Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Crisis of Faith

Holding on to my faith over the past 2 years has been a constant battle for me. When Vivienne died, it forced me to re-evaluate the belief system that I’d been raised with. I had to find a way not to be angry with God. I had to find a way to still believe. I have to believe that I will see my daughter again someday. Some days, that’s the only thought that gets me out of bed and keeps me going.

And then we lost 3 more children. And I fought again to keep my belief that God is good, and I needed to believe.

And then we lost any ability to conceive a child naturally, followed by losing the ability for me to carry a child all together. And I fought again to not blame God. To focus on the idea that eventually, the randomness of the universe would have to turn in our favor. It has been a hard fought battle to keep my faith through all that we’ve been through. And I’m starting to lose the battle.

Over the past 5 months, I have changed jobs (a transition that has been more difficult than I expected), we bought a new house (with issues and expenses that were not disclosed or uncovered during inspection, costing us more money than we anticipated), we still own our previous house (that despite many showings, overwhelmingly positive feedback and a price reduction that is basically giving it away, defies all convention and will not sell), and we continue to pursue surrogacy, despite a failed attempt on our first try (a difficult, time consuming, terrifying and very expensive proposition).

Earlier last week, I hit my breaking point. I was completely overwhelmed by all that we have on our plate. I did not know what to do or where to turn. And so I did something I have not done in a long time. I prayed. As I decided to do this, I heard the sayings people have often said to me. Let go and let God. Give it over to God. And so I did, and I prayed. It was a simple prayer, but delivered in the most desperate tone.

God, I have more than I can handle, and I need Your help.

I let go, and I asked God to have mercy on us. I said this prayer for several days, and yesterday something happened.

My beloved cat, Oliver, who comforted me at the lowest points of my life died. It was completely out of nowhere – he was not sick, showed no signs of being in any pain, and was his normal self when I left for work. Yesterday afternoon, Gordon called me to tell me that he died. We don’t know what happened (our theory is either a stroke, he choked, or some combination of the 2), but it all happened in about 5 minutes. He was gone, and I am shattered.

I told God that I had more than I could handle, and I needed help. And instead, I got more pain. I hadn’t prayed for anything specific – just to have some stress taken off my plate. And instead, I got more. It’s like I can hear Him laughing “you thought you had more than you could handle? Well, how about this.”

At every bad news that we got, I fought against the idea that God was doing this to me, that I was being punished. I told myself that the universe is random, and sometimes, people have to play a bad hand. I told myself that eventually, the randomness of the universe would turn in our favor. But now, I have to admit, that I’m not so sure about that. I’m not so sure anymore that God is kind and loving. I asked for help, and I got the rug pulled out from under me yet again.

People often say to me that God will never give you more than you can handle. What complete and total BS. Do not mistake the fact that I am still surviving what we have been handed over the past 2 years as me handling anything. I feel broken on more days than not. God has given me more than I can handle over and over again. And when I cried uncle and said I could take no more, I got more anyway.

I don’t know how to reconcile this latest loss. I’m losing the will to fight for my faith anymore. I can’t quite figure out what I’m fighting for. In the end. I think all I’m really fighting for is the idea that I’ll see my children in heaven. And that’s what keeps me hanging on to faith. And wrestling with the idea that maybe God is doing all of this to us after all makes me feel like my ultimate punishment will be that I will not get to spend eternity with them. Wouldn’t that be quite the last laugh at my expense? 

This thought of never getting to see my children again cuts me to the core of my soul. It’s the thought that keeps me hanging on, but it’s also the thing that can make me curl up into a ball and cry so hard I can’t breath. The idea that I’ll never see my children again makes me wonder what the point is of anything.

And what am I supposed to do with that thought? Let Go and let God? I’ve seen where that gets me.