An Anonymous Comment

 

 

Earlier this week I received an anonymous comment.  And it made me think.

Anonymous comments tend to make bloggers shudder, because they are usually accompanied by snide or mean words.  I don’t really think this comment qualified as either snide or mean, but here is what it said:

 

“You're so lucky to even be married, or to even have a child. I have neither. I hope you realized how blessed you truly are.”

 

And I felt a little bit sucker-punched, not because of anything she said (I’m assuming it was a she) – I felt a little deflated because I recognized that sentiment.

It’s something I used to think all the time.  That “she doesn’t even know how lucky she is, she has no right to complain about anything” thought (not saying this is necessarily what you were thinking, Anonymous, but it is what immediately popped into my head).

And you know what, I’m not even going to say those thoughts were necessarily incorrect.  It’s quite possible that a lot of the people I thought those things about didn’t realize how blessed they were (though, now I’ve realized, who am I to really judge that?).  And who really does have a right to complain about anything?

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But somewhere along the line, I think I started to get over it.  Because as the old adage says, “Life isn’t fair”.  And it will never seem fair.

But on the other hand, I don’t think any human can really be the judge of fairness.

Someone may have a lot of things going for them, but it doesn’t seem like it when they have a strong desire to be married and are still single.  And maybe you can’t understand that until you’ve been in that position.

Someone may be married, but it doesn’t make the longing for a child you can’t have any easier.  And maybe you can’t understand that until you’ve walked that road.

Someone may have a great husband and one (or more) wonderful children already, but it’s still very hard to want another baby so badly when they just aren’t coming along.  And maybe you can’t understand that until you’ve experienced it.

I might look at someone who gets pregnant “every time their husband looks at them”, when they aren’t even trying, and I might think they don’t even understand the difficult road they will never have to walk down.

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But you know what?  Everyone has something that someone else in the world wants.  But everyone also has their cross that they’ve been called to bear.

Some crosses seem lighter than others.  Some probably are lighter than others.  But no one’s life is perfect, even if they seem to get everything you want without any effort. 

And you know . . . I wouldn’t trade my burden for anyone else’s.  Even the ones that seem to be lighter.  Because it’s hard to judge that until you’ve had to carry the burden yourself.

So even though I still get a pang in my heart when I see someone get pregnant so easily – it’s not like it used to be.  Because I think I understand this a little better.  Somehow I think if we could have a conversation with God about why “so and so” gets all the things we want without enduring what we have had to go through, He would say the same thing that He said when Peter had questions about John’s road:  “What is that to you? . . . You follow Me.” (John 21:22)

As Aslan says in the Chronicles of Narnia – “No one is told any story but their own”. 

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I’m pretty sure that this was just a hit-and-run type comment, because I would hope those of you who have been reading a while know how much I do appreciate what I have in Derek and Wyatt.  Even through our trying to conceive baby #2, there were so many times I wrote in my personal journal that even if I never had another baby, I’d be okay, because I have my baby boy, and he is more than I could ask for.

I can’t say I’m sorry to get the comment though.  Because every night when I lay Wyatt down to sleep, and kiss his sweet face, I think of what a gift he is and I breathe a prayer of thanks.  Every time I sit down with my mental prayer list, I remember my friends who are still longing for even one child, and my heart aches.  Every time I think of those I know who so want to be married and have a family, but haven’t found their soulmate yet, I hold my husband a little tighter.

It was good to be reminded again that other people don’t always just have what I want – I have what other people want too.  I’m just sorry that anything about my family or what I wrote would cause someone pain.  Because I think it was clear that Anonymous was in pain. 

And whoever you are, know that after reading your comment, I said a prayer for you, first that you would know a relationship with Jesus . . . and also that He would give you all that your heart desires.  Because I’ve been there too.

And to respond to the original question: yes, I do know how incredibly blessed I am.  I have known it since before I even had my husband, or my son, or any of the things I have now. 

I think about it every single day.



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Anonymous said...

Beautiful post! Probably one of my faves. You put into words so wonderful what I was thinking.

Emily Powell said...

Although it is nice to be reminded of how thankful we do need to be I would never think that YOU are not thankful.

This was very well written!

Anne said...

I love that C.S. Lewis quote, it's one of my favorites. It is so easy to look at someone else's life and be envious of what they have, and take for granted the blessings you have. God has been teaching me a lot recently about how it's not about the blessings we have from Him, but it's about knowing Him. And He is orchestrating my circumstances so that I may know him better. And that will look different for me than for someone else, and so when I am envious and wonder why someone else has what I want, I am realizing that is a sin, because God has me exactly where He wants me, and who am I to question that. Great post, Callie!

Tami said...

Callie this was such a beautifully written post and such a wonderful response to the anonymous comment! You are incredibly blessed and I have never doubted your thankfulness!

DaisyGirl said...

A great post with a great perspective. I must admit that at times I fall into the "woe is me" category. But I have to remind myself that we *never* know what someone else is enduring while they present their smiles to the world. There is so much more going on in each life than what they allow others to know. At times, it's terrible to say, but at times it's comforting when you realize that fact...that each of us is not the only one carrying a burden. God has put one in each person's life. Hope y'all have a great weekend!!

Rachel said...

I find it so hard to know what to say to friends who I know desperately want to get married. It seems trite to say ‘all in God’s timing’ when I got married so young and was able to have a child with only a little while trying.
But at the same time what can you say? Life isn’t ‘fair’. I might be married and pregnant, but I wish my husband and my dad weren’t sick and I wish we didn’t live so far from our friends. Each one of us has our struggles - we could focus on negatives or we can focus on the blessings and trust that God is teaching us through our individual lives. There’s little point in comparing ourselves to others.

Amanda said...

Yours is the second blog post that I've read today that included that quote from C.S. Lewis. I really needed to hear that.

lindsey said...

You are right -- anonymous comments DO make me shudder. I've received a few nasty ones in the past and because of that have disabled the anonymous comment setting. But, I'm glad that you did receive this comment, because your post is beautiful. And you are most certainly blessed. :)

Matty A said...

I've never commented before but I read your blog often and absolutely love this post. I know I can get caught up in comparing my life to others but it is so true that we never really know what is going on in other people's lives. Everything may look "perfect" on the outside but inside they are suffering. I loved what you said when you wrote everyone has their cross to bear. It is so true. I am thankful that I have the Lord to help bear that cross. Thank you for this heart provoking post.

Matt and Meg said...

Sorry that last comment should have come from Matt and Meg. =)

Brittney Galloway said...

That comment made me cry, it sounds full of pain. I hope that commenter feels loved and secure right now and knows that there is alot of people out here praying for her now.

I think you hit the nail on the head, Callie. No one can know and understand each other's story completely. Each phase of life brings about its own hardships and blessings.

Katie said...

I love how you handled this Callie and I love what you had to say. I have had to learn this as well, that just because someone is going through something different than me it doesnt mean it isn't still hard. It used to bother me a lot when someone would complain about a business trip when I have to deal with deployment, but just because they aren't the same thing doesn't mean they aren't both hard. They're totally different things happening to totally different people. There is so much danger in comparison and "jealousy" (if you could even call it that) and it is something that I think we all have to look at and try to avoid. I like the way you put it, and as always I'm glad you wrote it :)

Anonymous said...

This is not the original "Anonymous" but a different one :)

For what it's worth: Sometimes knowing that others have something (so easily) that you just can't have is the hardest part. I very much relate to your fertility woes ... It hurts. It's like a heartache that doesn't heal with time--something I've never experienced before.

I am amazed, though, when I think what a miracle it is to have children without assistance. I mean, God created us with all the right "parts" to achieve pregnancy on our own (and with our spouse :), but I am literally in awe knowing that others achieve it completely on their own. "Oh my gosh! You ovulate regularly?! You're so lucky!" It's almost humorous, in a good way.

I just know, though, that when I become pregnant, I WILL feel like the luckiest, most blessed woman in that moment! No matter how much it costs; no matter what assistance it requires--I will literally be in awe of the miracle growing inside of me, in awe that I was so "lucky."

God bless you and your family :)

Amie said...

I feel so blessed to have found my husband so early in life...we were dating when I was 16, living together soon after, engaged that year, and married the next. Sometimes I'm scared that we won't be able to have children when we're prepared to try (in roughly 4 years). I will only be 25 but my mom and sisters have all had fertility issues. Being a mom is something I've dreamed of my whole life and although my husband and I have agreed we could adopt, I know it would be a hard and emotional journey to get to that point. I think no matter what we have in life, we all just need to make time to remember to be thankful :)

Veronica and Daniel said...

Um, wow! What an incredibly Christ like way to respond to this situation! I don't think I would have had the same reaction if I had received a comment like that on my blog, but I will definitely refer back to this post if I ever do get a comment like it :)

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

You are such a great blogger and seem to really "get it". Thank you for such an insightful post on our Friday :)

Melanie said...

Its true Callie..we all have our burdens we bear and some bear bigger ones than others. I hold my hubby and baby close to me too..because I know a time, a while ago, when I wondered if I'd ever have either of those too. I feel incredibly blessed (and I know you do too with your precious family). :-)

Kate Craig said...

What in the world? Have you even ever complained about anything?

Something that I've slowly been learning is that... even though my situation might seems worse, that does not make your pain any less.

It is nice to be reminded though! The other night I was watching a TV show about a woman who had a still born baby. I actually woke Kylie up and cuddled her :)

Melissa said...

Callie - this has to be my favorite post of yours. So well written & so heartfelt & so true. I know you know my struggles, but you have always cared & prayed for me. And i know you can relate to it, too.

I was single, not finding my soulmate until 29...& it really was a hard road. A VERY hard road. I am SO THANKFUL now, though. SO blessed. It truly did happen in God's timing, even if i didn't see it until after the fact. But now, this baby thing? Well, it's tough. Really really tough. Some days are good, some are not, it comes in waves. But i know that one day i'll be a mom. And when i am, i will be SO THANKFUL - my joy will be overflowing! Haha.

Love ya. Great post.

Bech and Marley Evans said...

What a beautiful post! I am glad to be reminded always how many blessings I have. And I love that C.S. Lewis quote!

Jessica said...

Great post! I am with Brittney: I hurt for this anonymous commenter, because it is evident that they must be in a lot of pain. To be honest, I've thought similar things about my friends who have gotten pregnant easily, and then continue to complain all throughout the pregnancy (certainly never about you, though! You've had so many struggles of your own while trying to get pregnant, and I don't remember you ever complaining about anything, really! I know you know how blessed you are, and you don't take any of it for granted).

It is during those times that I have to remind myself that those friends who seem to have it all might just be going through something totally earth-shattering behind the scenes. I was so jealous when my cousin became pregnant the first month she tried, but then her baby was born with cleft palate, and that brought it's own set of struggles. I was also jealous of my other cousin who had a baby a year-and-a-half ago. But she was recently diagnosed with Lupus, because of a kidney exacerbation. She wanted to start trying for baby #2 this year, but she is unable because of all the medications she's on, and because her body is so busy trying to repair her kidney damage.

I guess if I could speak to your anonymous commenter, I would tell her (I'm guessing it's a her?) all of that. Because I know she probably hurts so much! But we all only feel our own hurt, and we only know our own story. And I've had to learn to try not to compare my pain to others' pain, because we all have struggles and hurts in our lives. I pinned something on Pinterest awhile ago that said "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." And that is so true!

This was such a great post, and such a great reminder! Thanks for sharing it!

Dove of Snow said...

Beautiful response, friend! I loved how you handled the comment. And that you recognize that it can be a very difficult and painful road. God bless you!

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