I imagine that each of us has something we want and do not have. Something that would make us happy, improve our lives, or give us the sense of purpose or security or peace we desperately long for. Maybe we didn’t get something we should have, or we made a wrong choice which continues to manifest its negative ramifications, or we are still waiting for something that should have come by now, or we lost something that can’t be returned.
We feel that these things shouldn’t have happened, that something went off course or maybe we went off course. It’s like the class in school where everyone else learned a foundational lesson and we just so happened to miss it. How did this happen? Why did this happen? How can I change it?
We are under the impression that we can’t progress in the way we want to or are supposed to until we are fixed or we get the thing we’ve longed for.
But what if this thing we feel we lack, this supposed flaw in the plan for our lives that feels so broken, so wrong… is actually the plan? Is it possible that what we feel is wrong with our lives is the very thing that is most right to allow God to work His transformation in us? Is there something we don’t see?
. . .
All I can offer is my own experience, so I present a case study of myself:
I often feel that without children, I am stuck. I can’t progress to the next stage of life “until.” It seems clear that my body isn’t accomplishing the work it was intended by its very nature to do. What happened? Why am I missing out on the joy and love of parenthood and the crucial development my spirit longs for that can only come through being a mother? Why am I missing out on these experiences? What if I never have them? How can I gain the experience and happiness others with children have? Can I?
I used to feel pain when people would speak of the important calling of motherhood, the symbolic and divine experience of giving birth, and the centrality of families and children in God’s plan. If these things are so important, so “central,” why am I missing out on them? What does that say about me, my body, my femininity? How could my life have meaning when the very experience that should give it meaning is withheld from me?
Now I see a bit more clearly. One person’s infertility does not diminish the divinity of motherhood or take away from the beauty inherent in pregnancy and birth. The fact that I’m infertile does not give my life less purpose. In fact, it may be the very approach God chose to take to teach me something I could never have learned from becoming a mother sooner. I can receive equally valuable (though different) experiences, strength, and learning that others are receiving from parenthood because of the very fact I don’t have it.
I didn’t miss out on the standard curriculum, but am receiving (or at least given the option to receive) a customized, personal course of study.
And so it is with you. What is it in your life that seems to have gone awry that could be a misinterpretation of an opportunity for personalized tutoring? In what way does your life deviate from the expected pattern and how could this be a personalized blessing for you? How could you stop resisting this “wrongness” and instead find healing, acceptance, and peace from believing in its purpose?