are now parents and others that are so fruitful they seem to multiply like rabbits. And then all of a sudden I have this feeling of relief.
Every day I turn the news on and a child has been abducted, is hurting someone, or in trouble for various reasons. I see kids who excel and are the model examples of what children should be and then I hear about kids who are fighting for rights that most of us growing up never even thought about. There was once a time where stepping out to go to school didn’t mean worrying about abduction. If a child was transgender, you generally didn’t hear about it and you didn’t hear about kids taking their own lives due to the incessant bullying that has become a major issue over the last twenty years.
I don’t know that I would know how to handle it if my child was killed. My best friend since childhood recently had her youngest son killed in a car accident. A part of me died with him. I was there when he was a baby. I watched him grow into a witty, kind, mischievous, adventurous soul who loved life. He loved his family and really loved living each day with such an aplomb that you couldn’t help but love him. Eighteen years old and then no longer on the earth. I can only imagine facets of how she feels. She raised him. She held him when he cried, laughed with him, grew with him, and now he’s gone in the blink of an eye. Both my kids I lost before I could even hold them. Her world drastically changed. You are never the same when you lose a child. I think God knew that I was devastated. Yet even his arms didn’t seem to provide the comfort I so desperately needed.
My bitterness seemed to propel even further. I fell in love with a man who is not a good communicator. He’s about as bitter as I am albeit for various reasons. He was once very active. Then a disease ravaged him like a tidal wave. Now, on the outside he appears fine to most folks. He thinks he’s gotten good at hiding the pain. Perception is a funny thing. When we think we are hiding our pain, many times the only person we fool is ourselves. Sure there are folks who are quite adept at hiding their pain. There are also people who have mastered the art of mind over matter. Unfortunately, neither of us have quite mastered that concept. In lieu of this though, the fact remains that while I can not be with this man, he is as much ingrained into my soul and will remain there until my last breath.
I’ve been told to not dwell on what others have. The irony is that we tell people to look at what they do have and focus on those things. Then society comes along and tells us what is expected. For those with children, many of you seem to forget that those without children and relationships need things in their lives too. There is a blatant stigma and disregard for those who don’t have families. I remember working at a hospital and most of the staff had children. My supervisor said to me that since I didn’t have kids that I had to work Christmas. I worked Christmas four years in a row on the night shift because it fell on my night. The one year I got off for it, my supervisor tried to guilt trip me into working it. Should I have worked it on year five? Maybe. But I was so tired of being the one to give all the time that I needed that reprieve.
The thing I want folks to take away from this blog is this. Nothing in life is ever simple. There are no quick fixes. Faith is not a journey for the weak. There will always be things that make us question should we have made different decisions in our lives. The fact is that we can’t go back in time. I would have given anything to have my kids here on earth with me but God saw me needed in a way I still don’t understand but am willing to travel the roads that he lays out before me. My anger is not the only anger out there. A lot of people are hurting for various reasons and as a society we tend to forget about the people we are surrounded by.
When was the last time that those of you who have families invited someone without children to do things with you and your family? Do they even know that they are an honorary aunt or uncle? As a society, we let fear rule in too many cases. Love goes a long way in healing. God sent his Son to die for all of our sins so that we could all have new life and yet we all tend to forget this fact.
When my Dad died, my heart was shattered. I knew Dad was with my kids but I hated the fact he wasn’t with me anymore. Cancer had taken him from my mom, me, his siblings, his nieces and nephew, more cousins than I can name and people who had come to respect and rely on him greatly. For the first time in my life, I was without the rock that had balanced me and God wanted me to trust him? You’ve got to be kidding me I thought. How dare God take the one person that made sense in this crazy world! I know I’m not the only one who went through those emotions in losing someone I loved. Many people share the same sentiment. The reality is that God’s plan was not my plan. God’s timing is perfect. Well, no offense to God but i didn’t like his timing one bit and still don’t. Not long after I lost Dad, I learned why I could never have children. I did a study for two years and when the study came to an end, I chose to have a hysterectomy. It was the hardest decision I ever made. Losing the ability to have a biological child was devastating. Living without physical pain was the most liberating choice I could have made but it came with a high cost.
There’s something about exposing vulernability. The emotions can come through as raw, unbridled and electric. I’ve had a lot of reasons to be very angry with God but on the flipside I’ve also had a lot of reasons to be grateful for them. God never takes things away from us that he doesn’t provide something else to shift gears with. Trusting him isn’t always easy or fun. Knowing that God is part of the equation of life is something that can be either the best thing in the world at the time or something easily blamed.
I know that I’m wrestling with a lot of emotions. I also know that God has me. I may not like the way things are but I have to believe that God never gives us more than we can handle. I know that when I finally sort through the anger and the hurt, my life will change in ways that I can’t even begin to fathom. Working through that hurt and anguish takes time.
It’s okay to question faith. It’s even understandable why we all go through a myriad of emotions. The main thing is to keep your support system in check. No one has to go through anything alone. If you are alone, then you’ve made a choice to be that way. Ask yourself is it worth alienating everyone around you? Or are you able to help someone else who is going through some of the same complexities and hardships that you’re dealing with now? Have you looked at a Bible lately? Did you crack it open to start reading? Did you find any comfort in the words? It’s normal to have a ping pong effect. It’s also normal to ask a lot of questions and start to look for answers. God is the Almighty. He knows we are all struggling.
I challenge each of you to open up a little and let someone in to tell your story. Only you know the story and only you can direct the outcome of your story. Much of how we live our life is in our attitude. Mine needs tweaking and I’ll get there. Thank you for listening and letting me vent while I deal with my own faithwalk.