To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Friday, April 8, 2011

"It's Not Fair!"

We've all heard some little kid screaming his through clenched teeth and a salty, tear-stained face at some point or another...whether at a grocery store when his mother puts the box of Cocoa Puffs back on the shelf or at Target when her dad shakes his head "no" to the latest (and greatest) Disney princess doll.  Even if they're being loud and obnoxious in their cries for "justice" (surely they deserve that new Wii game, right?!) we let it slide.  After all, they're just kids.

But what happens when the one screaming defiantly is an adult?  Not just any adult either, but a mature, fully self-aware, creative, intelligent, qualified woman.  Maybe it's you...or even me.  And what we're screaming about isn't the desire for a new toy or video game, but something with much more weight and life-altering ability - a baby.  (8 DPO today, and I'm definitely screaming out to God that if it "didn't work this time, it sure isn't fair!" Ha!)

Many, many times during this struggle with IF, I've found myself crying to my husband, my God, or just myself that this whole situation is simply "not fair".  Why is it that so many other couples seem to have it so easy?  Why are teenagers who can't even finish their homework on time becoming mothers left and right?  Why are drug addicts and felons and abusers and (fill-in-the-blank-horrible-person/people) allowed to become mothers while I (a fairly decent person, if I do say so myself!) am here struggling to conceive?  And perhaps the most damaging and hurtful of all: why doesn't God step in and make things right for me? Why isn't he answering my prayers?  Doesn't he love me?  Why, if he's such a loving, caring, daddy-God doesn't he let me be a mommy?

That last one makes me shudder to my core.  It's so hard to be a Christian in this modern age anyway, let alone to be struggling with some terrible issue.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying IF is even the worst thing to be dealing with here...there are any number of horrible situations and diseases which could be so much worse, trust me, I understand that.  I've often wondered, "Why did my mom get cancer?  Why does my youngest sister have epilepsy?  Why did my sister have to have a lumpectomy when she was only 25?  Why did my dad nearly die when I was only 9 years old?"  It's all SO.  VERY.  UNFAIR.  But, even through all of this, I feel that I have always known in my heart that God was by my side, our sides, making clear our path, anointing us with knowledge and wisdom, and creating a possibility for wholeness and complete health and stability.

Still, with all I've been through, I find myself wondering, nearly weekly, if God is still real and alive in my life - in my situations.  Has he forgotten me?  Are my hurts and desires so petty that he doesn't think twice about them?  It's so easy to let those negative thoughts rush in and make me miserable, and they often do.  I'm not proud of this; I wish I were a stronger person most days...

But there are brilliant, shining, powerful days where I feel intensely linked to my creator; and I feel so light and free in those moments - ah, I wish they could last forever!  On those days, I have so much hope - not just about TTC; but about life in general and my place in the world and the destiny for my life.  But, I have to admit that even on those lovely, LOVELY days, when I ask myself the question that nags most, I still have no answer that satisfies:

"Why isn't life fair?"

We've all heard someone crassly and carelessly respond with something along the lines of, "Well, get over it!  Cuz life ain't fair, honey!"  But why?  Why isn't life fair?  Especially when looked at in a Christian perspective where we believe that our almighty and loving God is the "good daddy" and "blessed counselor", shouldn't he, of all beings, be fair?

Why are some people's prayers answered while others go seemingly unnoticed?  Why does the shameless party girl and total drunk change her life around and still remained somehow beloved when she accidentally gets "knocked up" by a one-night stand; while the virtuous, God-fearing, weekly church-goer remains barren?  Why did my mom's cancer get miraculously and completely healed while several of the wonderful friends she made at the Cancer Treatment Center of America died each week she came back for treatments?  And, to me the most difficult to comprehend, why is one man's prayers answered, while his neighbor's go devastatingly by the wayside when they are seemingly exactly the same and both have a close relationship with God?

Does God have favorites?  How can that be?  And if not, then why does he answer this prayer but not that one?  Why doe he heal this body but not the next one?  The questions go on and on...

I had found many verses in the Bible that assure that even the God-loving person can be persecuted or troubled immensely, but that God is good to heal and fix and make right always.  Like Psalm 34:19 which says, "The good man does not escape all troubles - he has them too.  But the Lord helps him in each and every one."  Or I Peter 2:20, "Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong; but if you do right and suffer for it, and are patient beneath the blows, God is well pleased."  Matthew 19:29 promises, "And anyone who gives up his home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or property to follow me shall receive a hundred times as much in return, and shall have eternal life."  And who can forget the Beatitudes, which, in verses 5 and 10 of the 5th chapter of the gospel of St. Matthew say, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" and "Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

It all sounds great, right?  But then why do some good people still not get their prayers answered?  In the specific case I'm speaking of, why do we still suffer and battle with IF?  Why will some of us never realize our dreams of becoming mothers biologically?

I wish I had an answer.  If you have a suggestion, please let me know.  But I have not found one yet.

I was talking to Mr. C yesterday about this very subject and whether or not I should write about it, considering that I don't really have any brilliant statement to make...just more questions.  And he said to take myself out of our situation, truly try to be an omniscient, third-party looking down - how would I answer it then?  I couldn't answer right away, but later that night I said this:

That maybe we must struggle with IF, because we are strong people and God knows we can take it.  Not only that, he knows we're sensitive and will take it all to heart.  He knows that we'll take our experiences of pain and heart-ache but also strength and resilience out into the world afterwards (and even during!) and make a difference - helping others who have hurt like us.  Maybe we must struggle, because when we look at someone flooded with tears and busting with hurt from a wound so deep in their soul and say, "I understand."  We will really mean it, unlike so many others out there.  Maybe we endure; so that when we finally do hold our babies in our arms we will know, more than most mothers, just how miraculous the event truly is and how incredibly tight we should hold on to the new being we helped to create.  Maybe we'll cherish them all the more.  Maybe...maybe...maybe....

I don't know what the final answer is.  I'm not an all-knowing genius or ultra-spiritualist who has some amazing, psychic connection straight to the mind of God (sure wish I did! :-).  But I do know (as I've said in blogs before) that God IS NOT punishing me.  He cannot give what he doesn't have, and God doesn't "have" infertility.  It's not in his repertoire.  It's not in his mind, body, soul, spirit.  He design for mankind was utopia (read: the Garden of Eden before the fall); I'm pretty sure that did NOT mean PCOS for Eve and MF (male factor) infertility for Adam!  No.  It was perfection, and perfect reproduction with someone we love is part of that.

It also dawned on me just now that all this talk of being "fair" is sort of ridiculous when looked at from the viewpoint of what Christ did for us on the cross.  I mean, was it "fair" that Jesus (perfect in every way and completely blameless to all sins) died on a cross for our grievances?  Was it fair that he was beaten mercilessly and left to die shamefully when all he ever did was heal and love and teach?  No, but he suffered through it anyway.  He knew the plan; the ultimate destiny.  Oh, how I wish I could see the ultimate destiny for this journey; but then, what would be the point of the journey, right?  I know, I know!

While I don't have the end-all, be-all answer, I'm going to stick behind a couple promises (again from the Bible) that have helped me feel much better.  I've shared them before, but I think they merit sharing again:

"You shall serve the Lord your God only; then I will bless you with food and with water, and I will take away sickness from among you.  There will be no miscarriages nor barrenness throughout your land, and you will live out the full quota of the days of your life." -Exodus 23:25-26

"Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." 3 John 1:2

"Delight yourself in the ways of the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

I hope if you're struggling with IF out there, that you can find the strength and peace with God's compassion and mercy to push ahead and keep up the good fight!  I have seen miracles in my life and the life of my family members, and while the circumstances that got us there might not have seemed "fair", the fact that he brought us out to the other side of wholeness, healing, peace, financial security, love, understanding, worthiness, etc. wasn't particularly fair either...but it was a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL gift that I will be forever grateful for...just like when we get our BFP one day! :-)

La-la-LOVE to you,

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