Long time no post. Or more appropriately, long time no time to post.
There are tons of updates, nothing earth-shattering, but stuff nonetheless. But since I post so rarely these days, it would seem, I want to devote this post to one of the blog posts I've had in my head for a couple weeks now. (Do other people do this? I am constantly coming up with ideas for blog posts and trying to remember them for later... I need a smartphone in my brain.)
I was talking to a good friend and fellow boocher* (hehe, such a fun word!) a while ago and the idea arose that infertility's sharpest pain is self-defined. Let me elaborate. For Mrs. A, infertility may hurt daily because she grieves the loss of bringing her husband's children into the world. For Mrs. B, infertility may pierce the heart as she is constantly reminded of the children she lacks, while watching all of the growing families around her. For Mrs. C, the most painful blow might be the fact that no matter how hard she tries, her body will not function as it should, and she cannot achieve her long-desired goal.
I think a certain amount of each of these aspects of infertility affects all women. And perhaps the one that most affects me is one that similarly affects many other Christian women.
For Mrs. TCIE, the most excruciating part of the cross of infertility is the idea that even in heaven, I may not be a mother.
It is an idea that I have discussed with my therapist, friends, and my husband. And despite the great advice and support I've received (reminders that there is no suffering in heaven, that heaven is not deduced to single families, that our desires to be in heaven are not, or should not be, self-seeking)... my human mind constantly goes back to this thought. And it haunts me.
As you've noticed, I have not been around the blogs for quite a while. I would post regularly, almost daily, when infertility was prominent in my life. The support I find here is invaluable, and has helped me over many a hump.
But now that I am not actively trying to conceive (and likewise not actively pursuing adoption or foster care)... I find myself in new territory. There is a separation that I've noticed now, while working with women and couples suffering from infertility. My heart still goes out to them, and I am still able to counsel them from a place of empathy... but... (and this may sound weird, just bear with me)... it's almost like an out-of-body experience. I see myself talking to these women, and hear my words assuring them and instilling hope... all the while feeling peaceful and knowing that even if they never have children, they will be ok. I know I cannot say this to many, if not all, of them, because if someone had told me these words while I was still gung-ho trying-to-conceive, I would have wanted to slap them. It sounds, to those not ready to hear it, like a loss of hope. When really - it's a true gain of hope and peace.
But still, that nagging thought creeps into my heart from time to time. I know it's not from God. I try to pray it away. But it lingers. And it is stirred up particularly when I am hormonal.
Think about women who have miscarried. What is the one source of comfort we can give them, hoping to bring them peace and resolve? "One day, you will be reunited in heaven." Of course we believe that, it's not just something we say.
But where does that leave the women who have never conceived? And those who have never adopted?
And then it dawned on me. Our lives here on earth are so fleeting. We cannot even try to comprehend how heaven "works" because it is beyond the furthest reaches of our imagination.
Much like a child in the womb not understanding anything of the outside world, we have such minimal experience and surroundings on which to base our perception of what heaven must be like.
When I compare myself to that child in the womb, suddenly that nagging feeling begins to subside.
Here I am, dwelling on what I cannot have, what I do not have, and what I want. When, in the blink of an eye, none of it will matter at all. I imagine a child in the womb, trying desperately to reach out and grab her umbilical cord - trying, and failing, over and over again. It's all she wants to do before her time in the womb is through.
Once she is born, will her failures in the womb still bother her? Will her desires as she grows outside the womb still be the same?
Now of course the analogy here is not cut and dry. A grown adult woman desiring children, an inherent good, is not exactly the same as a baby desiring to play with its umbilical cord. But at the heart of the matter is the Truth: we do not know all, we do not understand all. What may be of great importance to us here and now, and becoming a source of great daily suffering, will not be experienced the same way when we reach heaven. There will be no labels of "childless" or "infertile" in heaven. Our fears will be washed away.
To this Truth I cling, especially in those moments when infertility truly stings.
*boocher: One who brews their own kombucha ;) And might I add, I have quite the knack for it, and I LOVE it! Never been more regular in my life. You're welcome for sharing.