Whenever new acquaintances learn that I do not have any children, the first response I usually get from them is, “But you’re still young! You have plenty of time to have a baby. Your time is coming.”
I’ve been hearing that for nine years, now, and each year it gets a little harder to hear. Part of me is thankful for the optimism of strangers, because deep down inside I really do hope they are right. But what if they aren’t? I often think of my barren friends who are past the childbearing age. What was it like when new acquaintances stopped making plenty-of-time-platitudes to them, when strangers could tell that their time had indeed passed? What kept them from despairing when all physical, worldly hope of ever carrying a child in their womb had gone?
I recently received the following email from a woman who is past the age of childbearing, and her confession of faith brought me great joy. How comforting to know that the same promises of God which console me in my barrenness today will continue to sustain and comfort me should I remain childless past the time of my own fecundity.
My heart goes out to you, since I am also barren. Even though I am 57 years old, it still is difficult to realize that God did not intend to give me the blessings of children of my own. From early childhood on, I only wanted to be a mother. That never happened. When it didn’t seem to be happening for us naturally, we explored first adoption, and then medical help, but neither were options for us. We waited too long and were considered too old to be considered adoptive parents by church and state social agencies, even though we were in our mid 30’s. Private adoption at that time meant that the birth parents would have all the say in how we raised our children, and we weren’t comfortable with that. We then went as far as we felt it would be God-pleasing in the medical procedures of that day and time. We finally had to accept that God’s will for us was His will for us! Knowing that He loved us even more than we loved each other, we could look forward to whatever He planned for our future.
Now, two decades later, I still mourn the fact that the infants I hold and the children I love will never be mine. God is good. My family is huge. There are new babies joining our family every few months. The most recent was born in June, and now we hear that another niece will be blessed with her second child in January. God has given me many nieces and nephews to love and cherish. However, it will never be the same as raising one of His precious lambs.
So…we hold to God’s love for us and our love for each other. He has blessed us in so many ways! His wisdom is not mine, and that is good. He does know what is best for me, for my husband, for my family, and for you. Whatever God has in store for you will be a blessing to both you and to others. I pray He gives you a child, but only if that is His perfect will.