Yesterday I received this email, the subject line of which read My spiritual crisis.
Hi John! I am writing you to get your insight on a struggle I am having. I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church, and loved it. I had what most Christians would call a very close “relationship” with Jesus. Then I went to college. I started questioning things and decided that some of the things I had been taught just were not right. I became extremely more liberal in my views, but still very much involved in my Church and “strong” in my relationship with Christ.
Then I got married and tried for three long years to get pregnant. Three long years of painful, expensive, invasive fertility treatments. I can not even begin to explain to you the emotional sorrow that infertility caused me. It also caused me a huge spiritual crisis. How can an all-loving God bless drug addicts with babies that they don’t even want, while I sat crying with empty arms? Had I not been a good and faithful follower pretty much all my life? Why was I being passed up on the blessing of growing a family? I could not, and still do not understand it.
I eventually found a medication that worked for me, and was able to conceive a son. He is now three years old. For a while the joy of having him overshadowed what I had been through, but now it has been another three years of infertility, and I am going through it all over again to have another child. Only this time, it is worse in a couple of ways. This time, we have no insurance coverage for infertility and no money to afford treatment, so I am left feeling even more helpless than before. Worse than that, however, is that this time, I know firsthand what I am missing out on, so it seems to hurt even more if that is possible. Every time a friend or family member shares their good news that they are pregnant, a small part of me is happy for them, but I mostly just feel the sting of disparity. God is supposed to be fair and just… but I have a really hard time seeing it the longer I live. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you!
Dear woman who wrote me this:
I’m uncomfortable answering your letter, because I don’t think you’ll like my response. Nontheless:
1. You did have a child. Clearly God fought you pretty hard on that, but ultimately you did receive the very blessing you desired. I’m not sure how not being granted the same amazing blessing twice serves as evidence that God is unfair and unjust. If you knew a poor man who begged, pleaded and prayed to God to bring him a million dollars, and then he got a million dollars, what would you think if he later claimed that God was unfair and unjust for not bringing him a second million dollars?
2. You believe that God has made you infertile; you believe that being a mother is God’s highest desire for you; you know that there are babies out there who need a mother at least as desperately as you want another baby. So maybe adoption might be something for you to look into?
Love to you. I know you’re suffering. But do consider the idea that if God blocks one path for you, it’s because he’s got something even better waiting for you down another.