I’ve tossed around these words a lot today via social media.
I’ve looked them over in scripture, and found them to be a couple of my favorite phrases found in the bible. But not for the reasons you may think. I find them helpful, but I have to admit that I also generally laugh at them.
Let me explain.
See, I have a bland, Paul Rudd-like sense of humor. And these two phrases always seem to represent a moment when someone is being told something truly frightening or terrible, but in a way that kinda says, “Yeah, but you’re gonna have to man up about it and it’ll be cool in a bit.” Or, they tell the person to “take comfort” in some small consolation that pales in comparison to whatever badness is about to go down.
Now, while reading these passages, its usually the people being told this stuff that usually get me scratching my head, because (with the exception of Jonah) they never seem to say, “Um, no…I’m going to freak the heck out and do something else until you get this sorted out.”
And THAT confuses me more than anything.
I mean, if we’re being honest, we all want to do that, right? We see the humongous homework assignment in front of us and we’d much rather accept the failing grade. We think about cleaning our kitchen, and instantly remember the pizza coupon we got in the mail. When we think of things that seem difficult, we immediately try to think of how not to do whatever that thing is.
So the idea of being told to take comfort, when clearly all the alarms are ringing, feels like insanity.
But then I started to really focus on the words.
I’m a stickler for a good literal translation.
Nobody ever says, “Try and get comfortable”, or even, “Hope for comfort’. They flat out tell you to take it. And I agree with them there.
It is ridiculous to think that these things we’re going through, from the insane diagnoses to repeated failures, are going to make us comfortable. For most of us, even being “fine”, is a stretch. But I refuse to accept any station that leaves me feeling hopeless. And you shouldn’t either.
The holidays bring out the best and the worst in people. People are going to be bubbly in their emotions and want to wish all kinds of miracles into your womb. They’re also going to smile lovingly at you and your partner and ask sweetly what you’re waiting on.
YOU, yourself are going to wonder why you couldn’t have this ONE thing you wanted most from Santa and the Stork.
You may get to feeling down.
You may begin to get depressed.
You may begin to question any and everything, and it may make you lose sight of the goodness you do have in your life.
When you start to feel that way in these next couple of weeks, I want you to pause for a moment and do me (and yourself) one favor:
Don’t think about it. Don’t wonder about what to do next. Don’t worry about what people are going to think.
Find a way to make this year different. Take your comfort, and KEEP taking it.
And while you’re at it, Fear Not.
If you must be afraid, that is, Fear Not enjoying your life. You only get one.
Fear NOT being thankful for where you are RIGHT NOW. It’s a good place to be, regardless of how you feel.
Fear NOT finding your strength. You have more of it than you know.
Fear NOT believing. Hope is a terrible thing to lose.
I love you more than you can even imagine. Have a happy holiday, Eggshells. From my (two person) family to yours.
Townsend Family Portrait by LloveStudio.com
Ornament Photo Credit
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Good to see you.
Oh, thanks! Yeah, it’ll be 7 years in July.
I know, it doesn’t seem that long to us either.
Yeah, well you know, it’s been fun. Time flies as they say.
Oh, what was that?
No, none yet.
Well, we were getting our degrees first.
And the finances together.
And working on careers.
Well, sure we want them.
Yeah, probably next year.
Well, we’re working on it.
No, I have fertility issues.
Oh, that’s alright, you didn’t know.
Really? I have a friend who went through it too. Thanks for sharing your friend’s/coworker’s/cousin’s business with me, though. I’ll think of her and how she finally got pregnant the next time I’m in the waiting room.
No, thank you for sharing your advice. I hadn’t heard any of it before.
You get home safe.
See you at Christmas!
“Can someone make another nog run?”
So yesterday was Easter.
I have to admit something to you right out of the gate: I’d seen a few statuses by my other infertility advocate friends that said things like, “With Easter coming up, you may need support…” and I thought, “Why? What does Easter have to do with infertility?”
Wow, was I in for a surprise. First of all, I was completely unaware that similar to Christmas and Halloween, apparently people equate colorful eggs and pastel clothing to cute children, therefore making childless couples unimportant. They almost look at you as though, “What do YOU want? You brought us nothing(no one) to play with.” Forget the whole, Jesus being raised from the dead aspect of the holiday, we’re obviously supposed to be raving about the frilly-ness of skirts and the adorableness of miniature 3-piece suits. (more…)
I’m in an awkward, awkward state of affairs at the moment.
While most bloggers and writers suffer from writer’s block and the feeling of having “nothing to say”, I’m feeling quite the opposite, but with similar results. Not only do I have things to say, but I have too many things to say. There are tons of tales and stories of the epic battle between my feelings and my progress, as well as a few scandalous rants that I just want to unleash. Yet, I spend the wee hours of the morning writing to you about what I want to write, rather than just writing it. Odd, huh?
You're Still Talking?
It is often hard for me to find clarity when my thoughts overlap and interfere with each other, and I’d rather not subject you to that. Truthfully, I’m becoming a bit unnerved by the amount of things that I’m subjecting mySELF to. LOL The transparency for which this blog has gained its momentum is not as easy a feat to uphold as some may think. It is dreadfully hard for me to decide what to share boldly, and what to let fester in the corners of my mind for fear that I’ll run you guys all away.
For instance, (more…)
Okay…this one threw me for a loop. First of all, the melody is intoxicating and Tamar Davis sings her FACE OFF. As usual, I’m looking at something that has nothing to do with infertility when something drives itself home. This time, it was Tyler Perry’s newest play “Madea’s Big Happy Family”.
As I listened to the words, I started to seriously think on how our attitudes begin to clash as we go through fertility issues. Many times our spouses and partners fall directly in the line of our fire as we battle disappointment, despair and utter frustration. This song, sung to a spouse who has been just that kind of victim, was powerful.
I’m sharing it as today’s musical therapy because I think that listening to it can truly make one realize where they may be not giving their partner the respect and admiration they deserve. As a final dose of Kujichagulia, I’m taking it as my cue to watch my tone and my actions. Take it and learn from it,…and after that, listen to it again because as I said Ms.Davis is singing her entire hair off.
Why is it so hard to get over your past? Why am I still hurting?
Why does this anger last? If you would help me, I will try to help me too. Just dont leave me, I wont make it without you.
I-I-I-I-I get so mad. I take it out on you. I know you wanna help me with all the wrong I’ve done to you! All you wanna do is love me! But I keep pushing you away. All you ever done is cared for me and I say no please go, away. I-I-I don’t know why, why you love-ove-ove me.
But I’m so glad you do, you do-o-o-o-o Thank you for putting up with me And all the things I put you through, ohhhh.
I get so sad and mean towards you. But just hold me until the moment is through.
Oh You are my man, My real Good Man. So strong for me. My one true friend. You are my man. My lover man. Don’t give up on me.
When it comes to statistics and their validity, I tend to take them with a grain of salt. Even with this site, I’m often wary of them. We as a culture, are too often classified by trends and scales that leave out many of our natural variables. For instance, the idea that African Americans do not “give up our kids”, or that we don’t adopt, is greatly contrasted by the personal accounts I know of where we have taken in relatives and neighbors as our own throughout history. If we don’t “give our children away”, then who was leaving those children behind? And if we don’t adopt, who was taking them in? Phantoms? So when I saw Christelyn Karazin’s outcry about the statistic of out-of-wedlock children in our country being 72%, I was prepared to be unmoved. Then I began to realize the number of awesome baby-mama’s I know, was a much larger number than wives. I may not always believe in statistics, but I believe in what I see.
To combat this issue, Karazin proposed the initiative, No Wedding/No Womb. The purpose of the movement being that people, specifically African-American men and women delay parenting until they are in a partnership with one another. Her site plainly states that while marriage is ideal, a loving two-parent home for children is what we are truly seeking. When I first heard of the movement, I was excited but cautious. “This thing is going to be huge,” I told a friend, “After people stop getting offended about it.”
You see, I was already prepared for those who would take the issue immediately to heart as offense. I could see clearly in my mind the number of women who would rally around each other in sheer hatred for this idea because their mom and their mom’s mom, and they themselves were the best baby-mama’s they could be. I knew it was coming. And I wanted no parts of it. However, as I’ve learned in fighting for other causes, sometimes our fight is not as popular, but it should still be fought. Your being the best baby-mama you can be, is no excuse for it becoming today’s standard.
So why bring this issue to The Egg? What could an infertility site possibly have to say about an initiative like No Wedding No Womb?
Quite a lot, actually.
You see, what is a gift to those of us for whom parenthood isn’t so easily attained, is foresight. We have no choice but to think of what our children are being brought into this world for. We have no choice but to plan for their future before they are ever conceived. We have no choice but to consider their lives before we start them. This seemingly natural idea of thinking about the children you claim to love, before you have them, is not some maverick movement. It is common sense. A common sense that is shockingly uncommon today.
One of the largest misconceptions we in the infertility community have to face is the idea that we are “playing God” and bringing children into an already over-populated world. I guess the rest of the world who is free to reproduce at will, is also free from that thought process? Oh, and those who can have children of their own biologically without problem are also free of being assaulted with the reminders of the children floundering in foster care and adoption services? Matter of fact, just to be totally clear, those whose bodies have no problem whatsoever in allowing sperm to meet egg are free from all thought and responsibility outside of their own desires and choices, right?
Great. Thanks for clearing that up.
My planning for children because there is more medical involvement necessary, should NOT be the only reason children are thought of before their conception.
To be plain, the issue is not with single mothers. The frustration is not towards those women who have had to step up to the plate due to circumstance. My frustration is toward those who are selfish in their choices. Those who place their own desires over the future needs of the children they bring into the world. Don’t give this great gift to men who have no intention of being there to support and participate. Why would you give that to someone with whom you wouldn’t even trust yourself?
A child’s life is not your opportunity to prove that you “got this”, unnecessarily. A child’s future is not a marketing tool for you to connect yourself to a man. A child’s life, is just that: Their LIFE. None of us, have the right to be so careless with it. The responsible and thoughtful conception of those of us with no choice should still be the choice for all.
I’ve sat on this post for two months now. Reading and re-reading it. Trying to figure out if it is saying all that I want to say on the subject. I’ve decided that it isn’t. It can’t say all that I have to say, because I’m not fully complete in my decisions about this. What I know, above all else, is that family is important. The entire basis of this blog and this fight, is about building FAMILY. Building families, is not the equivalent to having babies.
My heart hurts at where our people are if all we think about is self-gratification and comfort. The No Wedding No Womb movement has been met with opposition primarily from those who take it as a personal attack on them, their mother, or their best friend. Step outside of your own feelings and think of that child who has a great mom but wishes she had a dad too. Step outside of your unnecessary offense and think of that little boy who wishes he had two people clapping for him at the school assemblies. If your life turned out great, from your one-parent home, take a moment and think about what your mom had to sacrifice to give it to you. Wouldn’t you wish HER a better experience. And FINALLY, to those who have no issue with the message of NWNW but claim their aggravation is on it not serving a real purpose or having any real “focus”, I dare you to work with Christelyn at developing one. I DARE you to do something.
Damn, for the sake of family, how about we applaud those of us bold enough to have action rather than criticism?