Beautiful Scandalous Way Random Night
Reflections on Infertility and Inspirations
(I wrote this essay/article about fourteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with endometriosis. It was never published, though, I wanted to submit it to several Christian magazines. I was told, though, by several Christian friends that the topic of female issues was inappropriate, so it languished in my computer. At the time, I was single, not dating, and working towards becoming a missionary, while spending my days employed in an office, my evenings singing, and considered myself to be close to God. This article has a very religious bias, so be warned. I titled this Beautiful Scandalous Way Random Night because this came to be in an evening epiphany of writing and I liked the praise song “Beautiful Scandalous Night” and while it feeled random, but really wasn’t, I liked the idea of using it for a title.)
One evening, this past fall, I sat for hours writing pages in my journal and crying buckets on the phone to my mother. There must have been some mighty supernatural actions going on elsewhere. I don’t know if some of my friends had gotten my e-mail the previous night, and dedicated to praying on the spot, but as I sat there crying and bemoaning my fate, I could’ve sworn ten thousand angels were in my bedroom singing praise songs, and even some were playing a game of keep-away with the unfolded, clean pile of laundry that my roommate unceremoniously dumped on my bedroom floor in an attempt to get it out of her way. I don’t know what exactly, but something was happening.
Two months prior, I spent an irregular amount of time in and out of different medical facilities for “female” troubles. I missed some work and was tested by a slew of medical professionals. Long story short, I was told that my “funky” hormones and my medical problems might indicate my body’s incapability of carrying a baby to full term. Past history of similar “female” problems, a past miscarriage, and the current situation led to a diagnosis of a future of infertility.
I was reflecting on this latest drawback, and thinking back on past experiences, past disappointments, past trials, the gallons of tears cried over other issues –some significant, some trivial, but all major at the times they were cried over –and my mom said some blunt words to me over the phone. Her first response was what kind of a nutty doctor tells a young single girl that she can’t have kids? Then, shouldn’t that be an issue when I actually get married? Then she hit me with the doozy that I might not get married anyways, so there’d still be no children for me. My shocked response was uhm, thanks Mom, for the encouragement, needed that, here’s a tissue. She goes on to say, “If I can’t be a grandmother, and you can’t be a mother, I don’t care. It’s really God’s problem to worry over, not mine. Today’s got enough trouble, why should I worry about your future, when God is in control?” I sat there stammering, not knowing what to say. My mom was completely unconcerned. After we hung up, I sat there journaling, praying, thinking, staring at the wall… and some “stuff” came to me.
It seems to me that disaster seems to follow me around, and trials seem to pile up at one time. At times, I’ve felt like God has yanked the carpet out from under my feet, rocking my safe little world, and I’m left on my face, on the floor, looking down and having a pity party. Until He finally takes my chin in His hand, focuses my eyes on Him, and tells me to get up. Sometimes –ok, so like always –I have to repent of something, give up something, and then I follow where He’s leading. Often it seems I follow into the next trauma. As I’m sitting there, pontificating, a lot more kept on coming to me, until I felt the carpet rip out from under me, and I landed this time, flat on my back, looking up and laughing at the sky, as I was bathed in amazing and quite surprisingly peaceful joy.
It seems to me that God is giving me another chance. He’s giving me a chance to prove myself faithful or faithless. He’s giving me a chance to respond like Job (who’s always been my hero) did. He’s letting me decide if I want to walk uprightly, hold onto my integrity, worship, and keep my mouth from leading me into sin (which happens a lot!). He’s letting me have a testimony of a little suffering that tells a witness louder than words I could say. He’s giving me an opportunity to either praise Him or curse Him. Also, it seems to me, that through my trauma, God is helping others to pray, and deepening their walks with Him as they intercede for me. It seems to me that nothing is really a big surprise to the Lord, and He’s going to most likely surprise us all, in one way or another.
So, I don’t understand all that’s going on, and although I feel hard pressed on every side, I’m so amazingly not crushed. Although I’m perplexed, I’m not to the point of despair yet. I’m persecuted (sometimes externally and sometimes self-induced), but I’m able to deal with it because God’s not leaving me. I’m not abandoned. I’m struck down, but not destroyed; just a little battered and bruised, but no worse for the wear. And God has me broken, right where He wants me, where He can use me.
It seems to me that it can’t rain forever, I can’t cry forever, the sun dries the rain, mourning turns to dancing, and God’s promise is richer than a rainbow.
And my chin is still dragging on the ground as I sit here saying, “Wow, God.”
My Love of Kids
Fourteen Years Later
I have not been to many doctors for this particular issue because it has no longer been important in my world. Doctors haven't brought it up, I haven't brought it up, and though I've had several proposals and potential weddings, I'm still "single." I've been dating the same man for five years and I'm content without having children. The issue hasn't been prevalent in our relationship and I don't feel the loss I felt when I was a young twenty-something facing a future of never hearing "mommy."
I began teaching in 2001 and in the ensuing years have psuedo-adopted hundreds of children. I've been "white mama" to some of my black students, and "big sister" or "aunt" to other students and a real life aunt to two little ones as well as a real-life god-mama to two getting-taller-than-me little ones. I get my baby fix from friends and from former students who bring in their babies to meet their "grand-teacher." I'm blessed in my ability to be content and in the hundreds of young people who've come into my life and allowed me to nurture and mother them for the time their in my realm.
I shared this story because I know infertility is a real heartache for women and their partners who deeply desire to have children. I have no pat answers to give you in comfort, no solace, or promises, but I hope your dreams come true. This is just my perspective on how I handled the issue in my life.