Thanks for that

So I haven’t posted about faith or religion since an earlier post a few months ago.  Basically, I’m at a place in my life where I really don’t believe that there’s a god out there.  I’d link to that post, but I’m completely blog-illiterate, so sorry about that :), it’s out there, I promise.

I had a massively frustrating exchange with someone from our old church that I just had to write about.  My husband and I did join a church back when I was pregnant with Sweetie.  He believes that our child(ren) (if they are ever plural) should have the opportunity to choose to go to church if they want to (he didn’t grow up with religion at all), so we were exploring that.  We were very active and great attenders in the church for almost 2 years- every week through my pregnancy and then thereafter with Sweetie.  Sweetie was baptized as an infant in this church.  We attended all the youth group fundraisers, tithed and pledged money for building fundraisers, and we went to Mommy and me playdates in the church nursery.  Then I had miscarriage #4 (after having Sweetie) and we just stopped doing anything.

Slowly, it began to hit me that not one freaking person from the church ever reached out or asked us why we weren’t there.  No calls, emails, nothing.  Sweetie and I were enrolled in a toddler midweek music class and we stopped going- the teacher never once contacted us.  Yep, that’s the ‘Christian’ response, I guess.

I did continue to get little mailings of monthly newsletters for Sweetie telling me all about her important Christian milestones we should be meeting- (think little prayers to do with your 18 month old, little Christian stories to act out during bathtime with your 19 month old, etc).  After losing my Abby, I contacted the youth pastor who sends those out and told her they needed to stop because every month they are just painful.  I don’t need monthly reminders that my one and only living baby is growing up and I don’t know that I’ll ever get a chance to do this again.  She sent me a page full of Bible verses talking about how loving God is and how he’s so sad for us, too.  Oh and some more shit about ‘God’s plan’ and it’s ‘ok to be angry with God’.  Lovely, but I just didn’t respond.  Not worth it.

I finally got an email from someone in the mom’s group at church this past weekend.  I haven’t seen this mom in over a year and a half.  She asks me how ‘my baby’ is doing and said we should come to a particular fall church event.  Um, yes, Sweetie was probably 5 months and a baby when she saw her last, but that question just kills me after my latest losses.  Sweetie is full-blown toddler going on teenager, just not a baby anymore.

I thanked her for the invite and just said I was busy so wouldn’t be attending.  Then she pushes and says that my husband should bring Sweetie as ‘Christian fellowship is so important for toddlers’.  I then replied thanks again, but we aren’t doing anything with the church anymore.  I left it at that and was very polite.  Then she asks why not.  Finally, I replied back that I’ve had 6 miscarriages and lost my fertility after the last loss and I really don’t want to be involved with church or God right now.  Then I get back the lovely Christian spew email telling me about Job and his trials and how he didn’t lose faith or curse God.  And that I should take comfort that God is holding my babies in heaven.  Oh, and God send his only son to earth to die, so he knows the grief of losing a beloved child better than anyone.   Wait- it gets better:  With God nothing is impossible and he works miracles every day.

So now I want to seriously go off on this lady.  I know I’m kind of bipolor- I am pissed that no one from the Church ever bothered to care or ask about us, but then when they do, it also pisses me off.  So there’s no winning with me, I’ll acknowledge that.

But seriously, I don’t know where these people get off.  Does it really help most other people (ie, not me) to read random Bible verses and to hear that because God killed off all of Job’s family and he remained faithful, that I should remain faithful to?   Maybe I’m just in the very small minority, but I don’t see how shaming someone for how they are grieving by comparing them to a Biblical character is helpful.

I should have just ignored the last email.

I just told her that I wasn’t Job.  And I do curse God, on the rare days where I still believe he exists (and they are getting rarer).  And that I wish if he were God that he would just strike me down with lightening for cursing him, rather than making me live through the continual hell of him killing my babies.  And I think I said something about Mary not having 6 miscarriages with her ‘immaculate conception’, so obviously when it’s important to God, he doesn’t cause a miscarriage or kill a healthy baby.  Oh, and he supposedly raised his Son in 3 days from the dead, so when God wants to bring back my babies to life, maybe I’ll believe in his miracles.

Yes, it felt good to write that.  And I was really, really nice the first two emails, so I really don’t fly off the handle immediately.  I should have learned after the first time that just not responding is the better response to the spew.

 

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10 thoughts on “Thanks for that

  1. I’m so sorry for your losses. I can’t imagine how painful this exchange was for you. I’m a Christian, but I sometimes think its a miracle I have faith when there are so many Christians (and “Christians”) giving Christ a bad name. I’m sorry. Some people have no sense at all.

  2. Ugh, that woman sounds awful. And I don’t blame you for being angry that no one from the church reached out to you in all this time. I am someone who does believe in God, but I have some major issues with organized religion and churches. That’s why my husband and I have only visited a handful of churches in the more than seven years we’ve been married. I always leave feeling like I need a stiff drink, and I guess that kind of defeats the purpose of going, haha. I’m so sorry that woman was such an insensitive fool in her email, and good for you for telling her off! Maybe she’ll think twice next time before going all holy roller on someone in pain.

    • Thanks Annie- can I ask how you separate believing in God from organized religion- is it easy for your or challenging? As I grew up these things were SO intertwined, I guess it never really hit me that they could be separated. Do you find that you talk about God and religion with your husband and friends or is it in the background? Sorry for the questions, It just fascinates me how others make it ‘work’ in their lives. /MMB

  3. I could have written this myself. Your posts always feel like they came from my mouth. I don’t even know what to say to this post other than I totally and completely understand. Completely.

  4. Good for you!!!! I’m an atheist, and while I do see some good things being done in church, most of it seems extremely superficial. And I’ve never experienced the kind of support I’ve heard others have had. Maybe because I don’t fit the mold, I really don’t know. But I’m also exasperated by all the Christians who offer nothing but prayer in response to other crises – in my mind, actual SERVICE was what Christ preached, not an off-hand request that an unseen deity do all the dirty work. That’s my take, anyway. 😉

  5. I know you are hurting a lot, and I don’t want to make light of it, but I enjoyed reading your retorts to that lady. Sometimes being “sensitive” and holding it all in is not the best thing to do, especially when others are not making an effort to be sensitive or see things from your perspective.

  6. Hi there, I just found your blog from someone else’s blog (can’t even remember where now).
    I totally relate to everything you’ve said here. I also read your previous post you mentioned called “Losing babies, losing faith” and wanted to comment there, but it appears comments have been turned off for that one—can’t say I blame you there!
    It’s amazing to me that you have had all the same struggles spiritually that I have. Although I commend you as the better woman because you still kept your faith through the first two miscarriages. Mine didn’t even last through one, the only one I’ve had. I guess that makes you the stronger Christian? (a little sarcasm there.) But it seems like every single thing you question or feel isn’t right, I feel the same way. For example, if God allows it, it’s the same as causing it. The disgust with “It’s God’s will” or “We can’t understand because we’re just stupid humans and our brains are too tiny.” I also hate how in Christianity we are viewed as perpetual children (or as stupid sheep). To that I say, children grow up, don’t they? After 30 years of being a Christian, do I get to qualify as “grown up” yet? No? Why not? At what point do we get to be grown up enough for our “Father” to explain to us why he took these babies away from us?
    I also concur about the hypocrisy with the idea that all the bad stuff is not God’s fault, but when good stuff happens, we should thank God.
    I also agree that it’s much easier to believe that there is no master plan, because if there is, and this is it, then who in their right minds could want to worship or follow a God who PLANS for us to suffer? And then there’s the idea that somehow God is the “ultimate” father, the father that surpasses all the love of earthly fathers. So…if that’s true, then why are we here? I mean really? Because, I know even plain old earthly fathers could see that if they knew for certain that their unborn children would suffer unimaginable pain, that they would choose not to bring them into this earth. But yet God is somehow still a better father? I don’t think so.

    It’s been a year and a half since my miscarriage, and I still have the same questions, still wrestle with the same problems and hangups with spirituality, and still can’t reconcile the Christian view of God with what happened to me. I’m going to church again, and have amazingly found a church where people seem to care. That’s the only reason I’m going. For my husband (who is appalled that I have lost faith), and my children, I’m going. But if not for that I don’t know that I would even be trying to fix anything.

    Sorry this was so long—but what you had to say sure resonated with me!

    • Sorry, I need a second- I’m still laughing at the suggestion that I was a better Christian! HA, I LOVE IT! 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing, I love to read other people’s thoughts on faith, religion, etc. and it really does help to find other people who have struggled with it. So many people on the miscarriage support boards are so engrained in faith and they say it makes them closer to God, that always intrigues me. And of course there’s the standard response ‘I’ll pray for you’ when you talk about emotional triggers or a horrible day, does that really make other people feel better? Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks for your thoughts! /MMB

      • I know there are people out there who somehow keep their faith when really bad stuff happens, but I don’t know how they can. I’m the kind of person who wants to know WHY stuff happens and how stuff works, and when I can’t understand something, it frustrates me. So when the miscarriage happened, I was sure the heck frustrated that the answer I get is “it’s not for us to know why these things happen, we just have to trust God.”
        Maybe some people feel better when you say “I’ll pray for you” but what I’d rather hear is, “My heart is broken for you,” or “You have my deepest sympathy,” or, “You must feel awful. How about I come over and we’ll watch movies together to take your mind off it.” Anything except the dreaded “I’ll pray for you.” To me, that amounts to the same thing as, “I really don’t care but I’ll say something so you don’t think I’m a huge jerk. Oh, and I’m not really going to pray for you, but if I don’t say that I will, I’ll look like a bad Christian.” I don’t tell people I’ll pray for them, even when I feel that’s what they’re looking for me to say, because I want to be honest. I’m not going to pray for them. I don’t pray about anything anymore. So to say I will would be a lie.
        Anyway jeez I’m just going to be a rambler today! So let me shut up now. lol.
        Take care dear heart!

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