There’s a permanent indentation in my couch. The toll of first-trimester exhaustion from two pregnancies, as well as the miscarriages that ended them, has made its mark on our lives. That once new couch is just one evidence of it.
It’s been there from the beginning, delivered with it’s appalling “new furniture smell” as I fought off morning sickness. But as my nausea faded, along with the little life inside my womb, my body sunk deep into the fleeting comfort it provided. It comforted for a time, but as all false refuges do, it left me unsatisfied.
A Time to Mourn
As Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes, there’s a time and season for all things. Certainly, there’s a time to mourn and a season for healing, both emotionally and physically.
…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (Eccl. 3:4 ESV)
When sorrow swoops down like a hawk in hunting, stealing our health, taking our loved ones, and breaking our hearts, we must weep for what was lost and mourn what will never be.…
I read the email explaining the fertility paperwork and a thousand emotions bubbled up from within. “This is so overwhelming. I don’t want to do this!” I lamented and tossed my phone onto the ottoman. My husband kindly reminded me, “We don’t have to.” “We do have to! I’m not ready to stop trying, but I don’t want to do this!” Tears filled my eyes and my voice raised with every word.
I retreated to the bedroom crying monstrous tears. Squeezing my eyes shut, I burrowed my face into my pillow as if to will away the pain. It’s so easy for most people. Why is it so hard for us, Lord?
That thought echoed in my mind for some time. I knew all the truths to apply and the thoughts to cast away, but can I be honest? After losing three babies back to back to back, some truths feel less than comforting.…
I’m unsure of how to express all that I feel, but I know you see all that resides within my heart. You see my longings and my fears, my gratitude and my restlessness. Within my heart are the questions to which you alone have the answers. Will you allow our third baby to grow? How long will this baby live? Can I emotionally survive another loss, if you so choose? You know, Lord. And that has to be enough for me. Please, help my heart to rest in you—the Creator and Sustainer of life.
Creator. You are the God who created all things. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for opening my womb and creating life again where death has reigned. I praise you for this tiny life I already love so much, despite my honest and shameful efforts to not grow attached. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of carrying this baby for however many days you have already decided.…
It seems, even before the first sprout sprang from the ground, indicating spring is near, my heart had already begun to dread what follows April showers. It’s not those beautiful flowers which May typically brings, nor is it the warmer weather I fear.
It’s Mother’s Day.
The day where churches worldwide will honor the visible mommas, the ones whose arms or wombs are filled. Many times, forgetting those whose wombs remain empty as they long for children they’ve either yet to receive, or have lost.
Before continuing, I want to state clearly that I truly believe mothers should be honored both on Mother’s Day and all other days. But as we celebrate the observable moms in our life, may we also reach out to the invisible ones and the childless women among us.
It was on this holiday that I first saw the faint line on a pregnancy test, so faint I dismissed it until testing again four days later.…
“But if you could choose, would you choose to be discontent until you receive a baby, or to trust God and never receive a baby?”
His question caused me to pause for thought, making me uncomfortable as it sliced through my self-deception. If God told me that trusting him meant I would never receive a child from my womb, would I still trust him? As much as I wish I could say a hearty “yes!” immediately sprang from my tongue, it would be a lie.
He continued, “Because, in the end, none of this will matter, except that we trusted him.”
The Gift or the Giver
My husband is right. In eternity, what will matter most is not the gifts we received, but how much we trusted the Giver. Did we treasure earthly things more than the true Treasure? Did we submit our lives to our idolized desires or to the King of Kings?…
I held the pregnancy test in my hand and examined it closely. Could there be a faint line? Oh Lord, please let there be a faint line. There wasn’t. It was negative. No baby had taken root in my womb and those supposed symptoms proved to be simply taunting me, giving me false hope that life had begun to flourish where I’d only seen it die.
The day before, my best friend had announced that she was finally pregnant. As I genuinely rejoiced over the little one in her womb, I took my place as the only woman in my church without living children. This negative pregnancy test nearly broke me.
I tread lightly in taking upon myself the term “infertile.” Not because of the shame sometimes attached to it, but because there’s a different set of painful circumstances that a woman struggling to conceive faces. I don’t claim to understand that deep pain.…