This is the story of our precious baby boy, who was diagnosed prenatally at
17 weeks with a fatal chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. Although
Jonathan's condition is considered "not compatible with life", we desired to give
him every chance at life. Our prayer is that those who are touched by our story
are drawn to God, who is Life Himself. John 14:6

To start at the beginning of our story, click here.

4.01.2010

the ultimate rejection. well, sort of.

so, i know i've talked a lot about the rejection we have experienced since our journey with jonathan has begun.  or, at least what i consider rejection.  in the big scheme of things, i realize that it's really not that big of a deal.  i mean, do i really care what people think about us, our decision to carry jonathan, or our faith?  or that people chose not be supportive or to be our friends anymore?  if i had known the rejection was going to happen, would i have still made the same choices?  of course it wouldn't have changed a thing.  but apparently i do care about what people think of me, more than i thought. 

there.  i said it.  i care too much about what people think of me, even complete strangers.  even the cowardly, hateful, anonymous newpaper commenters.

well, recently, friends, i've discovered i've endured the ultimate rejection.  i mean, it doesn't get much worse than this.  are you ready for it?  i can barely get it out.......

i've been defriended on facebook.  yep, you read it right.  by at least four or five people over the past few months.  you know how i know?  because the first time i noticed i was no longer friends with one certain person, i "friended" them again, thinking that maybe it was an accident or facebook problem or something.  it can happen, right?  so the second time i noticed i wasn't friends anymore with this person, i finally got it.  and folks, i am not even a natural blonde.  :)

ouch.  this kind of rejection is something even the apostles did not have to experience.

ok, i'm totally kidding here.

but seriously, defriended?  so i have chosen to write an open letter to these former facebook friends.  here we go:

dear former facebook friends,

seriously, defriended

but we went to high school or college together, doesn't that count for something?  even if i haven't actually seen you in, like, 15 years?  defriended and not just blocked from your newsfeed?  you know, there's an app for that.  defriending makes me feel like i'm back in high school or something and i didn't say "hi" to you as we passed in the hallway.

considering that we don't really know each other anymore (a lot happens in 15 or so years), you are either defriending me because of (1.)  the person i was in high school or early college (don't worry, i'd defriend me, too, for that)  or (2.)  the person who i've become, all wrapped up in a tidy package on the "about me" page on facebook, saying that my name is lauren, i'm married to greg, and we have a 2 year old and a 40-minute old, who's in heaven.  oh, and that my religious and political views are both "christian."

i'm pretty sure my status updates could not be offending to you.  i don't quote scripture in them.  i don't even quote quotes about scripture, God, or Jesus.  maybe you are offended or annoyed that i was excited a few months ago when my baby girl went #2 on the potty for the first time ever.

oh, but there was that "note" i wrote about our baby boy's diagnosis back in june.  and how we were choosing to continue the pregnancy and relying on God for strength.  oh, and there were the pictures of me, pregnant and smiling in my profile picture.  perhaps that was offending to you, that i would choose life instead of abortion.  oh, and there was a lot of status updating going on in october when my baby was born.  and died.  and maybe there was some more talk about God and Jesus at that time.  i know that Jesus is an especially offensive topic to some.

here's the thing:  of course, i am only making an assumption as to why you defriended me.  but in case you didn't know, for almost a year now, i have walked a very difficult journey of faith and trust.  it has been a journey that, if i didn't have faith, i might be dead right now, at least spiritually and emotionally.  it's been a journey that has forced me out of the proverbial closet as a christian, because our suffering was so public.  people watched us make difficult choices and react to the circumstances we'd been given.  yet, the biggest choice i had to make was made in private:  whether or not to truly trust the God of the bible.  the faith i had as a child was not good enough for this journey, yet i considered it "good enough" for me until this past year. you see, i could have my comfortable faith and yet no one would label me as a "Jesus freak" or anything else considered unpopular in this culture.  i'm embarrassed to admit to that.  it's not lost on me that perhaps God knew it would take suffering of this magnitude to move me out of my faith comfort zone. 

so thank you, former facebook friends, for confirming my status as an unpopular Jesus freak.  i now take it as a compliment.  it's true, my faith has become a huge part of my identity, instead of being just a small subcategory of my life.  and while i would never preach at you, throw scripture in your face, judge you, or defriend you for not being a christian, i would say to you:  don't knock it till you try it.  you might even like it. 

however, i don't apologize if i offended you in any way.  i'm more sorry you did not stick around to see what my faith, my God, has done for me and my family in the midst of devastation.  i think you would be surprised.  perhaps intrigued.  perhaps you would wonder from where we got our strength to make it through.  perhaps you would wonder what you might do in our situation, or in some other kind of suffering you might face.  because one day, inevitably, we all will experience suffering.

and i would tell you, i got my strength at the foot of the cross.  and there is room there for you too. 

your friend,
lauren

14 comments:

  1. Awesome post, my friend! We are in the category of having been "defriended" too! Ouch ~ it really did sting at first. I actually confronted the person and realized she did not like us encouraging her to fight for her marriage. The wife had decided she is "not happy" in her 11 month marriage and has chosen to file for divorce. What I thought were encouraging words sent in a private message were interpreted as us not wanting her true happiness. I would be lying if I pretended like it didn't hurt my feelings. But the Lord affirmed that we are HIS "friend" ~ never to be "de-friended" no matter WHAT! And the fact that we were fighting for marriage, or in your case LIFE, makes us the best of friends if you ask me. I pray that we will continue to let the things that break the heart of God break our hearts as well. Love, Your friend and fellow Jesus Freak~ Sara

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  2. I saw the frustration you feel at these people in your letter and I know that you are hurting. Please consider that they are in a different place in their walk with God and may need you at some point to extend a hand and give them the love God reflects through you. You have shown that love so completely over the big things in life, that a childish action by someone else causing this reaction was a little surprising. I thought about all you have been through and think that perhaps it may be just an accumulation of things that have finally reached a point that you needed to just get some of the pain out. I hope the letter you wrote helped to do that and that some day if you see these people face to face that their immaturity won't shine from your eyes, but rather the love you have as God's gift will warm them and make them feel just a little of what they should have shared with you.

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  3. ooops, stitchinpenny....i guess it could be hard to interpret the tone in which i was writing the letter...it was meant to be a more tongue-in-cheek show of frustration and disappointment than what you have seen it as. and i was also attempting to poke a little fun at the facebook culture. i smiled quite a bit writing the piece, mostly at the sheer triviality of it all. the points i was trying to make were that i am learning what my true identity is, and what people might portray it to be if they only "know" me through facebook, and that i am learning not to care so much about what people think of me. i am who i am, and my faith is a huge part of that now. losing "friends" on facebook and in general, for the reason we lost them, was quite painful...mostly at first. i've learned a positive lesson from it, actually. but i would never NOT show God's love to anyone just because someone hurt my feelings a little bit.

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  4. Lauren, love this post. So well put. Love your honesty about hurt feelings, but really LOVE that there are still lessons God is showing you from all you have endured and that you are aware of your tendency to (like all of us) want the approval of man. Praise God that all that matters is His approval.

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  5. Precious Lauren :-) I am defenitely a fellow Jesus freak but it is the best freak to be :-) I loved it when our Pastor at RBBC told us to be fanatical (the best kind of fanatical) about Jesus Christ and I am so thankful that we get to cling to God and His word "is" our life <>< I love Jesus and you for sure <><

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  6. Shannon Howard-GarciaApril 1, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    I am blessed and thankful to have you as a FB friend. We didn't really know each other in high school and as you said, I can't blame anyone for not liking who I used to be. I am just thankful for God and His amazing grace that brought me to where I am today...living life as His child. I have been touched by your walk with Christ through all this past year has taken you through...all things big and small (and yes some of us don't mind hearing about the poopy because we have wee ones and know those hurdles). If not for FB, I would not have been in contact with you and I would not have been touched forever by your life with Jonathan and your families amazing walk with Jesus. So THANK YOU for being my FB friend and I feel sorry for anyone who has "defriended" you...what a loss for them.

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  7. You know, I've wondered if I've been defriended too (because believe it or not, I have one friend who actually keeps track of how many friends I have and tells me sometimes--I don't know why!) but honestly couldn't tell you if I have or not--though I am VERY much more aware now of people's comments and reactions to my status updates.
    And I cannot believe that people have the nerve to be uncomfortable with anything I post (which I imagine is much like yours--pretty benign in the big scheme of things) when they are living their normal little lives and I am struggling to stay above water and cling to God's promises.

    I just thought about this the other day--people tell me all the time how strong I am or how they are so inspired by my courage. My response is always the same...I'm not strong, I'm not courageous, I'm simply surviving.

    But what an opportunity I lose! Every single time (and from this point on), I should tell each and every person who says that, "You know, it's only through the Grace of God." Because that's really what it is. I've often said that if it weren't for that, I don't know what would keep me from just wanting to slit my wrists and be done with it (maybe a little melodramatic, but sometimes my heart feels that way). Days where I wonder where God's comfort has been are the same days I realize that His comfort was all that helped me make it through that day--just enough to be sufficient and keep me breathing.

    I so admire every choice you made and all the joy you had with your sweet little boy. I'm sorry for your 'friends' that defriended...I agree with Shannon--their sincere loss.

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  8. I continue to be amazed by you and your willingness to be transparent before your God and your friends. When someone "de-friends" you, it really is usually not about you..it's about them. Your honesty makes them uncomfortable about something they are not willing to confront in themselves. God will honor this Lauren..in his time. I do hope you are reading Beth Moore's book "So Long Insecurity" in preparation for the simulcast...it addresses our inclination as women to be susceptible to what others think and how it affects us. We share that vulnerability. Love you! xoxo.

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  9. Well I've only been reading the blog for a few months, but I'd friend ya on Facebook anyday! :)

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  10. I agree with stitchinpenny and beachstork. I think those people who have defriended you are on a different path in their faith, and it's not about you...it's about them. Maybe your truth is too much for them to face.
    Here's another thing to think about. I don't want everyone to like me. Because there are a whole lotta people in this world who have different morals and values than I do. If those people like me, then I must be doing something wrong!
    Because of what you have gone through, being "defriended" is really so trivial. It's a small hurt, and no one wants to feel that way, but life is too short to sweat the small stuff. :)
    Hope you have a great Easter weekend.

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  11. I do not know you and cant even remember who told me about your blog, but what I do know is I think you and your family are remarkable. God will continue to bless you immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.

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  12. Lauren,
    I too have found that I was 'de-friended' one time or another and it IS a blow to the ego! That darn Facebook! Anyway, I totally got the tongue and cheek nature of the post and smiled while reading it. It is human nature to let even the smallest things get to us... but you are truly one of the strongest Christians I have met in awhile and I know full well that the trials you have been through of late are a big reason for that. Thanks for keepin' it real!

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  13. Lauren:

    I love your post. It is not the fact that you were de-friended. It was a matter of principal that someone you felt to be a friend would simply turn their back on you because of what you believed or how you reacted to a situation. The Bible tells us not to pass judgement, although we are all guilty of it. No one knows exactly what you and your family have had to go through over these past several months. I dare anyone to walk a day in your shoes and pass judgement on you! I would like to hope that my faith is as stong as yours if I was ever put in your situation. i admire your strong will, passion, dedication and faith. you are a strong woman and i am simply honored to have you as a friend and to be next to you at the foot of the cross.

    it just goes to show you who your real friends are. the ones who turn their backs on you during your greatest time of need are simply cowards!

    I love you so much Lauren and i think about you often and you will and will always be in my prayers.

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  14. Lauren,
    You do not know me..My name is Cheryl and I have followed your story on this site since you first started posting about your journey. I want you to know that even if it hard, don't worry what people think of you. I am a complete stranger to you, but you are a great inspiration to me. I feel like I know you from reading your story and following your journey. God has great things in store for you and your family...I believe that!
    God bless you!

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