Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Faith, Fear and Reality

I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I know my limitations.
Sometimes I project my physical limitations on our Lord God. Probably not a bright idea.

This weekend I had a chance to talk with Mr. Burns and told him about my realization that I don't need perfect faith. Just faith. Like in the story of the woman of faith who reached out to Jesus for healing. I told him that I understood that I only have to believe.

He was happy to hear this because... well... our experiences with faith are different.
The fact that I am 39 years old and still want to have a baby (or two) doesn't bother him. He believes that God will give to me what He gave to Abraham and Sarah.

Sure. I still believe in miracles but I know too much.

Think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - once they gain knowledge their faith is shaken. When they had nothing but their belief and confidence in God to provide for them, they were fine. But a bite of the fruit from the tree of knowledge and poof - they ruined it for all of us!

Today we know way too much.
Science and experience tells us that a geriatric pregnancy has risks. Risks for mother and child.

When I was in my 20s - I met a group of kids with Cerebral Palsy for the first time. I'll admit that I was apprehensive about even being with them at first. I was there in an observation capacity. After spending only an hour with them... they wouldn't let me leave without hugs all around. They were so sweet.
I realized as I left, that they were constantly happy. Always smiling. Just enjoying life. They were beautiful. They weren't bothered with trivial things like paying rent or even their grades. It occurred to me then, what a life of bliss! Of course it's not all sweetness, but my impression at the time was that they weren't really bothered with petty details and that's a good place to be.

A few years later, I encountered another child with Cerebral Palsy. It was then that it struck me, the sort of thought that really feels like it's from God... That my child would be just like her. It didn't scare me. It was sort of a fact. An acceptance rather than dread.

And maybe that's why my dreams of motherhood have been delayed.
At my age, the likelihood - if I should ever get married and be blessed with a pregnancy - of having a child with Cerebral Palsy is high. If that thought was from God - I'm very likely to fullfill it.

And while I would accept that if God has that in my life path, I'm a little scared of it. There is no chance that I'll have a child before I'm forty. I'd be sixty-years-old by the time my child starts college. If I have a child who would be dependant on me for life, I may not even be able to give that child a suitable amount of parenting before I'm gone!

So, as I think about this way too much... I start to think... maybe I shouldn't even seek marriage. As a Catholic, in marriage (or out) I must be open to any child God sees fit to give me. And I would be, but the result of that could be overwhelming.

Just look at all those facts - all that knowledge that gets in the way of my faith!

I yearn to have faith like the hemorrhaging woman. Simply knowing that if I come to Jesus - He will give me what I need. If He gives a child with special needs - He will also give the strength and the patience and the longevity to care for that child.
I do believe that.
But sometimes reality gets in the way. Reality and fear.

Note: This post is about my feelings and fears. I do not wish to offend anyone or misjudge their experience. I pray that any parents of special children who read this will see my heart and maybe offer their experiences to me. But please, please do not judge me as uncaring or heartless or chicken, rather see my heart where it is. As a woman struggling with faith and reality who thinks WAY TOO much!


Heidi said...

Oh, I understand. I do understand. Your faith, even your BELIEF of faith, is so inspiring to me. I've had to come to grips with the reality that I will not have as many kids as I wanted when I was younger, and I've had to put it in God's hands. It's so hard, but I have to believe that, as in the past, He won't give me any challenge that He won't also equip me to handle. One of my religious leaders once said that we should not pray for challenges to meet our abilities, but abilities to meet our challenges.

I am sure you will be blessed--you have righteous desires, the Lord knows your heart, and your faith shines in your words.

All will be well. Remember 2 Corinthians 4:8-11.

Anonymous said...

I believe with you (and Mr. Burns)!