Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Something random I wrote today

So, a couple people who read my blog have recently claimed that I am a good writer.

This is something I wrote today.

Have fun.
(For anyone who is curious, I had to post this in IE instead of my normal browser, Opera.)

Sarah Saved had no children, and it seemed like everything reminded her of it. When the children went up to the front for the children’s sermon, when they flooded back through the sanctuary (not much of a sanctuary from thoughts of infertility!) on their way to children’s church, when she had to walk by the nursery on her way to Sunday school... and in the middle of all of it was Brenda Breeder. She herded all the children downstairs to children’s church, carrying her toddler with her instead of putting him in the nursery, as if no one else were good enough to look after him, even though she was teaching a craft her own three older boys and thirty-odd others besides. To top it off, Brenda was very pregnant with yet another child—five! Just seeing the Breeder brood was enough to make Sarah livid—at herself, at God, but especially at Brenda. Brenda was forever counting off her kids: “Josiah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Levi... and little Elijah,” Brenda would say, resting a hand on her bulging abdomen with the last.
She can barely keep track of her kids, she has so many, Sarah thought with disgust. After going through the grueling adoption progress, she was sure she would love her firstborn child more than Brenda could ever love Josiah. Before Sarah and her husband had started the adoption process, she had even fantasized about stealing one of Brenda’s little blond-haired, blue-eyed boys. Surely she could give the child more attention than he would get in a family of six, and Brenda would probably not even notice that he went missing. Now, though, Sarah was waiting to get a baby of her own, and the Breeder boys were just a reminder that she was still waiting. Brenda knew that she was adopting, too, but she just didn’t keep her big pregnant belly out of the way.
A gentle nudge from her husband informed Sarah that the sermon was over and it was time for Sunday School. Great. Big old pregnant Brenda would probably sit next to her again.
Brenda ambushed her in the hallway before she had even entered the classroom. Handing off the toddler to her husband, Brenda accosted Sarah with The Question: “Heard any good news yet? I keep praying your little one will come soon! He could be Elijah’s playmate!”
“No,” Sarah replied. Why did she keep rubbing it in that she had a baby coming soon, sure and for certain?
Brenda squeezed her shoulder. “Just keep trusting in the Lord.” What did Brenda know about trusting in the Lord? It seemed like she had a baby every two years like clockwork. What did she know about being given a body that didn’t work? About having to wait on someone else’s approval to get a baby? About having a heart that raced with every phone call only to break a little bit more when she saw it was not the social worker calling? About being surrounded by pregnant ladies who couldn’t help but remind her every Sunday that her arms were empty?
Sarah stayed in the hallway a moment after Brenda went in, and then sat across the room from her. Brenda came over to sit next to her with a big, happy, pregnant smile. It must be easy to be happy when everything you want falls into your lap. Sarah had thought that a class on Psalms would be uplifting. But Brenda made it miserable. She would always talk about being blessed. But God didn’t bless Sarah.
“Oh, Sarah, I love this psalm!” said Brenda, pointing out one of the psalms they would be studying. Wonderful—more stuff to remind her that she didn’t have kids. Children were olive plants. Whatever that meant.
“And just how many olive plants do you have again, Brenda?” Sarah asked, feeling more than a little snippy—which she thought was justifiable.
A palpable silence fell over the room as everyone turned to look at her. She hadn’t sounded that snippy, had she?
Brenda took a moment to reply.
“I have ten children. The first five are waiting for me to meet them in Heaven. Then we adopted Josiah. And then God blessed me with four more boys. And all it would have taken to save my other babies was aspirin—but then I wouldn’t have Josiah.”
Brenda fled the room.
Sarah was left to remember that Josiah looked a bit less like a clone of his father than his little brothers did. She recalled how her husband had urged her to be a little more charitable to Brenda—“She’s just trying to be friendly.” In shame, she thought how sure she had been that Brenda had no sorrow in her life—in fact, that no sorrow could compare with hers. And she remembered that each time she had asked for prayer about the adoption, it had been Brenda who offered the prayer. And then Sarah Saved prayed for forgiveness, and went to make amends to her sister in Christ.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Matthew 7:2 (New International Version)


Blogger Jenn said...

Ack! I haven't been over here in a week and suddenly see how much I've been missing! Glad you're writing . . .

3:21 PM  
Blogger The Vegas Art Guy said...

You do have a talent for writing. Keep it up. Hopefully we'll see what happens to your Heroine and Brenda...

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Holly said...

You do write beautifully, and grippingly. Very well done!

I'm so sorry for the pain you have had to carry - the children you have lost, the dreams that will be only realized in Heaven. I pray that God will give you children to hold, here - before too much longer.

As a "Brenda Breeder" type, though, I want to very gently remind you that not all who have many children are unsympathetic to your trials. Even those of us who haven't suffered in the same way as you - haven't miscarried, haven't doesn't indicate a lack of concern or compassion or heartbreak for the Sarah Saved types!

Even if Brenda Breeder hadn't miscarried, or adopted...she would have had her own - other - trials. No one's life is perfect, easy, devoid of difficulties and heartbreak. God gives us each our blessings, and sufferings.

And speaking from the other side of the coin - while having many children *is* a huge blessing - it carries difficulties too. Physical strain, and pain sometimes - I have many friends who have lost children who have already been born. The mother of many suffers much scorn in this current world. We don't talk about it much - because we try to present it as positively as possible. But some people treat us as absolutely disgusting for continuing to..."breed." And that is actually what we are called at times...breeders. Which I laugh at, but is actually offensive if I let it get to me. People treat mothers of many as if she is stupid - doesn't know how to prevent "that," or take care of herself. They treat her like a bad mother - as if she couldn't possibly adequately take care of that many children. As if her home must be filthy and the children neglected. True story: One of our sons was very ill once. We took him to doctors all over - to the biggest children's hospital in the state. After running many tests, over and over - the brilliant doctors came to the conclusion that his failure to thrive was because he was the fifth child and didn't get the nutrition and care he needed. ARGHHHHHH! Duh! Thank you doctor! Why didn't I figure out that he only needed food to grow? (Insert a little sarcasm there...) His real problem turned out to be wheat allergies...which I figured out on my own.

All of that to say - we need love, acceptance, consideration and compassion between us as women. We need to assume the best between us as Christian women. We need to try to understand each other's hearts, and pray for each others burdens.

Many prayers for you today, dear YCW.

In Jesus' Love,

6:12 AM  
Blogger Young Christian Woman said...


Sorry I took so long getting this up--I stayed off online for a while.

Perhaps context for my writing this would have been helpful here.

I wrote this on an adoption board I participate on. It is affiliated with an infertility board which is even worse. There has been some animosity, on the IF board especially, towards those who have "too many children" or have children when they "shouldn't." My sympathies are far more with Brenda than with Sarah, and I am well-read on the problems that quiverfull people experience.

I chose Brenda's name to set the tone for Sarah's point of view, not because I think of people like Brenda as a "breeder."

And Holly, I know that you and others are sympathetic, and I am very grateful for the compassion and kindness you have shown me. I hope you have a better idea, now, of why I was writing this piece.

Not that I don't have my own issues--but my issues would be with Tara 2.5, not with you.

4:08 AM  

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