Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Grandchildless - The renewed sting.

I will not become a mother, or a grandmother in 2013, or any year thereafter. I won’t have a brag book to carry around and I won’t have stories of my children figuring out what grandma name to call me. I think I would have liked Gramela, but who knows? It won’t ever matter. I won’t know the feeling of the baby who was part of me, having a baby who is part of her. I won’t see my legacy in future generations, raised by me and the man God gave me to love. We are not parents. We did not choose it. Childlessness chose us.

So, my life looks different than the life of my parenting, and now grandparenting, friends. Life sometimes passes us by because the world revolves around families. People become friends with the parents of their children’s playmates, or with people who have children close in age to their own. It’s a great bonding experience for most Americans. For some of us, it feels like we are on the outside of a grand game; and no one picked us for their team. It’s not because we don’t have a lot to offer, or that others don’t find us friend-worthy. It just takes more effort on our part to reach out, but reaching out involves being in close proximity to the thing we want most: children. So, sometimes, we withdraw into painful loneliness and even shut out those who love us most.

It’s hard to put yourself out there when the chances of heartbreak are nearly 100%. I consider myself to be healed from the heartbreak of infertility. I’m not angry about it, and I LOVE new babies, born to my friends and young couples I meet through church or work, or wherever. I love hanging with my friends kids and being a sounding board and sometimes even an advice giver when they ask for it. But, as we reach our middle forties…and our friends’ children are starting families of their own, Grandchildlessness has reared it’s head. I knew it would. I wrote about it in my book on childlessness and insisted that chapter stay in the book. It’s important.

Infertility did not stop when I came to terms with childlessness. The ramifications will slap me in the face, at least occasionally, until I breathe my last breath this side of Heaven. It can either break me to the point of depression, self-loathing and endless grief, OR I can choose to live out the plan God has for my life. The plan he knew before I was conceived and still chose to put in place the moment I was  formed in our mother’s womb. He knew me, He knew my pain, and died to bear my sorrows. The brokenness was redeemed, by Him, almost 2ooo years before I was born.

The only cure for my heartbreak is to rejoice. A rejoicing heart can go through heartache, but it will not be broken. A rejoicing heart gives thanks in every situation and worships God from a place of purity and passion.  A rejoicing heart shines the light of Jesus everywhere it goes and the Holy Spirit radiates from it. Yes, rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, bear one another’s burdens, and let Him raise me up on wings as eagles; that’s the life I want, that’s the relationship I want.

My pain is not greater than anyone else’s pain. It’s source is different, but we all have a cross to bear. There is pain and anguish I will never experience, things I will be spared, simply because I am childless. Is there a greater pain than burying your child? I will not experience that devastation. Is there heartache when your child chooses dangerous paths? I won’t be put through it. Yes, there is grief in my childless heart and there was a time that It could not be consoled. But it is finished. Bring on the brag books and baby shower invitations…I want to rejoice!