I’ve got to get something off my chest. In the last few years I’ve been through a crisis of faith. Don’t worry, it’s not the earth shattering type of crisis of “Do I believe in God or not?” No, He’s there. There’s too much evidence in history, the world, and in my life to prove that, but my crisis has to do with the immense isolation I feel as a childless woman and how utterly out of place I feel in the Christian community. Right now part of me wants to run far away from church and the CONSTANT, GLARING reminders that my life is so much less than the Christian family ideal. I even heard a sermon recently, citing scripture, that childlessness is a curse; however, a large part of me desperately wants to remain in church because I’ve always been a part of the church, and it holds an important place in my heart.
Things have gotten so bad I can’t even listen to Christian radio very much anymore because every station is peppered with stories about babies and children. There has been a recurring promo on one station where the D.J. gushes on about his 2-year-old telling him he loves him for the first time. There was another station who live reported on the labor and delivery of one it’s D.J.s, and they even interviewed her in her hospital room within a few hours of delivery. After that I wrote that station. I even got a nice understanding response, but the baby-fest continued. Many mornings I start out listening to Christian radio, but usually by the time I get to work I’ve switched to a classic rock station. It may not be faith building, but at least it doesn’t remind me of what I don’t have.
Here’s another example… last week I had several people (including my mother) ask if my hubby and I had seen the movie “Courageous”. When I said, “no”. Everyone said, “Oh, but you should!” I’m sure it’s a great movie as most Sherwood Films have been, but it’s about fatherhood. What I wanted to say very sarcastically was, “Yes, I have taken my childless-not-by-choice husband to see a movie about fatherhood. We made a b-line to the theater for that one!” I could make a sure-fire bet on the response to that too. It would be, “Oh, but he’s a father to many!” No, he’s not. He’s a son, an uncle, and a husband, but he’s not a father as much as I’m not a mother. Platitudes don’t help at all. They only hurt. That’s why I don’t waste my breath anymore. It’s like our situation is so invisible that even those closest to us in our church and family cannot fathom that we wouldn’t want to rush out to every family-oriented movie or event.
So as a 43-year-old woman trying to move on from 20+ years of infertility it’s very difficult to move on in when you’re in a culture which in my opinion has almost come to the point of worshiping children. Yes, children are a blessing from the Lord, but they are not the ONLY blessing. I honestly think too much emphasis is placed upon children. I’ve also noticed a disturbing trend developing…than many parents will not take their children out of church service if they are disturbing the service, and no one is saying anything about it. Well, I will say on the interwebz that it’s very insensitive and downright rude. Churches put a lot of time in their children’s programs, so take them there and let the rest of us worship in peace. Johnny’s and Susie’s high-pitched squeals are not cute to anyone but you.
So, as a childless person simply attending church on Sunday is often rife with constant reminders, and sometimes even condemnation that we are not in the parent club and that we are somehow less blessed.
I think I’ve said this before, but sometimes I want to start “The Church of the Barren Womb”, but deep down inside I know that’s not the answer either. It really seems that I have to continue living a familiar world where I’m out of place.