"Cheer up. Remember what the Monty Python boys say."
"Always look on the bright side of life?"
"No, 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.'"

Monday, January 7, 2008

"The Patience of Job."

I have heard this saying so many times in my life yet I never took the time to reflect on the meaning.

As the story goes, God allows the devil to take everything from Job; his family, prosperity, home, health, etc. but leaves the stipulation that he cannot be killed. The devil tells God that once Job loses everything, he will curse God and die. The ending is wonderful and hopeful. Job remains patient and faithful and he is blessed with riches and family many time over his original blessings.

I am not content with that version of events. It does not give the whole story and really does not encapsulate the emotion and welling being of Job. Let me break this down a little more. Job has the following things to contend with:

  • 1. His wife is not supportive. Through the loss of everything held dear to him, Job not only has to deal with his declining health but a nagging and unsupportive wife. "Curse God and die," she says. Basically, you are miserable and I am tired of all this so just give it up and get out of my life. If I were him, I would curse her and maybe throw her butt out of my house, but patience is not one of my virtues. ;o)
  • 2. His friends are jerks and kick him while he is down. Now, an unsupportive wife is one thing, he married her he has to deal with her. Aren't we suppose to rely on our friends to help us in the hard times? Not these guys. Nope, they are hateful. It isn't merely. "Curse God and die," it is, "What sin is in your life that God is punishing you? What aren't you repentant of? What have you done that is so evil the God is making you suffer? Why aren't you being blessed when you cry out for help?" Wow! With friends like that, who needs enemies? They refuse to believe that he has done nothing worthy of this torture. They tell him he is lying and that his relationship with God is horrible and he is refusing to see it. "Curse God and die."
  • 3. He is a whiny son of a gun. Don't get me wrong. I would be whiny too. But the man has a saying about him, why don't they say he is a whiny butt, too? He says he should never have been born, he asks God to take his life, he laments on and on about how he wished that he were gone and that life is horrible. Yet, in all the whining, he says that God is doing it for some unknown reason and that he just needs to deal.

I know, some of you are thinking, so what does this have to do with anything? I thought you were taking about TTC and IF issues. Well, I am. Keep reading.

I put Job in modern time; I made him a woman. Not only have I made him a woman, I have made him/her infertile. Have I lost you yet? No? Good.

  • 1. How many times have we heard as women, and men, living with IF, "Why don't you adopt?" I equate that to "Curse God and die." Now wait, I am an adopted child and I am in NO way saying that adoption is a curse. I am just using it an example of insensitive advice thrown our way. Adoption is usually the last resort in IF. Either the couple has tried everything else and failed or they just don't have the strength to go through IF treatments endlessly. Job's family and friends are basically saying, give up on a biological child. "You are being selfish. Look are all the kids out there who need homes." They don't know that Job has looked into adoption and it can be far more expensive and emotionally draining than IVF (depending on the person, mind you). They only know what their limited knowledge allows them.
  • 2. How many times are we told that maybe we are just not meant to be parents? Or, it will happen in God's time, we need to start living our lives 'right' before we are blessed with a child, we have sin in our life that is unrepentant (There are books out there on IF that actually say that. I was appalled.). Is this not the equivalent of what Job's friends said? They accused him of sin and lying and not living right. They judged him and made him feel even worse. He tells them that repeatedly, "You are not helping matters. You are making me feel worse." Yet they continue. Haven't we all gone through that at some point? Don't we all have people in our lives who judge us? How many primary IF girls have told a secondary IF girl that she should be happy with what she has. We even turn on each other; that in itself is very sad and disheartening.
  • 3. We all get whiny. We will have bad days, horrible days. Days of self pity and loathing. Days we cry out to God, "Why?" We will tell people we are having a bad day and then at times, it is thrown back at in our faces as a lack of faith. It hurts, then we get even whinier and wallow even deeper in depression. IF will do that. (It is still a stigma, its not a "real" disease, we should stop stressing, relax and just let it happen when it is supposed to. This advice would make anyone foul.) These moments to not make us less faithful. They show our humanity. We are allowed those moments. Those moments make us appreciate the happy moments. The other blessings in life. They are allowed.

(Yes, God does say to him, Who are you to question my plans and that he needs to stop whining so much and focus on the his faith too, but, Job remained faithful and unwavering. He may have gotten a bit of a verbal smack down but in the end his friends were the ones who were not show favor in God's eyes. He did not cave into their opinions.)

TTC and IF is a very personal journey. After reading through the Creme de la Creme postings (and the story of Job), I feel relieved and I know that I am not alone and that there are many people out there who feel and struggle me. I wish there weren't but what is boils down to is this, we are the support for each other and I think that is what truly matters.

I have a new appreciation for Job. I am resolved to stop worrying about what others think. I see couples that are beat down by family and friends' opinions/comments. My heart breaks for them. I have been there. I still am at times; but, I know in my own heart where I stand on life, love, God, religion, IF, TTC, etc. I will not waiver because someone's opinion may not be shared by me. In the end, no one else is accountable for my life but me, so why should I allow outside (unsolicited) influences to define me.

**Disclaimer: This blog is not aimed at any one (or multiple, for that matter) person(s). They are the expressed opinion of the writer and writer alone. If she has some how offended you in any way, sorry but she has the 1st amendment right to state her opinion. If you don't like it, stop reading her entries.

***Additional Disclaimer: I have a friend who is frequently bashed for her outspoken opinions and I chose to add the disclaimer to thwart any potential drama. She doesn't deserve it anymore than any of us do. We all have opinions and we have the right to express them, good, bad or indifferent.


nancy said...

You know me, I don't quite understand the religious content (I understand the story, obviously) so all I can say is I hope we all have a little job in us. That kind of patience would be nice.

In regards the the disclaimer, who are you talking about?

babytlc said...

Oh, I know, it was more for the analogy than religion.

I answered you but not here. I don't want people to feel I am singling them out.

Monica Fayth said...

I like that analogy. It fits really well. Definitely food for thought. Now I just need to go back and read Job again.