Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Gambler

"You got to know when to hold them..." ~ Kenny Rogers

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have never been much of a gambler. I can't stand to lose a roll of quarters in a slot machine.

If the gamble isn't really "real", like when you are playing for chips, or pennies, or monopoly money...hey then I am all in.

But real gambles...they scare me.

I tend to play it safe.

That's why I had no clue what a gamble, what a risk I was taking with my life, my heart and my soul when I embarked on my journey to motherhood.

I always knew I would have children. To say I always wanted them is kind of a lie. I wanted them when I was ready.  I wanted them on my terms. So no, I didn't want to become a teen mom and no, I didn't really want children in my 20's. I wanted to make sure I was at a point in my life where I truly, truly was ready and I truly, truly wanted my children.

And I wanted that silly little fucking fairy tale that bit me in my ass.

You all know the one...the one where you meet the man of your dreams, fall in love, get married and have 2 beautiful children.

Yeah that load of fucking garbage. That's also what I wanted.

But as time wore on,  I realized the latter part of the fairy tale was the part I couldn't live without.

I decided to roll dice. I decided to go it alone.

And I never thought that this decision, that this roll of the dice included infertility and miscarriages.

And I never thought I would have to keep gambling, keep risking it all.

That's why gambling scares me. It's an addiction.

And like any addiction as the stakes become higher and higher the need for one more roll of the dice becomes greater and greater.

And with each toss you think "This has to be it!" and with each loss the truth is that this might be one gamble that never pays off.

In considering a the cold hard reality that I might lose, I'm beginning to realize just how high the stakes really are...

“God is, or He is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up... Which will you choose then? Let us see. Since you must choose, let us see which interests you least. You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose... But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is... If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is. ~ Blaise Pascal 

Philosopher Blaise Pascal philosophized that it is better wager to believe that God exists. That in that gamble if you  believe in God  you gain all and if you lose you lose nothing...Is that really true?

I will never forget walking into church after my first miscarriage. I was lost. I was looking for something and after a couple of weeks of attending church, I thought maybe it wasn't so much that I was looking for something but waiting for this something to return.

My faith. I needed my faith to return and stepping into that church made it start to come back.

I started to find peace and the strength to try again.

I thought that if this journey brought me through those doors than maybe this is a reason.

The beautiful reason of  bringing me closer to God. To strengthen my faith. And I thought that my faith could only get stronger from here.

"where heads or tails will turn up... Which will you choose then?"

You see I took a gamble and walked into that church hoping that it would pay off. That it would strengthen my faith but that's not what happened.

The reality is, this wager, this gamble I took to trust in the Lord, to open myself and let my faith come back to life. To believe.

The wager of believing has completely backfired.

"Know when to fold them..." ~ Kenny Rogers

I thought that this journey would only strengthen my faith but in reality it has only weakened it.

You can only get knocked down so many times before you can't get back up again.

You can only trust and believe so many times before you are drained of all that you believe in.

Pascal says: "If you gain, you gain all."

What do you really gain?

I think that Pascal was missing an important part of the Wager. What believing does to you and your soul...the pain that believing causes you.

"...But your happiness?"

To believe would make it all too cruel.

I have come to the realization that no matter how hard I try, no matter how many times I go to church, no matter how hard I doesn't matter. It won't make a difference.

And that is the pain of wagering that "He is"...

There is a lot to lose when you wager  "He is" ...

It is too high of a price to pay, losing all your faith from making the wager that  "He is" .

I've come to this realization and it is so painful that I know it has to be true...

No matter how many times you roll the dice at the end of the day it is just that...a roll of the dice...there is no divine intervention.

And if you want to place a wager on whether or not there is some kind of divine intervention you are better off saying  "He is not".

" "He is not" makes it hurt less...

" "He is not" make the suffering more explainable...

 "He is not" doesn't destroy your soul...

So if I am going to place my final wager...I'm going to go with  "He is not".

"and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness;"

At least  "He is not" doesn't drain you of all that is at stake.



  1. Very well said. Knowing it's all random allows us to understand it's nothing we did or didn't do.

  2. We are on parallel paths. I have always fought people who say this is God's will or plan or whatever crap. They are full of it and must never have experiences anything hard in their lives.

  3. Yes. Just yes. Damn, it, it sucks. So damned sorry, Michaela.

  4. Oh friend... I wish you knew how much I relate to this one. I too turned to God and church, and I too felt that much more kicked to the curb when I was still left heartbroken in the end. To say that my faith has struggled as a result is an understatement. And it's sad, because at the end of the day... I really DO believe that "He is..." I just find that I can't commit myself to that anymore. Because it hurt to bad feeling like "He is" but "He doesn't care."

  5. I haven't been in a long time. I cry every time I go. It's like I'm doing something wrong for not going. I try so hard to hold on to any hope even though in my head keeps saying it may not work.

  6. Holy shit, you just knocked me back with that one. Powerful.

    I just wanted to tell you what a great mom you are. I am sorry for your waiting. Your comments today were Mom 101 and they made me smile all day long.



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