Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meant To Be

If you know me well or if you at least have been reading this blog for a long time, you know that I do NOT believe that things are "meant to be," "destiny," or "God's will." I just do not.

I was thinking of this today because I know two people out there who are going through things that I cannot even fathom having to go through. Going through infertility has taught me that even though it is by far the most common response people give others when they don't really know what else to say, no one wants to hear that their suffering is supposed to happen. When I was struggling and struggling and upset and confided in people, I often heard this. I even heard that "God just wants you to care for other's people children because you are so good at it and if you don't get pregnant than you will continue on that path." Yes, that was really meant to console me in some way.

I know this is weird because the vast majority of people obviously find great comfort in hearing these things. When I hear this, even though I know people aren't meaning it this way, it reads to me as "tough shit." Literally. When I hear it to myself or to someone else it doesn't come across as comfort but "life is not in your control. This is what happened and tough shit." I can't stand it.

I am observing as one of these people is sharing what they are going through and it is just awful. This person clearly needs support. There was a lot of support given to her but at the same time there was more "God only gives you what you were meant to have" type business than I thought necessary. Why would someone feel better to know that God wants them to suffer through unimaginable grief and anguish?

I believe that life just happens. We choose our own paths and when crap comes up we choose the next move and have to live with it and that is life. Life sucks big balls sometimes and sometimes life is amazing and wonderful. I don't have anyone to blame for this or to thank for it (ie: God, a higher power). I truly do not believe that there is any reason for people to suffer, but it happens.

So I do want to ask this question, just to understand. Do you believe that things are meant to be? Why?

Just curious . . . .


  1. I admit that I struggle with this one too but for the most part, I do believe things happen for a reason. There have been times in life that we have been through difficult things (myself and/or my husband) and it really sucked. But looking back we are always able to say that things really worked out for the best and that if "A" (bad) had not happened, we never would have gotten "B" (good).

    That being said, I do see things that happen and think there can be no purpose behind the suffering. Sometimes life seems unfair in a certain situation and I struggle to understand why it would happen.

  2. I've also wrestled with this while dealing with infertility. Like you, I got a lot of God phrases and "meant to be" phrases. While I do believe in God, I had a really hard time believing that God wanted me to be unhappy and miserable. My "favorite" one was....maybe God wants you to learn a little more if trying and failing for 2 years didn't already teach me enough patience. Besides, I already have a tendency to be very patient...or so people tell me.

    To answer your question, I really don't know if we all have a destiny and things are meant to be or if each of us controls our own destiny. I like to think it's a combination of both. I've lived in three different states since getting married, and I have had some things happen that have made me think maybe that's why we ended up where we were. But, at the same time, I know that decisions we've made have brought us to those places at those times...making different decisions would have placed us elsewhere.

    I think I know about the people and heart-wrenching situation you mentioned. If it is the same situation, I have been reading the replies all day, and I, too, had a hard time with all of the God comments. This couple needs support, and I didn't view some of the replies as being very supportive. What a hard and unfair situation.

  3. Ashley,
    I do agree with you that nothing makes me more furious than the statements you questioned.

    You see, I've dealt with stuff waaaaaay worse than IVF. Years of living with two quadreplegics in my family - one of them age 27 and died last month, the other age 25 and a vegetable... And two immediate family members who have had TBI and necessary brain surgery after 1) a water skiing accident and 2) falling in the bathroom.

    These accidents left our family with one 27 year old dead, one 25 year old a vegetable, a 30 year old with moderte brain injuries, and a 52 year old walking miracle...

    The last person you'll ever catch uttering the statements you questioned is me.

    These injuries happened because 1. Brakes went out on a car, 2. An idiot pulled a trigger, 3. A silly 21 year old boy decided to ski after drinking too much, and 4. Someone slipped on the floor.

    Massively crappy luck.

    As for God and my beliefs...since you are curious...I believe He did not cause them.

    Did he want or will them to happen? No.
    Did he let them happen? Yes.
    Will that be the number one topic I ask about? Yes.

    I rarely tell people what my family has been through because I am afraid they will think I am a pathological liar. Unfortunately, all of the above is all too real.

    So, in answer to your question, the only way I am able to cope (and to each his own) is to live in the hope that they are healed or will be healed when we are together in heaven.

    The only way I can bear my embryos dying after a transfer is to believe that God is the author of life and I will meet them one day.

    I'm now on IVF #2 and have spent a fortune and I can tell you it's baby stuff compared to other things I've been through.

    The peace He's given me surpasses all understanding. I am certain my Savior will save the day for me, one way or another. Why? Because He promised me and I believe Him.

  4. Have you ever read "when bad things happen to good people"? by Harold Kushner? It addresses all these things that people say. "Well G-d must really love that person so he took them to heaven" Does that mean if I loved them more the person would still be here? The person didn't mean that of course, but that is how it can come across-- Its a great book about these issues.

    I do believe in divine providence. I feel like a small child who doesnt' understand why he can't cross the street alone,the analogy is that I may not understand G-ds plan for me and mine-- because I just can't understand it. I am not yet capable of understanding it. And I want to stop suffering--- G-d wants me to hate suffering and try to stop it-- if I understood suffering but I may not want to stop it--- Does that make sense??

    I enjoy your blog.
    Jacky from Maryland

  5. My heart goes out to the person that comment was made to also. I think I am thinking of the same situation:(...I used to get tons of comments like that which were meant to "console/comfort " me. so? I know people just didn't know what to say. How about the "God doesn't give you any more than you can handle."...huh?! Seriously, then He needs to get to know me better! After 5+ years of IF "stuff" I supposedly could handle...during which there was lots of sobbing and begging..."Please, more heartache/disappointment/loss etc! I CANNOT handle any more."...The pain was excruciating as I sunk lower and lower into despair while everyone around me was having multiple successes. I just could not comprehend what I did "wrong" to deserve such heartache. Now that we have "R"...I do feel things had to happen the way they did for a get us to this amazing child who was meant to be our daughter. When I think back on our journey and how it all happened and I am still saying "Wow...just Wow"...the timeline just amazes me. I don't think I was big into "meant to be" before but somehow it all clicked into place:)...Lori :-)

  6. No, I don't believe things are meant to be or that they work out for the best. They work out however they work out. Sometimes we can control an outcome, sometimes we can't. But believing that things are meant to be or that God has a plan for us is tantamount to saying free will doesn't exist. And I DO believe that it exists. Like you I think, sometimes life just sucks. Life isn't fair. And we don't always get what we want. But nothing can stop us from trying.

  7. This is a raw one for me right now... I'm dealing with a very religious in-law clan who just last week told me "Faith and prayer can go a long way in this baby business." Well.. so can medical intervention and that hasn't worked real well, now has it?! I'm on year 4.5 of TTC!

    So fate, destiny, a supreme beings will... I don't know. I know I can control my decisions, and my attitude, and what happens, but I can't control what my neighbor does, or the guy behind me on the interstate.

    There are many detours that we'll end up taking because of life decisions by ourselves, or others... but NO, I do NOT believe that there is "God's Plan/Will" or anything of that sort.

    We make our own decisions... sometimes the results don't work as planned.

    I do like to say "It is what it is" because you don't know how things will turn out, but that's just because I'm easy going. End of the day, I like to think: 'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything;
    They just make the most of anything '

    ~Beckie from tCC

  8. I hate these types of comments! After my first miscarriage someone told me it was God cleaning house for better things to come. That made me sick. How can anything be better than my first baby? After the second one I got a lot of it was meant to be, God knows best, so on and so forth. None of these comments made me feel better. Particularly if they were coming from someone with a child. I don't really believe everything happens for a reason, but I do believe there is a lesson to be learned in everything. My infertility and miscarriages have made me a more compassionate person and better able to grieve with people in any situation.

  9. What a great topic. I do believe in God and believe that he has a plan for me, although I do struggle with the sadness and suffering that He allows in the world. I totally agree with you though, comments like those that you mention definitely don't help. There are so many things that people say that are just WRONG...and so few things that are actually right, huh?

  10. I am a firm believer is Karma and fate! Have I questioned it through this nightmare of trying to conceive for almost four years...absolutely. I choose to believe it because it gets me through the day. Maybe at the end of y life when I am old..I will realize it is all bullshit, but I will never regret how it helped me stay focused and got me through.

    On the other hand..I am definitely with you on the people making comments thing! Sometimes I just want to yell ..SHUT YOUR MOUTH! (especially to those that have NO idea what its like to be infertile!)

    Great post! HUGS!

  11. I'm not a very religious person. DH & I are more logical and scientific. Our 5 yrs TTC involved doctors and tests and needles and more tests and surgery and tests. Science. I didn't share much in my personal life, I used BZ for all my support. So, I didn't have to listen to many people telling me that God apparently didn't want me to have babies, but he was down with high school students and moms addicted to drugs getting pregnant.
    People say dumb crap to pregnant women, or women TTC. Have you seen the IF grief comebacks... you wouldn't tell a woman who lost her husband to cancer, "Don't worry. You can marry again." You wouldn't tell someone who was paralyzed, "Just relax and you will be able to walk again!"

    Now, the only thing I think had some effect on the twins was my timing. I had an ectopic and my RE wanted to go right ahead and try again the immediate cycle following my methotrexate shots. I needed a short break to heal mentally, so we took 2 cycles off. So, sometimes I think that having that extra time was maybe what allowed my body to handle the drugs properly and give me the right eggs for 2 to fertilize. To me, it's simple timing. To many, that would be my "God's plan".

    But, throughout my whole TTC time, I wanted twins so badly. I almost can't explain how badly. Sometimes I giggle and think I got them simply because I willed them in there!



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