Book Review: Resurrection Year

ResurrectionYear 1 To join the discussion about Resurrection Year, or to order a copy, go here

Infertility treatment grinds you down, both physically and emotionally. It involves taking large doses of hormones that make you feel lousy. Your blood must be monitored on a daily basis to make sure the hormone levels in your body are not getting dangerous, and you have to go through daily ultrasounds to check your ovaries.

There’s a lot more to it than what I just said; the pain of all those procedures and needle sticks, the emotional roller coaster and the repeated monthly disappointments. It not only costs a great deal of money, it makes it harder for the woman to work, tethered as she is to the fertility clinic and her over-charged body chemistry.

Infertility treatment is more than just medical treatment. It is an all-consuming way of life that can destroy a woman emotionally and spiritually, as well as damage her physically. It is stressful for the marriage and for relationships with extended family and friends.

I know about this because I’ve been through it myself.

Resurrection Year is the story of how popular Australian radio show host Sheridan Voysey and his wife Merryn dealt with the aftereffects of years of failed infertility treatment. This devout Christian couple was left devastated by the combined trauma of years of aggressive medical treatments and the loss of their dream to have a child.

It is striking that Merryn appears to never have reproached her husband, even though the infertility problem came from his low sperm count. The person she reproached was God. In her own words, the experience left her wondering if “God is a meanie.”

When Merryn told her husband that she wanted to move away from Australia and “have an adventure” by moving to a new country, he agreed to do it, even though it meant leaving behind his thriving career and literally starting over. Merryn had lost her first dream of motherhood, and he wanted to give her this new dream. They moved to England where Merryn found meaningful work at Oxford University, but Sheridan floundered professionally, unable to get started again in this new country that didn’t know him.

The first year they spent in England was their Resurrection Year. It was a year in which Merryn healed from her traumas and losses to be able to go forward in acceptance. It was the time she needed to get to know God on a deeper level and not only regain, but advance in her love of Him and spiritual growth.

Sheridan, too, ended up growing and advancing in his life in Christ. But his growth came from the pain of loss that he felt for having given up a career he loved to start over in the same field as a nobody once again.

What the book is really about is the give and take of marriage.

Merryn and Sheridan exhibited the kind of love that makes a marriage work. She, as I said, never rebuked him for the pain she suffered because she couldn’t have children. For his part, he not only gave up his career to help her dream a new dream, he did it without begrudging her the happiness she found in moving to England and without becoming bitter or angry toward her over the pain he experienced while re-starting his career.

I think the reason they were able to do this lies in their Christ-centered lives and their deep love for one another. Even when Merryn “lost” God in the depths of her pain, she didn’t turn her back on Him. She just honestly asked the question that everyone asks when life beats them up unjustly: Why?

She asked this question within the framework of the Gospels, the love of other Christians and her own best friend in this life — her husband. The answers she found in the Resurrection Year were the same ones that Christians have always arrived at when the pain is too much, and that is simply that we may not understand why in this life, but we do know that He is there with us in that pain.

Sheridan had to walk his way with less support from other people. Most of us don’t realize that loss of career is a loss every bit as real and painful as any other. It drives to the heart of our self identity and feelings of worth. It changes the way other people treat us and what we think of ourselves.

Sheridan suffered through this in the same way Merryn faced her grief; by walking with Christ and reaching out to other people.

Resurrection Year is a gentle book that doesn’t slam you over the head with conclusions and bullet-pointed lists of things you should do. Even though it talks specifically about recovery from infertility treatment and childlessness, its lessons could apply to any of life’s trials.

Perhaps its most important message is what it says about Christian marriage. The role of helpmate shifts from one spouse to the next, depending on the circumstance, throughout every good marriage. We have to love the people we marry, and we have to accept the limitations they bring with them to the marriage without reproaching and blaming them.

Resurrection Year is a good book to read on a Sunday afternoon. It is short and easy to get through. Its life lessons on how to love your husband or your wife are something we all need to learn and re-learn each day of our married life.

The New Morality: I am so important to me. Nobody else matters.

Mark Shea wrote about it earlier this week. I’m going to write about it in the future.

“It” is the galloping sense of entitlement of the “I Am So Important To Me” class. You know: The ones who feel free to re-write any book, from history to literature to the Bible to suit their passing fancy of what pleases them today.

Evidently, one of the many books the I Am So Important to Me class wants to re-write is the biology text books we’ve all had to study. They’ve created a whole new label to support their demand for this: Biological Injustice.

You read that right. According to an October 2 article in the Huffington Post, Lesbian Baby-Making for the Entitled Generation, at least some people feel that biology itself should be put on trial for the “injustice” of not being able to make babies with another person of the same sex. They are counting on our burgeoning scientific industry to provide them with the means to overwrite the trifling objections of mother nature and allow them to produce babies from same-sex couples at will.

Mark Shea’s article Children are Not Fashion Accessories for Narcissists, discusses the cultural and social impact of “a culture in which consent is the sole criterion of the good.”

As I said, I’ll be writing about this in more detail later. I think it’s enough for today to just let you read these two articles and ponder, like Lincoln, whither we are tending.

Lesbian Baby-Making for the Entitled Generation reads in part:

I want to have babies the way straight people do.

I don’t mean that in a ’70s euphemism “makin’-babies” kind of way. What I mean is that I want the ease, the convenience, the — dare I say it — naturalness that straight people have when starting a family. I want both the simple beauty of two people loving each other so much that they’d like to see more of the other in the world, and I want that simple beauty to be translated into scientific terms of fairness: chromosomes and DNA given in equal amounts from two parents.

The attitude I have always taken to having a baby with another woman has been this: “It’s not fair! It’s so hard! Why me?”

I am a total brat about what I consider a biological injustice. Did you just hear me say that? Biological injustice? That doesn’t even make sense!

If I were a logical, realistic person I would likely be happy with flipping through sperm donor catalogs, or picking a foreign country to adopt from, or begging my gay male friends to consider jizzing into a warm bowl for me. But I am not logical, and I am not ready to accept the realities of my sexuality compounded by my body’s abilities with a female partner.

Why can’t my girlfriend and I have a baby that shares our DNA? Why can’t an egg from each of us be scrambled up and sprinkled with sperm? It seems so easy! Try harder scientists! Make this a priority. (Read more here.)


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