Comment Submitted: I turn 44 this month, and all I can do is cry. I feel, as a barren woman, like everyone has caught their bus in life, and I am alone at the bus stop with no bus for me. I tremble at the thought for the rest of my life I have to hear the words, “How many kids do you have?” and that I have to mumble, “None,” with a lump in my throat – for the rest of my life! I am a Christian who loves God and often wonder why He left me out.
My dear sister, do not hold back the tears. Your barrenness is one way that creation groans in response to the disease of sin (Romans 8:22-23), and it is unfair and painful and confusing. Of course you feel left out! Though, it is not God who has left you out but the messed-up, miserable ways of this fallen world.
Here is the hard truth: Outside of giving you the Child Jesus to save you from your sin, God has never promised in His Word to give you a child of your own.
Yet, God promises you so much more, and – joy of all joys! – He keeps His promises. God promises to love you (John 3:16, Romans 5:8); God promises to save you from your sin (Matthew 1:20-21, Mark 16:16, Romans 6); God promises in baptism to adopt you into His family and make you an heir of heaven (Galatians 3:26-4:7); God promises to never leave you but to faithfully come to you in church through the reading of His Word and in the Holy Supper (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 18:20, Exodus 20:24b, John 1:1, Matthew 26:26-29); God promises to provide all that you need to support this body and life (Matthew 6:30-32 and 10: 29-31, Colossians 1:17); and God promises to work all things, even your barrenness, for your eternal good (Romans 8:28).
Sometimes in our grief and suffering, even though we know and trust in these promises of God, it can still feel like God has abandoned us. Thankfully, God’s love and care for us exists apart from how we feel. God is present, whether we feel Him or not, because He promises never to leave us (Hebrews 13:5).
On those inevitable days when your flesh deceives you and makes you doubt the presence of God, remember that you cannot increase your faith of your own doing. Faith is a work of the Holy Spirit within us through the blessed means of His Word. It is for this very reason that I urge you to be in church regularly and to go talk with your pastor about your suffering. Let Him speak those faith-increasing Words of God into your ears, so that you may be truly comforted and strengthened unto life everlasting.
“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is greatly troubled.
But you, O Lord – how long?
Turn, O Lord, deliver my life;
save me for the sake of your steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of you;
in Sheol who will give you praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.” (Psalm 6:2-9, ESV)