Sacred Reverence :: Part 1

photo credit :: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

:: This post was originally published on June 20, 2011.  It has been updated. ::

I have done a proposal for a book about exploring spiritual issues surrounding pregnancy loss. One of my passions is seeing spiritual healing for ladies who’ve experienced this sort of loss, (miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death).

By God’s grace and strength, I was able to weather these storms and keep standing in my faith, and even to grow stronger and closer to God.

After we had Alexis & Jasmine, I was asked to share my testimony to my MOPS(Mothers of Preschoolers) group, where I chose to share the story of our losses and some things that I learned through them.

From what I recall, I dispensed a lot of “Christian-ese cliche” and drew conclusions as if I had slammed my finger in a door, instead of exploring deeper, asking hard heart questions, and bringing the feelings of catastrophic loss to full light. (I suppose it was in part because of time constraints and it was my first stab at trying to convey my journey.)

I see now, that a lot of the reason for that was because even though I had indeed kept my faith through the storms, and it was indeed moving me closer to God, my healing wasn’t fully complete and I had a lot more to learn.
New things were being revealed to me by God even after I had created a web site to tell what my book is going to be about. My responses to (at least some of) those issues has changed from what I originally intended. I have had time to wrestle with some heart issues and God has answered in big ways.

One of these heart issues has been dealing with birth defects. I was born with a cleft palate. I have had three major surgeries on my mouth, numerous orthodontic devices, speech therapy, and multiple ear infections which left scarring and constant ringing in my ears. Even up to three years ago, I needed surgery on a hemangioma “birth mark” on my tongue that suddenly started bleeding.  Then through my pregnancy losses, tests, and surgery, I came to find out that I have another birth defect of my uterus as well.
Some Back-Story

I accepted Christ into my heart at the age of four. Yes, I really knew what I was doing and it was my choice. As a child, going into one of my surgeries, I said to my mom, “Sometimes you just have to do things you don’t want to do,” as if I were trying to comfort my mom with great wisdom. Despite feeling a bit different than other kids and sometimes having to deal with their questions, like, “Why do you talk like that? Are you from a different country?”, I was never made fun of, but I resorted to building walls or withdrawing into myself – being very quiet and introverted. (Now people have no idea I had a cleft unless I tell my story.) Despite these feelings and “handicaps” that “hiding” for so many years has caused in my later years, I never questioned why I was made with a cleft. I never even thought to question God or hold a grudge or resentment. I just had innocent, childlike faith in God. I was simply told my whole life that Jesus loves me and I believed it.

Over the years, having grown up in “Christian society”, I encountered many different people with many different theologies and thoughts. Mind you, I never really had discussions with anyone about the topic, but I am an observer and someone who sits back and takes everything in. There were Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, and just being around listening to conversations. Most people I’ve been around believe that God is intricately involved in knitting together every detail of every person in the womb – their body, mind and soul. I just accepted that.

photo credit :: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

The World of Infertility

After experiencing two of our losses and undergoing tests and surgery, finding out that I was born with another defect (in my uterus), at first and for a while, I didn’t think much about it or question it. However, as I was associating with some of my “new” friends who had the same defects, and many have also suffered devastating loss, their ideas sort-of infiltrated me. I began questioning why God would create people with defects – especially defects that could effect another life – having the odds stacked so much against that life. For instance, women with a septum in their uterus, which is one of the defects I had, the loss rate for embryos in that uterus is at least 90%. What devastation.

As I became more immersed into the world of infertility and uterine anomalies, things became very scientific. I know the stats; I know things from home remedies to high tech procedures and what would be best to recommend to whom; I know more than most about the hormonal cycles; I know a ton about uterine surgeries; and I know about various pregnancy complications/risks and treatments/interventions. The doctors are looked to as miracle workers – technology has made it virtually possible for almost anyone to be able to have kids. It is very easy to squeeze God out of the picture almost entirely. I admit, foolish as this may sound to people not in this world of infertility, that I somehow got a bit twisted in my thinking for a little while. I was trying to reconcile how a loving, perfect God would create or allow people to be born with certain birth defects, such as ones that could potentially cause loss after loss.

My Theory

I don’t know where it came from, but I latched onto the notion that maybe God only knits together a person’s soul – perhaps things like their personality and such. But maybe the physical aspect of things is totally up to the gametes with the genes/DNA of the parents, and God just lets things “fall as they will” in that area. I was totally on the “bandwagon” of ideas about this being a fallen world in a state of downward decay, which it is, but to the extreme that things are going down on their own with minimal involvement by God. 

Take weather patterns, for example.  I was inclined to think they were set in motion by God at the beginning and then left to their own devices, causing the “El Nina”‘s, global warming, and more severe weather on their own. I didn’t really acknowledge that God would still be involved in the weather. I thought that praying for certain weather would usually be an exercise in futility. I didn’t doubt that God could intervene in causing rain, or no rain, if He wanted to, but that He just usually wasn’t involved.
In the same way, in this fallen world, we see the human race on a decline. There are more diseases, cancers, birth defects and ailments as time marches on. As generations multiply, genes mutate and have more chance for being displaced or damaged. I bought in to the scientific side of things, (I do love science, especially biology), that maybe the physical aspects of getting pregnant and the baby growing were set in motion by God at the beginning of creation, and then He stepped back and let things go on their own. Again, I believed that God had the power to intervene and stop a loss or heal a birth defect if He chose to, but that it seemed more often that asking for such things was futile. I was more comfortable thinking that I was a victim of “bad luck” – having formed with two defects on a fluke from gene mutations or displacements, than thinking that God purposefully put me together this way.

A step further, believing that God is all-knowing, I believe that God sees the future, so that means He would’ve been able to see ahead to my losses, with their devastation, as a result of me being made the way I was. That made me recoil in feelings of betrayal and anger for a while. I couldn’t reconcile that the comforting, loving, kind God who held me and helped me through my losses could have put me together broken, and known I was going to suffer, and not intervened anywhere along the way. So I suppose my mind put together the theory I shared, as a means for me to not feel negative feelings toward God, and be able to keep holding onto Him.

Don’t worry…our wonderful, sweet Savior set me straight in the gentle, yet obvious way that only He can. I am so thankful for His patience and faithfulness to me! And the way He revealed Himself to me and healed me. 

:: Part 2 will be up next ::

Blessings,

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