On Faith

This is a “cheater post” – copied and pasted from a comment I made on the Town Criers’ blog (although paragraph 2 is new):

I’m really glad for people who manage to keep their hold on faith even through trauma and despair. It hasn’t been possible for me. Although in my case, IF came after the fact, after other losses shook my world view apart. I’ve been drifting away from my faith slowly for the past 8 years, and only ttc for 2, so this latest blow was more like “ok, just one more thing. I should have known.” I agree (see December posting) that formal/public religious practice can be really painful and alienating for the IF person/couple – the fecund-family-centricity of most services I’ve attended certainly do not make me WANT to go to church. But I grew up very religious, and still associate with a lot of religious people, so a couple friends have said things like “God will honor your desire to conceive,” or “children are our inheritance from God” when I’ve told them we’re ttc. It makes me want to scream.

Thing is, the “God” that I was introduced to and taught about all those years just doesn’t match my experience at all. I’ve been struggling to come to a new conceptualization of “God” that makes sense to me, that would match what I observe life and the world to be about. At this point it makes sense to think of God as the Divine Life Force, the reason there is Something rather than Nothing. That’s about it. Qualities of “thought,” intentionality, personhood, much less a “Divine Plan” really don’t attach to my concept of God at this time; I see those as anthropomorphism. I can accept the idea of God as “present,” just not as thinking, feeling, willing, or having consciousness or self-consciousness (because if that’s true, then “God” is the most incredibly cruel and sadistic being imaginable – god is the devil, if you will). So the idea of God “honoring” or giving an inheritance? Yeah, makes no sense to me. Plus it’s just mean to say things like that.

I do think that it would be a huge step forward just to have churches acknowledge the pain of infertility. I think it’s harder in smaller congregations where there may be fewer infertile members, or even just one. I think it relates to larger issues of how churches handle the social pressure on individuals to appear “perfect” and sinless, vs. the real need people have to bring their brokenness to a place where they can find healing and love.

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