Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Did God Kill My Babies?

So, the thing I'd been told would happen finally happened last week. I never actually thought it would. Because, no one would be that judgmental, right?

I'm taking about infertility.

Well, I was explaining what I was going through to a family member, and they said:

"Well, if God wanted you to have a baby you would have one."

And then they continued to say something about how I must have sin in my life and how I was being punished because of this "sin" and that's why I kept having so many miscarriages...and if I would just repent and give my heart fully to God it would stop. (I can't remember the exact words, but this is the just of what they said.)

I didn't argue with this person. But I wanted to address this mindset in a sort of open letter.

To began, one must understand a little something about God and free will, and the universe. Please note that in this blog post I try to explain a lot of biblical world view in a understandable fashion, as well as wrestle with the question of election vs. free will. This is simply what I have come to understand about the bible and and about how the world works.

I believe in God. And I believe God could have saved my babies, all of them. But I also believe God is a God of order. He made the world and it works in an orderly fashion, all the way from gravity to atoms and back again. 

If I drink five martinis at a bar and try to drive home afterwards, I will probably get in a car wreck. Now, could God save me from this car wreck? Yes, he can, but usually he lets the world operate in the order he has made it in, because he has given us free will.  God gave me free will--and he lets me do as I wish with my life. He, for some reason, respects choices and in many cases he chooses not to interfere.

So, if I use my free will to do something stupid and attempt to operate a motor vehicle after drinking an intoxicating substance, I might die in a car crash or I might arrive home safe.

Also, my free will can influence and impact another person's life. I may hit a girl driving home from college. She didn't make the choice to drink and drive, yet because of my choice she was killed in the crash. Choices, everywhere, have consequences, and not just for ourselves.

That brings me back to my family member's assumptions:

1) I have sin
2) God is punishing me for my sin by "killing" my babies
3) To stop God from doing this, I need to repent and then will magically have babies and be happy, forever

Lets talk about the first assumption, that of my sin. Yes, I am a sinful person. And yes, because of my sin I deserve death and eternal damnation and separation from God. But--wait--didn't Jesus die for my sins? Doesn't he say in the bible that he will forgive my sins and blot them out when I enter into salvation? Am I not white as snow, a pure blank slate before God? So, I have sinned, but I have fallen on my face before God. Moreover, I have received salvation from God. And while I do still struggle with many sins and have many unresolved issues, I am now a born again christian, a child of God.

Now lets talk about the second assumption. Is God punishing me for my sin by killing my unborn children? As I said before, I fully believe God is a God of order. I know that even if God forgives me of my sins, I can still suffer consequences from my sins. But I don't remember doing anything that would cause the death of three babies in my womb. (Think, driving-car-after-drinking) I didn't, that I know of, do or eat something that could have caused myself to have a miscarriage. I know consequences usually are related to the wrong I've committed, and I know I tried to do everything right once I found out I was pregnant.

Common infertility causes
The dichotomy is that even when I do everything that is right--we still live in a world where evil exists and where bad things happen.

So if God is not punishing me for my sins--(and I don't think he is) maybe the fact that I am experiencing this type of infertility is because "life" affects me? (like someone else driving drunk hitting me) Could something I ate have something in it that wasn't supposed to be there? Could my hormones be out of whack due to environmental or emotional issues? Could it be genetics? Is it just the way my body grew?

It could be any of those things. Goodness knows I've thought about them all. But those things are just life...happening. I could not be held responsible for them any more then an ant could be for getting squashed under my shoe. Neither I or the ant are really all that aware of each other, but yet, inexplicably, we affect each other. Life is like that. And I'm okay with that. I know tomorrow I could be hit by a drunk driver and that would be that. Just as I know that I might never be able to have children, and I'm okay with that as well. Bad things just exist here on this earth. They do, and it's just life!

I believe that my inability to give birth and carry a baby is not God punishing me. Yes, I'm sad about it. Yes, I've prayed and cried and poured out my heart to God over this issue. But right now he is answering my prayer with a no. And there is so much I am learning, about myself, through my struggle with infertility at this time. God never promised to fix my life into perfection. He just promised to give me joy. And he has.

Even if I never give birth to a living child, I have joy. Even if I never am able to get pregnant again, I have joy. 

So, did God decide to take those babies home? Maybe he did. Maybe he decided it was their time, or maybe he decided to intervene in their lives before they had even begun. But instead of it being a punishment, perhaps it was just God calling them home. Or perhaps it was just life. As sad and painful and traumatic as it was to go through, I believe my babies are with God. I wish I had seen them grow up, I wish I had been able to hold them--but I know they are in a better place. And I don't think it was punishment from God for a second that made them go there, because death isn't a punishment. Death is finally going home--to God--where we all belong. And it is a place where I will soon go, and there I will meet my children. There we can be together, for eternity.

I know this blog post is full of some confusing concepts to grasp. I am still myself learning about God and his amazing ways. I want to learn more about the doctrine of election and also more about free will. I believe we have free will, and I also believe in election.


Angela said...

I don’t know you personally, but I’m super proud of you for posting this. I believe most Christian’s struggle with this. I had a cousin who died from cancer, and he had soooo many people praying for him, and he took a turn for the best for a while, then he passed away. It was shocking. Our family struggled with why God let this happen, and the people it would have led to Christ if this miracle had happened. But miracles aren’t what saves people, its faith. God isn’t a dictator, we have free will, and that comes at a cost. I loved so many of your words in this … you’re using grief to witness to others, that’s amazing faith my sister in Christ.

Deanna Fike said...

i am really sorry that you had to listen to that ignorance. some people should just learn to listen more than they speak.

Breenah said...

I'm amazed at the composure you have about this. You have definitely reacted more levelheaded than I would have. <3

Angi said...

I'm so sorry you had to listen to that from your relative. Some people just need to learn to think before they speak, and even if they wholeheartedly believe that is the reason you don't have a child yet, that is not their place to tell you so.

That said, I agree with this post. I don't have kids yet, and we haven't even started trying, but I think about these things a lot (can't really help it since my sister in law has been trying for over 5 years to have a baby and they aren't pregnant yet) and if you have given your life to Christ, you're redeemed and you have salvation, and you're not purposely sinning for the sake of sinning, and sins that happen are repented for...then I don't believe in God punishing you by "killing" your babies. Like you said, there may be some outside reason, but purposeful punishment...I just can't imagine that's one of the reasons. God loves us and wants to bless us with many good things, children being one of those good things.

Ugh. Tough topics, indeed.

Rachel G said...

That question reminds me so much of the response Job's friends had to his suffering as described in the book of Job--the friends said the exact same thing, "All this horrible stuff must be happening to you as a punishment because of your own sin"--basically the entire book is dedicated to showing how that was most assuredly not the case.

Angi said...


Carolynn said...

thank you for this comment! It was a hard thing to think and write about!

Hugs to your sister in law! I know a bit of her pain.

Carolynn said...

thank you :)