All beautiful the march of days, as seasons come and go; The Hand that shaped the rose hath wrought the crystal of the snow
by Shelly Cruz
Getting back to the Cabbage Doll story. Let me explain. In the eighties, a very well known Evangelist that Cecilia’s family was personally taught under, taught that Cabbage Patch Dolls were causing strange and destructive behaviors in children. They could only be alleviated when the dolls were removed from the household, or better yet, destroyed completely!
There were some reports claiming… ladies were miscarrying while having these dolls in their homes. It was explained to me that when you got a Cabbage Patch Doll, they come with birth certificates and user agreement for you to sign. You were signing that you would LOVE the doll, and that was a violation of the First Commandment.
Hearing all this made me think about my own Cabbage patch doll, Laura Lee. I’d had it for years, and hated the thought of having to part from it. It was one of the only things that I had left that my Grandmother had given me as a child. I spent many days thinking about this. I had two healthy children already and the doll was packed away in the basement. Maybe it would be OK, I thought to myself. I could just dig up the user agreement that I remembered signing almost 20 years before, and burn it. I did not mention any of this to Cecilia.
Concerning the 1980’s Troll Dolls-
I remembered having collected these trolls as a child. I also remember having repeated nightmares about them, so was very interested on what Cecilia had to say about them… Evidently, trolls lead to difficulties in conceiving, and giving birth to a child. If you happen to have a troll doll in your home during the time of conception, you will have a very hard labor, or not get pregnant at all! I thought about this immensely. I did not know of any troll dolls in my home. I guess it was a good thing too.
That said, the following weekend, we went to some yard sales and one of my daughters stumbled on a toy troll doll at the bottom of a box. It had lime green hair, and was attached to a pen. She asked me if she could have a quarter to buy it, and I rather abruptly said, “No Way”! Whether these things have any biblical foundation though, was yet to be determined.
It seemed like every time I opened my mouth in front of Cecilia, I said the wrong thing and got so embarrassed. I started once again feeling so inadequate around her. I began missing the days when I could just be myself with my old friends, who accepted me as I was.
Our conversations were never boring. One day I brought up the topic of adoption with Cecilia. I mentioned that my husband and I might adopt from a foreign country. That it was something we were praying about. It was during a casual conversation, but as soon as I mentioned it, I saw Cecilia’s eyes grow big, while her hand went up to her mouth in a Gasp!
I remember instantly regretting my words, wishing that I could take them back. What did I say? I thought to myself. Cecilia took her hand off her mouth and asked me point blank, “Why would you ever want to adopt a child”? That obviously, I was fully capable of having children.
I told Cecilia that it was just the thought of giving a child who did not have a place to call home, a real loving chance. Cecilia then explained to me that adopted children are affected by the sins of their natural parents; their forefathers. The bible clearly teaches this, she told me. I needed to be careful because these sins are usually very severe, and that if my husband and I were to adopt, The Lord would strike our family like never before! Cecilia shared Jeremiah 14:20 and Exodus 20:5 with me, to back these claims up.
I did not know the bible the way Cecilia did. I really thought Cecilia knew what she was talking about. I later told my husband about all this, and he laughed once more. I was beginning to feel more and more insecure about everything in my life, including myself. Several days passed and I invited Cecilia over again while our husbands were at work.
For me, our conversations seemed to be one long Christian college course. On this occasion our conversation turned to female issues, and I mentioned the *T* word to Cecilia. (Tampon) I never thought that a simple question about brand names of Tampons would lead to such an intense discussion on sex; but it did. You see, sex between a married Christian couple had many, many biblical restrictions. I had no idea about any of these things.
For example, couples were to abstain from SEX:
1. During the wife’s menstrual cycle.
2. Seven days after the cycle.
3. 40 days after the birth of a son.
4. 80 days after the birth of a daughter.
5. The evening before worship.
I was also told that the use of tampons was a sin. In fact, anything foreign was never to be inserted into a ladies private area. She shared that our husbands should be the ones to keep track of their wives menstrual cycle each month. Using it as a reminder of the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ.
Everything was so confusing to me now. I wanted to lock myself up in the bathroom and scream!
As I prayed later that evening, I felt more frustrated then ever. About everything. I looked up to Cecilia so much, and admired her dearly. I was mad at myself for being so emotional. I should have been more grateful that Cecilia was taking the time to teach me so much about the bible. In my mind, I thought Cecilia was everything a Titus 2 woman should be. I would soon find myself feeling so guilty for even questioning Cecilia’s teachings and asked the Lord to forgive me.
October came, and we both gave birth. I had a son, and Cecilia had another daughter. I had a hospital birth and Cecilia had another daughter in the privacy of her own bedroom, having her wonderfully perfect husband deliver yet another, “perfect child”.
We talked on the phone briefly during the time of recovery from our births. I shared the details of my birth at the hospital with her, and she shared about her pain-free candle-lit bedroom birth. I wanted so badly to be happy that she had such a perfect birth. But deep down, I was resenting the fact that her birth was so perfect.
While she was being served freshly cooked whole foods, from her husband and children, I was ringing the bell a dozen times, trying to get some cheese and crackers after my very painful hospital birth! I remember Cecilia asking me, “Didn’t you take that special tea that I gave you”?
I told her, “YES! I took all of it”, and my labor was still very painful. I felt like a failure once more.
During this time I learned one more thing. I learned that having a Cesarean birth was a big time sin. Not that I ever had one, but I wanted to hear the details about this. I had known so many ladies that had them.
I asked why it was a sin, and was told that it simply was not the Lord’s way. I was told that children born in this manner would not properly receive the Lord’s blessings in later life, if the mother had a cesarean birth. Cecilia said, The Lord opens the womb when it is time, and releases his children in like manner, and the medical field was against God’s ways, and each time they insisted on a lady to have a Cesarean, they were taking the Lord’s future blessings from generations to come. This made me cry so much, as I thought about everyone I knew that had Cesarean births. Was this really true?
I had so much more to learn. I felt like I was invisible to everyone — everyone, except Cecilia. And if I thought my ship, that I called life, was about to remain on shore, I was sadly mistaken, because the waves were about ready to rock….
Time Heals All Wounds by Shelly Cruz: