I had a lovely blessing this weekend: My parents came to visit. My dad hadn’t seen our new house yet, and when my mom came last we had just moved in. She was helping us unpack. So it was very nice to have a chance to show them the house now that it is put together and we’ve hung stuff on the walls.
We had a great time while they were here. DH and I took them to NASA headquarters and we visited DH’s parents at their lakehouse. We ate at excellent restaurants, and we really had a wonderful time.
But last night my mom wanted to discuss our infertility stuff. It was their last night here, and we were up until almost 4 am talking. She and I had talked a little about the physical stuff (medicines we were trying, our approximate timeline of upcoming stuff, and so forth), but last night she asked, “Are you happy?”
I told her that I am happy most days, but on the whole I’m sad. I don’t think I’ll ever look back on this period of my life and think, gee, wasn’t that a great time? Remember when we were living in a strange city, we didn’t have a very good social outlet, and we found out we were infertile? Wasn’t it just lovely?
And she didn’t like my answer. She wants me to be happy, of course. But in her mind, the fact that I’m not happy isn’t a fact. It’s something I’m apparently supposed to be either ignoring or doing something about. The hardest part was that she kept telling me that she just knew we would have children someday–if we had faith. She said it more the more I tried to explain to her that, while I appreciated that she was trying to make me feel better, her words weren’t comforting.
I really feel that God is calling me to trust him and to, in a sense, come to terms with the possibility that we won’t have our own children and know that if this happens it will be because that is what is best for us (based on Romans 8:28). It’s not that I think we won’t or that I am not hoping that we will, but that I feel I need to come to a place where I can say honestly that while I hope we will have a family of our own one day, I am okay with the possibility that we won’t.
I’m not there yet. But I’ve gotten close a few times.
I had told her all this before. But it clearly didn’t sink in (or, more likely, she just thinks I’m wrong in my assessment of things). Last night, I told my mom that what she was saying was undermining what I felt like God has been telling me.
And she couldn’t comprehend that.
I just wish she would try to understand. That she would sincerely put herself in our shoes and try to get what it feels like to be here. Or, if that is too much or not possible for her, that she would at least listen when I say, “Mom, what you are saying to me right now hurts me. Believe that if you like, but please stop saying it.” Instead, when I say that to her, she repeats the offending words. Over. And over. And over again.
What she said (though she couldn’t understand why this was hurtful) boiled down to saying that if we had enough faith we would be pregnant. As in, it’s our fault we are still barren.
I don’t believe that is true. Deep down, I know it’s not true.
But it’s hard enough to hear stuff like that from people I don’t know well. It’s so much harder to hear it from my own mom.
Lord, give me strength to love her, even when we don’t see eye to eye. And to recognize that she means well, even when she keeps throwing little barbs at me.
(Note: I am really grateful they came to visit. As hard as last night was, maybe by the end of our 4-hour conversation she came to understand something new. Maybe things will be better next time. I am glad it happened. And I really did have a lovely long weekend with my mom and dad, even if some of last night was depressing.)
February 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm
😦 this is hard. I’m glad you have parents that love you, even if they don’t know how to always!
I love hearing what you feel God has been showing you. I think that is much more scripturaly accurate than what your mom is saying…and for myself, I try to trust what He has said rather than people…easier said than done! Someone once tried to tell me the same thing about my faith too. It was painful even though I knew it was a lie. I mean, I don’t think either of us doubts whether God can give us the miracle of a child. The issue is we don’t know if that is His will just yet. But I am praying it is for you and me!
February 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm
Thanks! I love having this blog because you all understand! And I’m praying for you, too! 🙂
February 14, 2013 at 12:38 am
I’m so sorry that she repeated herself like a broken record! It’s amazing how even if one of you has a diagnosed physical problem, so many people still think that attitude is a big part of the equation. You are so strong and showed so much patience with her. I’m sorry- it’s so frustrating when your own mom has trouble understanding.
It sounds like you guys live in DC! I’m jealous- what a cool place that would be! I would be down at all the museums constantly. 🙂
February 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm
We actually live near Houston, TX. We moved here from DC, though, about a year ago. I miss it there! It’s a really nice place to live–though much more expensive than Houston.
Thanks for your support!
February 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm
Good to know! I live in Sacramento, CA. It’s always fun to see where people live.
February 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm
Agreed! I had the pleasure of visiting Sacramento once. It seemed like a nice place to live! 🙂
February 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm
It’s hard when anyone you open up to about this stuff doesn’t get it, but especially your mom! It sounds like she’s trying to fill her roll as advice-giver, but in this instance, for all her good intentions, her advice isn’t worth much. I hope you were able to get through to her, even a little.
February 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm
She’s trying. I know she’s trying. And I think sometimes some of the things I say get through to her. But who knows if any of it will stick!
February 15, 2013 at 5:02 pm
I think you strike at the heart of her offense by her believing that infertility is rooted in a lack of faith. This is just what Job’s friends told him, and how wrong they were!
February 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm
Very true. Thanks for the reminder! We heard a great sermon on Job’s friends and what not to do when trying to comfort your hurting friends. It was a great message! Hmmmm…. maybe I should see if I can track that down and send it to her. I know she means well, but it’s still hard!