In 1975 my thinking about suffering in life was challenged in a profound way. A film depicting the Ten Boom family during WWII called “The Hiding Place” was playing at a local theater. Once I saw it, Corrie Ten Boom became my favorite person on the planet. I’m thankful to everyone involved in the film. Nobody understands why my favorite movie is about such a horrific time in history. Well, I suppose it’s because this film taught me about adversity in life and how to react when bad things happen.
We don’t like to think about storms, do we? And yes, I guess this movie could be considered a “downer” to some people, but I walked away with the thought that if Corrie Ten Boom was able to lean so heavily on God and trust Him to see her through something so unbelievably evil, then I can trust Him for any bad situation I find myself in! I was not depressed after watching it – I felt a peace and a hope that God is sufficient for any circumstance in life. He is and always will be enough.
One day a psychologist friend asked me how I’m able to function in life. We had talked a bit about how bumps in the road of life can affect us in negative ways as Christians. The first thing people notice about me is that I don’t have children. They become uncomfortable at that point. Nobody knows what to talk about with me because the “go-to” subject of any conversation is kids. How old are your kids? What school do they go to? It’s the most predictable conversation people have when they meet for the first time.
But when they ask if I have children and I say no, they’re at a loss. They have no idea what to say next. Once in a while I hear, “Oh, then you probably have fur babies then, right?” Well, yes I did – but we lost our fur baby a while back. Sometimes I just smile or nod yes to save face. I don’t want two pity pauses in the conversation.
I was chatting with a friend recently and the subject of childlessness came up and I said something to the effect that I felt like a freak. She said, “It stinks.” It’s true – it does! There’s not a thing I can do about it, but it does! Sometimes you just want someone to acknowledge the fact that something stinks, ya know? I felt better after she said that – I felt understood.
When I was younger, it was difficult to be around the women my age who were having children. I kept thinking it would get easier as I got older, but now those same women have grandchildren and no… it’s no easier to deal with that either.
The Bible says that children are a reward… which makes a childless person wonder if they are being punished. Everyone’s quick to tell me that’s not the case, but that’s not how it feels. One of my friends told me that the Lord may have saved me from worse heartache because perhaps a child of mine could have had serious health issues or something like that. Well – I guess that could be true too. I just don’t know – but I have to trust God. He knows what He’s doing and I need to accept it.
God does surround me with songs of victory. He helps me cope with all kinds of loss. I can’t really explain it except to say I know in my soul that God’s helping me. When it storms and I’m tempted to give up, I hear that sweet song of victory and I know it will be okay. The Lord is with me. Oh, and even though Corrie Ten Boom is no longer alive, she’s still my favorite person. 🙂