I can’t remember why or how we came to know each other. It doesn’t matter. We share a taste for Paris, Faith and Children’s names. I have come to appreciate and love Sarah, her authentic heart and gentle spirit and know you will too. So today we are switching places.
From the outside, I look like I am living the dream…3 children, a warm home with a cozy bed, and a minivan. OK, so maybe we don’t all dream of driving a minivan, but it does symbolize something beautiful: children. I am, indeed, living MY dream. However, there was a time when I did not even know if I would ever have one car seat in my car, much less three. You see, from the outside, one only sees what one thinks is the perfect life…but, inside, I am technically infertile. Inside, I harbor scars from the words of well meaning people who did not understand and whose words stung my already aching heart. I felt alone and forsaken by God. Unless you have walked in those shoes, it is hard to understand the heart of an infertile woman. While my home may now be filled with the pitter patter of three sets of little feet, my heart still hurts for those who are still waiting, hoping, and praying. Five years ago, there were three empty bedrooms in my house. The only sounds we heard in the middle of the night were the gentle purring of our two cats (who would grace us with their presence only in the wee hours of the morning by attacking our feet under the covers). The silence was depressing. My womb…empty. There were desolate times while I waited. It was ironic that I was a Pediatric Nurse and loved children, yet I could not have any of my own. I felt it was a cruel joke and I often questioned God’s will for me. I questioned whether my prayers really mattered. I questioned His love for me. I even questioned whether I was “good enough” to be bestowed such a gift.
I would cling to God’s promise of goodness for my life. So many women in the Bible and God did not leave them barren: Sarah, Hannah, Rebekah, Elizabeth. Elizabeth became my dear friend from the Bible. His timing certainly caused Elizabeth heartache, but she still believed He would fulfill His promise. Had Elizabeth had her own way, there would be no John the Baptist. You see, God was not punishing Elizabeth. NO! GREAT WAS HER REWARD! He had a great treasure in store for her and he must of thought highly of her to make her John’s mother! Isn’t that such a beautiful thought? That perhaps our wait is because God has such a special child that needs to born at a certain time in this world because of the influence he/she will have on it. About a year and a half after giving birth to our first child, Ella (Ella-our shortened version of Elizabeth), I endured a miscarriage. Once again, I found myself questioning God’s goodness for me. Why would a good God…a God who loves me…allow this to happen? My heart was crushed with grief. It’s not like I could just easily conceive again. God had such a better plan than I ever had for myself. He was okay with being misunderstood because He knew that his plans were even bigger than I had for myself. You see, three months later, not only did he provide a child…He placed two perfect babies in my womb. To this day, I still feel so undeserving of so much goodness. And when I reflect on all the pain, it was indeed worth it. If you are waiting and wondering, do not believe the lie that God is withholding His blessings from you because of some wrongdoing. God has not forsaken you. You see, it’s not about you. It’s ALL about Him. If it was about us, no human would ever receive such a blessing. It’s all about His kingdom. And God knows your pain. Look at how much Hannah poured out her heart. There is no denying she was in deep anguish. Yet, she still believed in His goodness. You don’t have to hide your pain either.
I think what I struggled with during those dark days was knowing that just because I asked and prayed did not mean God had to give it to me. I knew the reality was that God may or may not choose that for me. I also knew that I may never understand why…at least on this side of heaven. But I would pray for peace in the unknown…in realizing I had no idea where I was going and what God’s purpose for me even was. That is all any of us really want…to not feel pain…to not suffer. The barren woman should always be handled with tenderness. Their hearts are fragile. Every pregnancy announcement, every baby shower, and every baby they see is a reminder that their womb is still empty. If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, handle them with care. They are precious in God’s sight. Remind them of God’s insanely deep love for all those who were barren in the Bible. Remind them that it isn’t because they don’t have enough faith…if anything, God is showing the world how great their faith is indeed. God uses barren women in great ways…what a treasure they must be to Him!
|Photo courtesy of Lisa Russo Photography|
About Sarah I am a child of God living in fallen skin. I am a mother, sister, wife, and daughter. I like to overuse ellipses and write run on sentences. I am not a writer, but I write. You can find my daily musings at To Him Belong. You can also join me on my new venture, a daily devotional entitled Seven Days of Grace. It’s a devotional for imperfect people…people who are fell of sin…but desperately want to find grace and love in our Savior. It is a place for doubters, atheists, agnostics, and those that have believed in Jesus their entire lives. It is a place where are all welcome. I’m a southern gal…and we are known for our hospitality. So come on over y’all.