Having another piece of cake (or not?)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Now that I mentioned cake, is your interest piqued? Haha. It will be a few paragraphs before I get to the cake part...

Can I reconcile surrendering with feeling shocked or left behind (or I guess, if I'm being honest... a teensy eesny meesy bit envious or jealous? *gasp*) when someone announces that they're pregnant? Am I allowed to claim that I surrender this longing to God and several days later feel the air go out of me when I open an email that announces an unexpected pregnancy?

To be correct, I looked up the definition of surrender and here's what I got: to give oneself up, as into the power of another; submit or yield. Yep, that is what I want to do with this big ol' infertility situation- but if I claim to have surrendered, what kinds of things am I entitled to feel regarding what I have "given up"? Is it hypocritical of me to say I have surrendered and still blurt out "her, too?!"?

If I were to meet myself and hear for the first time what I'm thinking, I think I would say "yes, A, it is sort of hypocritical (on its face) to say that you have surrendered and still whine about what you have supposedly given up. After all, you can't have your cake and eat it, too." Yikes.

(Here comes the cake!)

My sister B has really awesome perspectives. A couple of years ago, we were all sitting around talking about this phrase you can't have your cake and eat it, too. She does not get it whatsoever. She thinks for it to make sense for what people use it to mean, it definitely needs to be reworked because, technically, you can have your cake and eat it, as long as you are okay with not having any cake after you eat it. Get it? And, to this day, all of us still tease her about her take on this saying! I will be her maid of honor at her wedding (someday in the future), and it is my pledge to work this into my toast!! So, here is what she suggests to be more appropriate:
  • You can't have had your cake and eat it, too.
  • You can't have another piece of cake.
So, for example, the first alteration clearly establishes that if you have already had your cake (so it is gone), you can't eat it (after it's gone). Translation to real life, if I have already given up my longing for a baby (so it is hypothetically gone), I can't claim to be longing for a baby.

I guess in my real life translation, cake turns out to be a bad thing! Eek!

The second alteration (which is the one all of us think is the more hilarious of the two alterations), really identifies that you can't have two things. So, in my real life, I can't profess to have the mindset of surrender and the mindset of fretting about my infertility.

After thinking about this popular saying and how it may (or may not) relate to infertility, I've come to the conclusion that it's a little harsh to be a objective standard for us, but it should make us stop and think about how what we are saying is matching up with what we are doing. In other words, I think it is nearly impossible (even after professing my surrender!) to sever myself from all of the emotions that come after hearing of a new pregnancy, because, let's face it, I'm human and I'm weak. BUT, if I am saying I have surrendered my longing for a baby to God, that should mean that I'm 100% surrendered. Jesus did not commend His spirit into God's hands, on the condition that God would not let Him feel any pain. (Side note: It is interesting to think about that on another level because of course Jesus did feel pain after surrendering, but I don't think he whined about it.) So the analogy goes (of course I don't think I can really be comparing myself to Jesus, can I?!?!), I will still feel pain from infertility, but should I be whining about it?

(I realize what I'm writing is sort of an answer I don't want to hear, but I continue on nonetheless!! )

So what should happen (if I am properly surrendered and have my first piece of cake), I should offer up, 100%, whatever fills my brain so that God can put a positive spin on it and send it hurtling back to me on His grace information superhighway. I should not let any wallowing or why me-ing or darnit-ing trouble me for any period of time because God is waiting up there to heal me of this hurt.

This is a tough conclusion I have come to. Drat, I feel a spiritual workout coming on... I will be sore tomorrow!

Although having several piece of cake seems like what we humans have to settle for because of our emotional weaknesses and our tendencies to not let things go and to want to be in control, it would be good for me to challenge myself to only have one piece of cake: to really surrender, to give myself up into the power of God.

Who knows. Maybe God will use my meek beginnings as the flour and baking po.wder of some great and beautiful confection that defies all popular-saying logic!!


Praying for Hope said...

Any mention of cake always intrigues me, cake fiend that I am. I like the idea of surrender - not having to feel miserable every time someone announces a BFP - but I believe it's an on-going process for we mere humans. We have the best of intentions - truly - but we need to work at it. What makes it so amazining is that we do. No matter the myriad of setbacks, we keep trying. For that, you should feel proud.

allyouwhohope said...

Very thought-provoking post! I take surrendering to mean that I am giving up my own desires and instead letting God take over, which may or may not mean that my own desires are eventually realized. I don't think that also has to mean that we never feel the emotions associated with this cross. I think part of surrendering, actually, is to accept that we will experience those emotions (where we can go wrong, of course, is if we give in to the emotions and let them overcome us, as with jealousy). But if we truly surrender, then we can expect to FEEL the emotions in all their stinging glory, and let them wash over us. As you point out, Christ surrendered, yet still felt the pain and the suffering. The act of surrendering didn't make his physical pain any less, I'm sure, and probably not the emotional pain either. But while suffering it all, he KNEW God was in control which must have gave him immense confidence that it would all be okay. I think that is part of surrendering.. that we are saying we will accept the difficult emotional journey ahead because we know God is guiding us.

So all that to say.. I think it's completely normal for you to still feel rocked by pregnancy announcements. We are human, after all. Maybe the best thing to do, in light of having surrendered, is to try to remember that we are on OUR path and God is in control. I don't know though.. I'm not good at that, so if you find something that works, let me know!

Hillary said...

A friend of my just adopted a baby of 6 years of infertility. They were SO JOYFUL to be adopting. They felt like God had guided them to that place. Yet, when we spoke about infertility, she cried. There is still something to mourn there, some loss. I don't know...I feel like they are an example of surrender....people who have chosen to embrace what God wants for them, even if it is a different and more difficult path then they would have chosen. But she still feels it, I think. Those are my limited thoughts on the subject. :)