I’ve decided to exercise the “mother’s prerogative” and use the next few blogs to tell you all about my children. I must warn you, I am going to brag at least a little. I try really hard not to be one of “those” moms. You know, the ones you want to run from when you see them coming because you already know they’re just coming to brag on their kids; the ones who use every conversation as an excuse to interject something about their wonderful children (and it usually doesn’t have that much to do with the conversation). Fortunately, I don’t know very many of said mothers, and I completely understand their desire to talk about their children. Every child is a blessing and a gift from God. If I do brag, please know that I do not take credit for how wonderful my kids are. I give all the credit and glory to God because they are “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
I will, of course, start at the beginning. Preston and I decided to wait 3 years after getting married before we would start having children. Most of my friends implemented similar plans and met with success rather quickly, so I just assumed we would follow suit. Well, God had other plans. Fast forward 2 more years and a lot of disappointment and heartache. Every time I heard a friend tell they were expecting (one with a “honeymoon baby”) it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. Some friends noticed the moist eyes and thought they were tears of happiness for them. To those friends, I confess, they were really selfish tears because I wanted what you had. Every month I was tormented with all sorts of thoughts, “Is there something wrong with me?” “Does God not trust me with a child?” “Doesn’t anybody understand how badly this hurts?” “Do they even care?” I was raw and depressed. Virtually all of my married friends had babies at this point, and we were the only childless couple in our Sunday School class, so I started avoiding all of them. It was just too painful to be around them and their beautiful babies. (wow, this is really bringing that pain back like it was yesterday.) Then there were the well-meaning, but still hurtful, comments like, “Aren’t you and Preston ever going to start having kids?” “You do know where babies come from, don’t you?” or the worst one, “You just won’t understand until you have kids of your own someday.” (another confession, I wanted to slap people for that one.)
In the midst of this pain, I am glad to say that I was drawing near to God and not pushing Him away – only by His grace and not because I am that smart or good. My relationship with Him was becoming so much richer and deeper. I knew He understood. I knew that even though I didn’t like it, He was in control and it was for my good that I wasn’t getting pregnant. He drew me to Himself and let me cry on His shoulder. He assured me of His plans for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) Now, I did have my moments of anger and down-right tantrums with Him for not giving me what I wanted when I wanted it, but like the perfect loving Father that He is, He was always ready to forgive me and let me crawl back up into His lap, soothing away my hurt and anger the way a mother soothes her child.
One night, shortly after I had discovered I was once again not pregnant, I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed and talking to God. (For some reason, I have some of my best conversations with God in the bathroom. I guess because there isn’t much to distract me from listening to Him in there.) I was thanking Him for the relationship I had with Him and rejoicing in His goodness to me. I was telling Him how much I loved Him, more than anything, and I didn’t want anything to keep me from growing even closer to Him. Immediately, I “heard” this question, “Do you desire a growing relationship with Me more than you desire to have children? Are you willing to sacrifice that desire in order to pursue a relationship with Me?” (I remember that so clearly. I remember where exactly I was standing and how I was standing. I now refer to it as my “Isaac Moment”) I knew the “Sunday School” answer was “Yes, of course.” But I also knew that that wasn’t my heart’s answer. I fell on my knees, sobbing, wrestling with this call to sacrifice my desire to be a mom for the greater good of following God without distraction. Praise God, it didn’t take very long before I was able to lay it on the altar and walk away! Hallelujah! What peace and joy flooded my soul – peace that I had not had in months!
Meanwhile, I had found I Samuel 1 & 2 – the story of Hannah, who also desperately longed for a child. God blessed her with a son, Samuel, whom she dedicated to the Lord. One day, in the Bible study group I go to on Wednesdays, they asked for someone to sing a new song from Scripture. God impressed upon me to “sing” Hannah’s song from I Samuel 2:1-10. The very next week, I discovered God had heard the cry of my heart, and rewarded my sacrifice with the desire of my heart because I chose to delight in Him. I WAS PREGNANT!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!! I didn’t want to take a chance with a home pregnancy test, so I went to my OB/GYN’s office and let them do a pregnancy test. When it was positive, I was so happy I was laughing and crying all at the same time. I’m sure they thought I was crazy.
Now I know there are others whose story is a lot harder than mine. Perhaps you’ve suffered a miscarriage, or you’ve gone through the stress and cost and pain of fertility treatments only to find that nothing is working. My heart goes out to you and I pray for you right now. “Dear Heavenly Father, be with the lady who is reading this right now with tears in her eyes. Minister Your perfect peace and comfort to her right now. I pray that you would heal her emotions and soothe her hurt, anger, and frustration. Ease the heartache. Father, I ask You, in the name of Jesus Christ, to hear the cry of the barren one and bless her with the desire of her heart. Whether it’s by opening her womb and creating life within her, or whether it is through the miracle of adoption, bless her with a baby. And I ask that you would do it soon. She has been waiting and hurting for so long, Father. In Your mercy, please don’t make her wait anymore. We give you the honor and praise for what You are going to do in each life that reads this. Not because of anything I’ve written, but because You are God. You can do it and You want to do it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you are one of those ladies, I would love to pray for you by name on a regular basis. If you would like, leave a comment with your name and any details you want to share. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know that way. If you are someone like me who has been there, and has a story of God’s blessing you with a child, please leave it in the comments section to encourage others.
I will end this post with “Hannah’s Song”found in I Sam. 2:1-10
“Then Hannah prayed and said:
My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in Your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the Lord, there is no one besides You.
There is no Rock like our God.
Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed.
The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
upon them He has set the world.
He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
It is not by strength that one prevails;
Those who oppose the the Lord will be shattered.
He will thunder against them from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to His king and exalt the horn of His anointed.”