I'll be honest with you. My wife and I are both in our late 30s and have not been blessed with children. At this point we are getting scared to try for fear of having to raise a severely challenged child. That's what we fear, not the idea of getting an abortion, which is abhorrent.
Hi Mr. Randall van der Sterren,I'm sorry to hear that. That must be very difficult. I can hardly imagine.Well, I suppose it's not easy to raise any sort of a child, even a "normal" child.A child with, say, Down syndrome might be difficult to raise as well. They might pose unique challenges. At the same time, according to many parents with Down syndrome children, they offer unique blessings.Also, as we know, fear is an emotion or feeling. And feelings don't necessarily indicate truth or falsehood. I mean just because we fear something doesn't necessarily mean it'll transpire.More importantly, our God is in complete control over our past, present, and future. He orchestrated our past to lead us to Christ and to lead us to where we are in the present. As for the future, he not only walks with us into the future, but in fact he goes before us into the future, a future which he planned and prepared for us, and thus will meet us in the future as well. So, whatever the uncertain, shapeless future may or may not hold for us, we can take comfort that our God will be there with us.But I'm sure you already know all this and more. Still I figured it hopefully wouldn't hurt to repeat these truths. If you ever want to talk more about it, though, please feel free to email me at patrickchan at fastmail dot fm. I might not be able to reply right away because I'm pretty busy these days. But I'll do my best. Thanks.
Randall: Have you looked up the statistics? There's a lot of fear-mongering about "advanced maternal age", but it's not like a child conceived after 35 has a 50% chance of Down Syndrome. There's a SLIGHTLY elevated risk of a number of things - to the point where I wouldn't really worry about it. Although at any age, I'd say parents should question their decision to have children if they feel hopeless about the prospect of raising a challenged one. (Which is not to say that parents need to be 100% mentally and spiritually prepared for any kind of disability before even conceiving; but if raising a challenged child seems so horrific, that might signal some spiritual problems. Even a child born perfectly healthy can become severely disabled in seconds - even an adopted child can reveal unforeseen issues or suffer an accident. That's the way of the game.) What do you fear? Strain on your marriage, finances, mental health? Even a perfectly normal baby will do all that, possibly more than you thought possible. :p
Patrick, I don't want to sound combative, but until one walks in another's shoes we shouldn't pass judgment on others. I live with a terminal illness and the suffering I have endured is asinine. At times I wish I could have been aborted if the doctors knew I had the type of gene that made me susceptible to my illness. The financial and emotional burden it has put on me and loved ones has only exacerbated the pain.
FormerCalvinist said:---I don't want to sound combative, but until one walks in another's shoes we shouldn't pass judgment on others. ---Isn't that passing judgment without walking in Patrick's shoes?FormerCalvinist said:---I live with a terminal illness and the suffering I have endured is asinine.---I pray that things get better for you. However, you should note that there's a sense in which we all are living with a terminal illness, and all of us have endured "asinine" levels of pain in our lives. I'm not trying to make it all equivalent by any means, as your level of pain could be (probably is) higher than most of the other people who interact here. But as William Goldman once wrote: "Life is pain. Anyone who tells you differently is selling you something."FormerCalvinist said:---At times I wish I could have been aborted if the doctors knew I had the type of gene that made me susceptible to my illness. ---My guess is that's because right now you're only focused on your current predicament. It also doesn't help that you're a *former* Calvinist, and thus have no hope that there's a purpose for what you're going through.But I can tell you, there is a purpose and there is a reason. All things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purposes. All things. So don't despair, don't give up. Turn to Him and hold fast.Goldbman appears to be right that life is pain. Yet I stand with Paul in considering the present sufferings as not worth comparing to the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the Christian, pain is temporary. For the Calvinist, it also serves a purpose. Keep hold of that hope, for it will sustain you.
Peter, I have not judged Patrick. I have actually met him personally before and found him to be a humble guy and genuine in his faith. i have experienced things similar to what he has gone through. i wouldn't have posted something like that unless I knew him. Trust me. I don't post about these things lightly. "the everything happens for a reason" has turned into a theological cliche. At times it can sound pompous. not saying that is the intent of the person saying it but it turns into a meaningless statement and is the default Christian response to those who undergo true suffering. People are shaped by the events and circumstances in their life. A poor black kid from Oakland with no father is going to have different worldview than the upper middle class kid from a ritzy suburb. Both have different experiences and will most likely react differently to events in their life. Yes, all have suffered but not all suffering is equal.
I'm very sorry to hear that, FormerCalvinist. If you'd like to talk or meet or whatever, please email me. Kind thanks.