Thursday, January 30, 2014

What took you so long?

I was at a get together recently and was asked a question that I think should NEVER be asked...ever. It stands on the same wobbly pedistal as the Marriage question which is often blasted to a single woman or man - Why haven't you gotten married yet? You are ___years old, what's taking so long! This is THE QUESTION of all questions that seems to be on the tip of many women's tongues. Now I know you all are wondering what THE QUESTION is...well it is a question that seems to be pervasive in the female christian community, it's a question that really shouldn't be dwelled on but unfortunately it is. It is the Fertility question. The fertility question often comes discreetly inserted into a barrage of other questions - which at best are nosey. I have never understood why others think that the amount of children I choose to have somehow is connected to my faith or to my status as a mother. I don't recall God ever saying that women should have a cerain Number of children! He said be fruitful and multiply...but maybe my fruitful is different than someone else's fruitful. God gives me what I can handle and when I can handle it. My path is not anothers path - Praise GOD! I also think that many people who ask this question think that all bodies are made the same, that becoming pregnant is simple or that childbirth is easy for all women. The fertility question fails to take into account that some women would love to conceive, but have yet to be able to. It is a callous, insensitive, and thoughtless question.

At this party there were many people there with large families. Many of the mothers in attendance were expecting their third, fourth, or fifth child. To say that I already felt out of place would be a gross understatement. I was sitting watching my son play, when a lady, who I had never met before, decided to come over and ask me THE QUESTION. This older woman looked at me and said "Is he your only child?" My reply was, "yes." Then she asked me how long I had been married, to which I replied 6 years. I could already sense where she was about to head, and was praying that I wouldn't have to answer this time. Alas, it blurted out..."You have been married 6 years and you only have ONE child? What took you so long? My daughter has been married for 5 years and she is about to have her 3rd baby!"As the question stabbed to my core, my husband thankfully overheard and came to my rescue. He politely responded that for 4 of those 6 years we were struggling financially, that he was finishing his degree, and that I had been working. He also added, "we wanted to make sure that my wife could stay at home with our son. That's what is important to her, and that's what was important to me. He is our blessing, he wasn't easy to come by, and we are proud to call him our son." The lady got the message and walked away, but the rudeness of her question still rang in my ears.

As I drove home that night I pondered her question and why I have heard it so many times.The sheer nosiness made me irritated. I wondered why she felt the need to shout about her own daughter's fertility to make another feel less than? Why do many women feel the need to hold a number over other women's heads?  Her question didn't take into account God's plan, all she seemed concerned about was man's finite plan. Many of these "ladies" who ask this question forget that the road paved to being a mother is not always smooth. I began to wonder how many other women she has asked this question, who have experienced great grief in trying to have a child - maybe they have problems with infertility, maybe they have had miscarriages along the way - and yet this woman railroads them with a question that is none of her business. I am in no way saying that women shouldn't talk about childbirth, how many kids they wish to have, the struggles of being a mom, or the joys of parenthood; what I am saying is don't push God's plan for YOU onto another believer. Never make a sister in Christ feel ashamed of following God's whispers and leadings. To do so is selfish, arrogant, and un-edifying to a brethren. His plan is NOT our plans!

In God's eyes I am right where he wants me to be. I have peace in knowing that the wait for a child was worth it. I know that my son is a gift, as all children are. I waited patiently for my gift and I am enjoying it - every minute. I want us all to remember that children are not a way to elevate our spiritual status, personally nothing can elevate spiritual status - we have all fallen short and it is only God's grace that elevates us to be called His Children. Your worth is not wrapped up in a number. I believe that my worth is wrapped up in pursuing the dream that God gave my heart years ago - the desire to be a mom. God answers prayers...sometimes not in our time frame or exactly how we "wanted" it...but He does answer. So if you ever feel inclined to ask this question, step back a minute, ponder what God's plans and pathways may be for your sister in Christ...and remember not all paths are paved.

"For I know the plans I have for you...plans not to hurt or to harm you, but to give you hope and a future...." Jeremiah 29:11

No comments: