Ever since I was little everything was about fairness. My entire life revolved around being fair. My brothers and I learned to be fair while playing. We learned to be fair when splitting the last piece of cake – one person cuts, the other person chooses. We learned that when you cheat at a game you aren’t being fair to the other player.
But I have a distinct memory of when life became unfair. I remember being upset when my mom said me and my oldest brother could have a handful of M&M’s. We both reached our hands into the bag. I tried to grab as many M&M’s as possible, but those little suckers kept sliding out between my fingers. When I finally retrieved my hand I realized that my hand couldn’t hold as much as my older brother’s hand. I felt let down by my own body. It wasn’t fair, he had 4 more M&M’s than I had!
Where did this obsession with fairness come from? Well, now that I think about it, it seems to have originated with the fall of Adam and Eve. Didn’t Eve eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because she wanted to understand what God understood? It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t eat from that tree, so to make things fair, she ate from the tree and then gave her husband some to eat as well.
I used to think “oh Eve, you beautiful, stupid woman. I would never make that choice. If I was Eve I would have stayed away.” But the truth is, I am Eve, and I always eat that darn fruit. Every. Single. Time. Ugggghhhhh.
It makes me mad when people say, “God never said life would be fair.”
It’s true, He didn’t say that. But He also didn’t exactly explain why it can’t be fair either. He didn’t tell Eve why she couldn’t eat from that tree, just that she couldn’t. And God has not told me why I keep trying to get pregnant and can’t and yet other couples are getting pregnant without even trying or even wanting to. That’s not fair.
God never said life would be fair.
Shut up, you.
But the truth I have come to realize is that fair isn’t always best. Fair isn’t always fair. Let’s go back to my brother’s handful of M&M’s. My brother was bigger than me in height and weight. The truth of the matter is, those 4 extra M&M’s that I wanted weren’t good for my body.
Sure those 4 M&M’s wouldn’t kill me or make me super sick, but my little hand couldn’t hold very many M&M’s to begin with, and we weren’t exactly used to high doses of sugar (my older brother and I thought dried apricots were candy), those extra M&M’s could very well put me into a sugar high and then a sugar crash.
Although it wouldn’t be the end of the world, it definitely wouldn’t be what was best for my body. But as a small child I couldn’t hear that. I couldn’t understand that Johnny’s body could handle those extra M&M’s and my body could not. I accused my mom of loving Johnny more because he could have the extra M&M’s. In reality, my mom wasn’t giving him extra M&M’s, that was just the amount that his hand could hold. Did Johnny do anything wrong? No, and yet I resented him for his large hands. Did my mom do anything wrong? No, she didn’t even touch the M&M’s. I couldn’t understand that if my mom gave me 4 extra M&M’s, then by being “fair” she would actually be harming me, which would not be fair. By not being “fair” my mom was actually being fair and showing me that she did love me. It just wasn’t a love I wanted to see right then, I just wanted more candy. I was so blinded by what I wanted, that I wasn’t able to see what was best for me.
What I think is fair, might not actually be fair.
We recently found out another couple is pregnant. My initial reaction was “that is so not fair, what the hell, God! Do you even hear me? Do you even care how long we have been waiting? Do you love them more? Are they better than us?”
Don’t worry, I didn’t stay there long. I know God hears me, I know He cares, I know He loves me just as much as He loves them, I know neither of us is better than the other. I can’t compare my life to theirs to see what is fair. That’s not how it works. I won’t pretend to understand how it works, I just know how it doesn’t work, which I guess is a start. But let me tell you something beautiful about the “unfairness” of this whole baby situation:
Last month I started a War Room in my house. If you haven’t seen that movie and don’t know what it is, go see it! It’s wonderful. But I’ll tell you anyway, a War Room is a place of prayer in your house. It is a place where I intentionally go to fight the evil that roams this world. It is a place where I meet God and ask Him to send me angel armies and His Holy Spirit. It is a place where I fight with truth and love. So last month I started a War Room. I started praying for my husband, my marriage, my friends’ marriages, my unforgiveness, and Scout (our future child). It was while I was praying for Scout that I started to pray for expectant mothers, specifically expectant mothers who were not thrilled to be expecting. God brought me to a verse to pray for these women, and I would say a general prayer for them every day. Then on October 15, 2015, God sent me a name. I prayed specifically (and continue to pray) for this woman almost every day.
“Don’t you see, ________ that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of your womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you _______, with your quiver full of children!” (Based on Psalm 127)
I didn’t believe she was the birth mother of my future child, I just believed she was an expectant mother in need of a lot of prayer.
I was right. It is not my place to share the details, all I can say is that the other day I heard her name (yes, the name I had praying for before I even knew her) and her story. I heard her heartbreak and her fear. I heard her attempts to rid herself of the situation she found herself in, and her inability to go through with it every single time.
If I was pregnant or raising a child right now I would not have been able to hear her name. I would not have even been praying that prayer. I would not have cried in spirit with her. I have never actually met this woman, and yet I know my prayers aren’t in vain. God is using my “unfair” situation for good. He is restoring my heart and my soul, He is filling me with love for the very women that I am jealous of. He is revealing to me that life is not a competition, babies are not rewards, but they are gifts. Life and babies and M&M’s are gifts. Life isn’t fair, or maybe it is and I just don’t understand what fair really is in the grand scheme of things.
Either way, I’ve still got M&M’s, I might as well sit my little toosh down and enjoy what I got. Hey, maybe my brother might even give me one of his, he’s never had a big sweet tooth anyway.