Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sometimes, I wonder.

People mean well.

I understand this, I really, really do. I get that people say things to you when you are hurting or upset or sad that they really, honestly think will make you feel better. People aren't trying to kick you while you are down. If they care enough to say something to you then it's not with the intent to hurt you, right?

Of course.

So why, when something really horrific happens, do people say, "Everything happens for a reason"? Or, "It just wasn't your time"? Or, my personal favorite, "It's not God's plan"?

Because, um, God and I? Are pretty tight. And I honestly don't think he wants me to suffer all the damn time. (Even if I say damn. He doesn't mind, I promise) I don't think God looks at the way I parent my children and says, "Oh. Hmm. She's doing a really kick-ass job with these two. I think I'll punish her by not giving her another. Because it's my plan. Watching Stephanie cry is just really enjoyable to me." I haven't swallowed a birth control pill since 2004. And, despite doing the nasty on the regular, I haven't gotten pregnant. Because it's God's plan.

I just don't believe that.

I don't believe that God looked at my mom when she was forty years old and said, "Oh, she's forty and has taken good care of herself her whole life. She has four kids, three of which still live in her home, and a grandchild on the way. I think I'll just arbitrarily strike her with breast cancer. It will be a good learning experience for her." I don't think God decided that my dad should get cancer so my sister and brother would start talking again. I don't think God caused my friend's baby to die for no discernible reason. Just cause.

Sometimes, I don't think things are planned. I don't think there is any grand scheme or reason behind a lot of this crap. I think things happen. I think they suck. But I don't think I'm being punished or rewarded necessarily. If people get punished for the bad crap they do, then why hasn't John Edwards' peener turned green and fallen off?

I don't know. I'll freely admit to anyone who will listen that I am a Christian, and I believe in God. I will just as freely admit that there are a WHOLE lot of things that I don't understand, will never understand, and am not meant to understand. I completely get that. I am completely okay with that.

But I don't think a God that I love and that loves me would be so cruel. Maybe I just can't accept what it is. Maybe I'm just a fool.

Maybe I just don't understand. I know I just don't understand.

I'm having a hard time with this.


Anonymous said...

i feel the same way. Why should we just accept that things are either "in" or "not in" gods plan?

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

The way I see it, it's a bit like when our kids are young and learning to walk. They're going to fall - we know that, we accept it, we let it happen...because of what they learn from falling. Because of what they wouldn't learn if didn't let them.

I think it's the same with God. He doesn't make the bad things happen, but I think he lets them. Partly so we can learn and grown. Partly because He gave us the freedom to choose - and the freedom to accept the consequences.

I don't know why specific bad things happen. I don't know why good people die and leave grieving families behind. I don't know why there's cancer and other horrible diseases afflicting us. But I know He loves us. I know that just as I wince when one of my children falls, surely He hurts too when He sees us hurting.

I'm sure He's love to spare us all pain. And I'm sure if He did we wouldn't learn much in this life.

Jessica said...

Ugh, I am going to say an expression that I hate, but it is true whether I like it or not... we live in a fallen world. We don't live in God's perfect Eden anymore. It sucks.

When sin entered the world, we started thinking we knew better than God, we started thinking we could do better than God.

I am not saying anything YOU specifically have done is the reason you are suffering, just the curse of sin upon humanity.

Maybe your kids are going to get the benefit of your suffering- perhaps (as hard as it is to think about) your children will face tragedy worse than yours one day. And they will know how to face it by watching the way you have faced this. They won't turn to something self destructive- instead they will be able to look back at the example you have set for them.

Or maybe not. Blame Eve and maybe you'll feel better about yourself. That's what I do.

M said...

I love you. I don't love this topic because it's not so easy to figure out it's so damn zebra striped for me.

Ultimately? I think things do happen for a reason. I don't think they are fair. I don't think they make sense.

But I don't think life is fair. I don't think it has to make sense. I cannot figure out why I have always been the "good one" and yet I struggle with so many things. Because I can't get more than I can handle? fuck that idea. really.

yet I can't ignore the fact that every thing in my life has made me who I am. Every thing in my childrens lives are making them who they are.

Why do I have fibromyalgia? Why does Liam have autism? Why can my husband not get ahead? Why have we worked our asses off and are middle class yet it doesnt' mean a damn thing anymore? Why does Lily have developmental issues? Why do I have anxiety? Why do I have to so actively work for so many things?

I can't compare to others. All I can do is look at me and my life. I don't know the situations with other people or how it will be in the future. And everything touches someone else in some way. So it's never as simple as black/white.

So while I'm okay with having a good fuck you universe moment here and there I am content with understanding for me everything does happen for a reason...otherwise how the hell can I stand this world? Really. It's so full of horrors and makes my guts hurt so very much I cannot stand the alternative.

So I try to learn. i try to accept. I try to see what other path it is. I try to remember that "no" doesn't mean "no" but sometimes means "something else".

I don't think it's punishment or reward. I think it just...is. It's life. And it is what it is whether I like it, understand it, or want it so.

Some days are easier for me to believe that than others.

I love you. I'm around if you want to talk. xoxoxo

Christina Berry said...

Sadly, I do believe there are things we are not meant to understand. By faith, we're supposed to trust that things are "going according to plan". You never know - maybe all of this is part of some master plan, and when it finally does happen for you - because I sincerely believe it will - it will be even better and you'll be even happier because of how hard it was to get there in the first place.

Does that even make sense?

My prayers are always with you. It's going to happen. I feel it. Just hang in there, love.

PaintedPromise said...

wow Kimberly! very well said...

so i will just say DITTO!

Tarasview said...

preach it sister.

People feel uncomfortable with our pain and fill the air space by saying something stupid... unintentional... but still stupid.

You should just hear the things people say to me about my special needs son and how it is probably all my fault anyway.


Sometimes silence really is the best way to go people.

Hugs to you.

David. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David. said...

I've struggled with this same exact thing. My biggest issue is: if I wasn't meant to understand God, how exactly am I supposed to perceive Him?

It's a hard concept to accept. Faith is all I have to fall back on (and I thank God for it everyday).

Anonymous said...

I also wanted a baby so badly I would have done anything. I did have a child years ago probably not the plan God had for my life. He has never been able to hold a job down for more than a few months at a time because of substance abuse issues. I cry every night not knowing if I will hear your child is dead. He relates to me often "I am a loser, I wish I had never been born" at time I wish he had not been born either. Maybe it is God's plan for you not to have anymore children. I don't know. I do know one thing for a fact once you bring a child into this world you never stop worrying until the day of your death. Consider this my child.

Anonymous said...

You might like this post by another excellent blogger on the same topic. She's an athiest, so her perspective is a little different, but still worth a read.


Anonymous said...

I'm a Christian too. We're living in a fallen world with sin allowed to have sway. I believe there is an evil force or *Satan* who wants to turn God's people away from God. How? He strikes us with illness, hardships, and death...anything that will cause us to blame God for the evil of the devil.

I do believe sometimes God intervenes and we get our Miracles. I pray that you receive your heart desire, a baby! Whatever is blocking the conception...I hope it is removed.

I'm not trying to be preachy, I know not everyone shares my beliefs, but I did want to give my opinion...it's not meant to be hurtful in any way.

As far as ppl saying things that downplay your situation, I dunno, but I've had that happen to me too, but regarding another matter. I'm sorry it happens. {{{hugs}}}

~ Patricia

mythoughtsonthat said...

I don't like to hear that "everything happens for a reason" crap either.


Bethany said...

I'm tight with Jesus too. But I do have to say I have no clue why He lets some things happen or not happen. I've been having a hard time with this myself. Things have been so much crap and getting crappier for so long I don't know what to think, feel, believe, etc.

When I said I would pray for you, I was serious. I really hope He says yes.

eatmoresmores said...

Infertility sucks. I totally agree with you on that. I've found that who gets to have babies and who doesn't seems to be one of the most unfair parts of life. I have no answers. In my few years on this earth, I'm finding that the hard times make heaven seem more awesome. No tears, no suffering, no pain. I long for that.
May you receive the desires of your heart, soon.

elle said...

I'm not sure about all the god stuff, but thank you for sharing your path with us. It's good food for new thoughts.

Anonymous said...

In times of suffering I always remember that Jesus was "a man of sorrows" and he suffered greatly on this earth. And he was God! The only thing, as people of faith, that we can hold on to is that this place, this strife, this sadness, this anguish, this pain, is not our true home. It is not what God wants for us, nor what he ultimately has in store for us. This is finite, and eternity is beautiful. Hang in there, just a little bit longer. Jesus will see you through.

With my prayers....

Dawn~a~Bon said...

It is really, really hard to understand. I get so furious sometimes thinking about how uneven the distribution of suffering is. I don't understand why some people get crapped on. I keep hearing about people my age, my high school classmates, who have died of cancer or who are battling it. Good people like you who'd be great parents who struggle to get pregnant or with miscarriage/pregnancy loss while crackheads pop out kids who'll be neglected and turn into crackheads themselves.

If you figure out the answer to all this, PLEASE let me know.

Meanwhile I'll continue to hope that you are able to get what you want the most. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Amen sister!

As the child of missionaries who grew up overseas, and has had my share of hard "life lessons" (aka being raped at 14, having my 24 yr old brother die on my 20th b'day, having my husband of almost 11 yrs just pack his stuff up while I was on a 3 day business trip - the same one I was working full time to put through grad school, then finally meeting the man of my dreams who has an ex-wife who I see DAILY!!! and a 19 yr old daughter, and 1 miscarriage after finally wanting a child . . .) I can honestly say that the God I know to exist and who infinitely loves me, grieved just as much as I did when I was hurting through these tragedies. He was my comfort and guidance, but I also felt the deep deep sense that he did NOT want these painful things for me.

As much as I too don't understand all of it, the only thing I do know is that He loves me. That, and a lot of the time, PEOPLE just get it flat out WRONG!

BTW, I am 40 and we have resumed trying for that baby of mine.

Hugs and more hugs,

Jill said...

It wasn't me that said it, was it? Damn. Sounds like something I would say, unfortunately.. hangs head..

kristina said...

I certainly don't want to pretend i am your best friend and have all the answers, but i am so sorry about all you are going through...I have had similar emotions after having lost my only brother and two miscarriages in between our 14 year old and 2 1/2 yr. old...so much doesn't make sense in this world. I am so thrilled that you do know our Dad (God) and that His Spirit can give you the comfort that only He can-the rest of us are just human and can't fill that void we feel when these things happen. So many of the folks before me have mentioned a lot of what i trust toward the matter so i won't repeat it, but know you are loved and you have many friends who do care and are sometimes the tangible mouth to encourage, the arms to hug ya with here on earth...just allow yourself to feel and cry, scream, cuss and be held by the One who holds the best-He will not fail you- a promise He makes is never broken and even the yuckiest, most horrible things in life-He can scoop up and form it into something goof for those that love Him don't ya think? I am asking Him to show this to you and to confirm to you that He did not plan for bad to happen to any of us. Lifting you up lady...

kristina said...

Sorry, i meant good instead of goof...and on that same note...i am sure it isn't all feeling like He has made something good out of it yet, so don't think i meant you must feel all fuzzy and warm inside like all is better by that statement either, it will be a process as i remember it...It has been around 12 years since we lost Christopher some days i see the sad of it all and other days i will meet a stranger that he knew somehow and they will share something he did and how is death totally changed their life...so-none of us could ever understand it all in my opinion.

Bexterrific said...

I can't pretend to know what you're going through right now. But I want you to know that I love you and you're in my thoughts. xoxo

marci said...

One of the things I've been praying through a tough time lately (hope it helps you):

God, I know you didn't plan this, but it doesn't take you by surprise, either. You can somehow use this for good even though I can't see how right now. All I know is it hurts.

Kiki said...

I don't want to say that I know how you feel, because I don't... but I do know what you are talking about when you talk about the things people say. Two years ago my boyfriend died... he was an alcoholic. People told me that it was better off this way. Ummmm... no it's not. Then I was lucky enough to meet someone awesome and we got pregnant right away. My baby died two days before I delivered her. People keep telling me that it's God's will. That doesn't help me and it doesn't make me feel any better about losing either of the lives I lost. I would rather have people say nothing to me.

Anonymous said...

I believe God (or whatever entity people believe in) gave us free will which means his plan isnt to punish and reward for stuff done. I know it sounds simple, but shit happens to good people. At least this is how I see things.

Shit happens to my sis and I all the time but my bro has all the "luck". I don't think he is a better person than we are and def don't hold the "luck" against him so to speak.

Hugs to you!

kristi said...

I don't like that either. "God chose you to be TC's Mom". Okay God, I don't think my son having autism is something I asked for OR something you should have given me but it is what it is.

Jenski said...

I happened to read Jessica's comment and laughed to myself a bit, because blaming Eve is what my Mom does - for cramps, for menopause, for anything female-specific. I agree that you should tack your sorrows onto that too, maybe she can carry some of the burden. {hugs!}

Tricia said...

I should probably stop at simply saying, "AGREE!" Otherwise, I could babble on about this for hours.

I am pretty sure God didn't look down and say, "Hmmm... that lady there she needs a disabled child. Her other one is functioning too well." I am also reasonably sure God didn't say, "You know what would be fun? If I make this one deaf, have a kidney disorder that causes A LOT OF PAIN, and on top of that slap on a metabolic disorder that makes food pretty much poison her! Yay for me! That was good times!" Those things. They just happened. Not for a reason. Because even if there was some reason I deserved it (I do curse a lot..although always in foreign languages in front of the kiddies), please tell me some good reason my five year old must go through everything she has been through?