Guess What!?! It’s a BOY!!
Those words are supposed to be joyful and celebratory. A new life is beginning! Probably 99% of the time they are met with cheers and “woots” from friends and family.
I would rather find a quiet corner and cry. Not always. But sometimes.
As the body of Christ I am supposed to rejoice with those rejoice. And no one wants a downer when they have good news. So, I smile and wish them well. I do wish them well. I’m not the woman who wanted the baby cut in two, so that no one would have him. I rejoice with them.
Today, would you mind if we paused for a moment to weep with those who weep?
We were about three years into marriage when the decision was made to abandon any means of birth control. Life happened; we started the 5 years of 7 addresses as mentioned in my About Me page. Next thing we knew, it was suddenly 8 years later and we finally decided to go to a doctor.
“In 8 years [of unprotected sex], there’s going to be a mistake at some point.” This is how the doctor chose to tell us that there most likely was a problem. And so the testing began. Luckily (?), we didn’t have to go through too many tests before we got a clear red light and were told in no uncertain terms that we would not be able to conceive by natural means. There was a slight possibility of conception using drugs or with laboratory manipulations, but even with that there were no promises.
So much of marriage is a give and take. I have always loved the times when my husband and I stood in the same corner on an issue from the get-go. Churches were one place that happened (we both often had similar reactions on visiting a church). This area was another. Neither of us had the desire to go further medically, primarily due to friends we have seen walk that road.
And that brings me to today. There’s no more monthly wondering and hoping. Yes, there’s adoption and that’s a huge need in the world; but we’re not there yet and that’s not what this post is about (I’m sorry if I sound peevish; but instead of sharing empathy, people tend to jump to adoption right away).
Today we mourn what is lost or, rather, what never was.
There are so many passages in scripture that talk about the blessings of having children. I know it’s part of the original directive to Adam & Eve, to “be fruitful and multiply.” So, as women and men who are not able to have children, these verses sting. Are we not blessed?
Yet, God, I know that the consequences of this fallen world lead to many broken things, including reproductive systems. I know that you are not a vindictive God out to punish me or other women who are not able to bear their own children. I don’t blame you.
But do you know how it hurts? Are you aware of the aching emptiness, Lord? That this longing is never satisfied?
The odd thing is that, in this past year, I have felt that God is whispering hope to me about this. I am not sure what it means: if I will someday have a baby, if I might foster or adopt in the future, or if I will find fulfillment and satisfaction in God rather than this need. Who knows? But, in specific and sometimes weird ways, I have found hope.
In turn, that has made it easier to be joyful for my beautiful friends who have recently given birth or are now pregnant. My husband and I have been able to minister to others in ways that would be limited if we had children in our home. The most obvious example, is the week we spend every summer at Camp CUMCITO with low-income children from the Kansas City area. So, despite the pain, I have some measure of peace.
Father, for anyone reading this who does not have this hope you’ve given me, guide them to the truth you want them to know. Help them see your hand at work even in the loneliness and emptiness. Whisper to their soul your message of hope.
In Jesus’ name,
Thank you for letting me share from my heart today. Infertility or barrenness can be a lonely road. Not wanting to burden others, the pain is often stuffed inside. It’s easy to think that a pregnant woman or a mom would not understand this pain, and then feel isolated and alone. It’s not true, of course, but that is the lie that wants to be believed. Thank you for listening and praying for anyone you know who has not been able to have children. If you think this would minister to someone, would you share it?
This is Day 26 in 31 Days of Prayer for the Hurting, click the link to find the entire series.