Thursday, October 2, 2014

On Value

At small group we've been talking about our stories--about the things and the people who have defined who we are.  Favorite and I laughed because we've become those people who talk about their children incessantly.  My Instagram feed is all kids all the time, and I've found myself fitting Ryan and/or Eli into every conversation I can.

Maybe most new parents can relate to that sentiment.  I'm just not sure I'm ever going to get over the wonder of being a mom--in large part because that wasn't supposed to happen.  Maybe it's weird to keep defining myself with loss and infertility in mind, but those experiences color the way I see my current reality.  They changed the way I approached Christ and the way I interact with others.

That said, I do not believe those experiences mean I value motherhood more than the woman who got pregnant very quickly and birthed a healthy child with no complications.  My experience colors my interactions--not the way I see yours.  Stick with me here because I'm going to try to share these thoughts as diplomatically as possible starting with my own experience:  I do not believe my experience is more spiritually significant than someone else's.  And I'm tired of people who seem to believe otherwise.

As a member of the Christian community, I believe in the idea that life is precious, but I refuse to promote the notion that one life is more precious than another.  It stands to reason that I would be offended by people who imply that adoption would've been far more laudable than giving birth to Ryan--and not because I fought tooth and nail for that pregnancy.  It's offensive because it implies one life or action deserves to be honored above another.  That one sacrifice matters and another does not.

One thing I would often repeat to myself on days I was really struggling is a quote from John Donne:  "Other men's crosses are not my crosses."  It wasn't just a reminder that we struggle differently; it was a reminder that my struggle may lead to a different outcome than someone else's.  My situation definitely helps me keep things in perspective on the days I have two very fussy boys, but I would never Jesus Juke another Mommy with that information.  (You know, when people say things like, "You should really appreciate what you have because some people can't have it."  Or another variation of that statement.  Or imply some people would/have paid an arm and a leg for the same privilege, blah blah blah.)

For the life of me, I cannot understand why we attach value to human beings because of how/when/why they came to be in our lives.  Ryan and Eli have value to me because they are mine--regardless of how they came to be in my life.  But their real value comes from the fact that Christ loved them first--before they were born or imagined in my heart.  That's where all value originates.  Not in our experiences (difficult or easy, expensive or cheap) but in the heart of a Saviour to gave Himself for us before we were even in existence.  


The Tale of Three P's said...

This is going to sound super strange. I read your blog right around the time your oldest was born. I have a daughter your son's age. After she was born, I took my blog down (Established 2008) and went to another name, one where I could get rid of our names and stuff. All of that is to say that I saw that you had stopped blogging and I was sort of sad. I'm also a high school teacher and I so enjoyed your blog. Anyway, I was accidentally signed in to my old blog name today and you showed up in my reader and I was so excited! I've added you to my reader at my new blog and I'm excited to follow along.

Congrats on the new little one! What a wonderful blessing.

Pissed Off said...

I missed you. Hope all is well. Going to read all and catch up now.