Where Do I Go From Here?Wednesday, January 27, 2016
It's taken me a few days to actually write this post, but I knew that I needed to get it out, because I'm lost, and at this point I just don't know what to do.
This past weekend, I was finally able to admit to myself that my infertility has severely impacted my faith in God.
I was raised in a moderately religious home (as in, my dad and stepmom themselves weren't particularly religious, but we went to church regularly for eight or nine years). I went to preschool at our church, and my siblings and I participated in VBS and other social activities within church groups. I was raised with the ideals that my stepmother thought a "proper" Christian should be: no sex before marriage (anything remotely sexual was bad...I wasn't even allowed to use tampons because they might make me comfortable with having something in my vagina and then I'd want to have sex); say your prayers every night (I legitimately believed that remembering to say my prayers in a precise order was the only way to prevent nightmares -- oddly, it just occurred to me a few weeks ago that I could just praqt without following the same prescribed formula I've been using for almost 25 years); and obey your parents in all things (this was definitely the hardest for me).
After we moved when I was 11, we never found another church, but when we would visit my grandparents (and after my dad and I moved in with them my sophomore year), I would go to my granny's church (a Church of God church where my great-uncle is the pastor). I liked going (fellowship was always my favorite part of church as a kid), but I never really felt too connected with it. I had long been interested in Catholicism (my great-great-grandmother, who I was named after, came from a Catholic family), and I attended Mass a few times while at boarding school, but I always felt like an outsider.
After I got kicked out of college, I started going to a charismatic church that my brother and sister had been attending. It was unlike anything I had ever known a church to be, but it quickly began to feel like home. Though I didn't necessarily agree with everything the church believed, I felt a deeper connection to God there than I ever have anywhere else.
Tom and I attended a (slightly less charismatic) church in the same denomination here in Lafayette for a few months a couple of years ago, but it just wasn't a good fit for us. Since then, the only church service I've attended was when my friend Katie completed her conversion to Judaism. However, I pray often and worship privately, because I've never wanted to lose that connection to God.
Since then, I have definitely had a lot of internal conflict about things, but no matter what I was going through in life, I had faith that God knew what he was doing, even if it was making me crazy.
Even a couple months ago, it occurred to me that if I wasn't infertile, we wouldn't be trying to adopt from the foster care system right now, and we wouldn't be trying to adopt the little boys we've been waiting for. I have always been able to justify things and just believe that something better was ahead.
|image from Thought Catalog|
Until Saturday night.
But I don't feel that way anymore.
I still believe in God, and I do still believe that He loves me, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why I have been put through so much pain for so long.
As a kid, I was always told that if I was obedient and good, I would be rewarded for it. And yes, I've made mistakes (who hasn't?), but I think that overall, I'm a generally good person. When I first realized I was infertile, I thought I was being punished for having premarital sex (we were engaged, but it was definitely premarital -- we were even trying to get pregnant a couple of months before the wedding); it bothered me for a long time, but eventually, I realized that was kind of ridiculous.
But when you're told that God will grant you the deepest desires of your heart, when years go by and you're still praying for a baby, and then praying to be able to not be jealous and resentful of your friends and family getting pregnant, and then praying to be able to make it through yet another pregnancy announcement without crying, you kind of start to wonder what you've done wrong.
Even when it looked like a finish line was in sight with our foster care journey, we've still been given a lot of run-around, and nobody is quite sure what's happening, and it kills me to see Tom so sad to see the boys' bedroom sitting empty when it's been ready for them for months and it's still going to be another month (at least) before we know anything more definite.
It hurts me so much to see him hurting like that, and it just doesn't make sense to me that after all this time, we still have to hurt like this. When are we ever going to catch a break?
And it's because of this that I feel so lost right now. I don't know what to think or what to believe, but I am so incredibly angry at God right now.
And I don't know what to do to fix that.