Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile (Part II)

As I stated in Part I of this series, when people tell me that age doesn’t matter, I respond with “tell that to my uterus.”

My uterus and I have had quite a few problems in our relationship as of late. In truth, my uterus is pretty frustrated with me.

The argument she has with me all the time sounds like this: “Kate, what am I good for if I don’t house a little baby for nine months? I’ve been sitting down here for over thirty years with nothing to do! I need a job, Kate! Go out there! Find yourself a man! Get married and get these eggs fertilized.”

I feel sheepish and guilty every time my uterus and I talk. Because she’s right. I do need to get “out there.” But it’s more complicated than it seems. I try to tell her that, and she says, “Why didn’t you go out with all those guys who liked you ten years ago? Why were you so picky?”

“I don’t know, Uterus. Life only makes sense in the rear view mirror.” That’s what I always say. Or maybe that’s a country song. Either way, it’s true.

According to the social norms, my uterus and I have exactly three years, eight months, and eight days to get ourselves pregnant.

That is the day that I turn forty. The day that my eggs shrivel up and die. Forever.

If they do by some monumental miracle of God get fertilized after that day, my babies will look like a cross between Jay Leno and Steven Tyler.

At least that’s what the people around me and society have told me.

I joke about my uterus and about roller skating parties, but the truth is, my ticking biological clock is a serious matter. If I can’t sleep at night, I am often thinking about the fact that I am getting older and might never do all the things I dream of doing, especially having a family.

Lately I am realizing how much this is culture induced, though, and that if we didn’t have such a thing as the label of age, I wouldn’t be so scared. Think of the countless references to turning forty that plant fear in all of us. Forty seems to be the marker in which we need to figure out whether our lives are meaningful or not in our culture. My friend who is a midwife in Portland says that half of her clients are in their forties. From the way our culture talks, you would never think that was the truth.

Often when I date someone, I will start out the relationship lightly, but then my fear kicks in. I try desperately not to be desperate. If I am not careful, I end up wearing my biological clock on my sleeve. I all but stand up on the table during a date and do an interpretive dance of the old DC Talk song “Time is Ticking Away” complete with my arms moving to the rhythm like a clock.

I am realizing that this is one of the biggest fears I have dealt with in the last decade. I have let it run my life sometimes, and I am tired of it. If I wasn’t so fearful of this age thing, if I were not so aware of the social label of age, I might be able to date someone without them feeling unnecessary amounts of pressure, without them inevitably taking on some of my own fear. I could date them for a good while so that we are sure about the decision and wouldn’t rush into anything simply because of how many years I’ve lived. It is something I need to work hard to overcome.

The only way that I can possibly get over this fear is to trust God. If God wants me to have a family, I will have a family. He has no time constraints. Nothing is too difficult for him. If I don’t have a family, it will be very hard for me to understand, as it is something that I believe God has promised to me. But I will be okay. I can choose to be a mother in other ways if that is what the Lord has for me.

In Ecclesiasties 3:10-11 Solomon gives us these words.

“I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ”

Let’s look at this verse a little closer. You read the first part -“I have seen the burden God has laid on man”- and you wonder. . .what is this mysterious burden that God has laid on men? To have to work to provide food and shelter for your family? The evil in the world? Mosquitos? Joan Rivers?

The next sentence that identifies the “great burden” that God has laid on us is very surprising.

Here is the burden: he makes all things beautiful. 

Why would God making something beautiful be a burden? That sounds much more like a blessing doesn’t it?

Read on and you might understand.

“He makes all things beautiful in its time. ”

This great burden is not that he makes all things beautiful. It is that he makes all things beautiful in his time. In ways that are beyond our limited perception.

Some of us get angry at his timing. We do not like getting older. We don’t like that “Only Be With You” by Hootie and the Blowfish was written in 1995. (How can it possibly be that long ago?) We “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Standing within the walls of time, we don’t understand.

Maybe we need a different perspective.

My friend Sam said to me the other day, “Kate, do you realize that if you had a child a few years ago, your baby would most like have had Lyme disease? (Lyme can be passed onto children in the womb.) Maybe it was not God withholding from you when he didn’t let you have a baby at that age. Maybe it was His grace. Maybe He wanted to wait for you to be healthy to let you have a child.” It had never occurred to me before that my having to wait might not have been God stealing something, but him waiting to give me something much better.

We can’t often see things clearly from our limited perception of life. Perhaps God stands above us, above time, as if we are in a parade, and he throws down love on us, like floating ticker tapes. He throws down love from that lofty window, seeing the bigger picture, and we don’t understand what he is doing from beginning to end. But the love still falls down on us, surrounding us as we march on, unaware.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for your grace. Whether I have a husband or not, whether I have children or not, even when I don’t understand your timing or my disappointments, I can trust this one thing.

You make all things beautiful.

14 thoughts on “Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile (Part II)

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your insights on this. This is something I needed to hear to put things back into perspective for myself as well!

  2. Katrina – this post made me laugh out loud in the “it’s funny because it’s true” way over and over again. I loved it and I love you! So good!!

  3. I feel like you took the words right out of my mouth. It’s amazing how painful it can be to want something so badly (and feel in your heart that it’s what God wants too) and then have to wait and wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I am in the same place as you and you are so inspirational to me.

  4. I fully plan on adopting as a single parent given that it does not seem my uterus will ever get put to use. It was a pretty natural decision for me. Kids need homes, I want to have kids. But, I fully recognize that that is a huge thing on many levels and not really that simple. I do think that is God’s path for me, but am waiting for even that a little longer than I had imagined/hoped.

  5. Reblogged this on blessings and commented:
    She took the words right out of my mouth. Except the part about believing that God will make all things beautiful; I’m still working on that.

  6. Kate – I just want to say how proud I am of you! You writing is so authentic, funny and has the heart of God in it. You are impacting so many lives by sharing your life, your heart, your struggle, your hopes! I can’t wait till your book is finished! Beautiful – yes beautiful!

    • Kristy that is an honor. I miss your wonderful gentle voice of wisdom in my life. I still want to interview you it is one of the last things on my list to do! Plus it would be a great excuse to catch up! Do you have my phone number and or email?

  7. Kate~ I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your writings. I needed to read this one and i just wanted to say thanks.

  8. Stumbled onto your blog through a girl who had a link on hers to yours, and realize that I’ve either met you or know of you through the Enter the Worship Circle crowd. 🙂 Brave and beautiful woman, Kate: Thank you for sharing. You’re voicing my own journey, just a few years behind you – and I’ve been wondering if I have courage to talk about some of these things more widely than just with my girlfriends and fathers…

  9. Love this post. I have had people tell me I had better hurry up and find someone before I can no longer have children. When I was 27 my roommate in college told me “you better hurry. Your eggs will shrivel up soon” and she was not kidding. What’s funny is how insensitive Christians can be to us singles.

    I can always adopt…or marry someone with kids…but people act like the purpose of finding someone is to have children biologically. Sorry, but God doesn’t have the same purpose for all people. Wish Christians understood that.

    I look at it like this….in the Bible women had children into their 90s if it was God’s will. Look at Sarah. Not saying I want to have children THAT late in life, LOL, but if I hit 40, all hope is not lost. If God wants me to have a kid the old fashioned way, it’ll happen. Just wish I could figure out why on earth some folks seem so pushy about it. As a single, I have a hard enough time dealing with those yearnings to have my own family. I don’t need people reminding me that I’m not getting any younger.

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