Pastor Roger Schepmann is my dad, and he has graciously given me permission to share his thoughts surrounding my barrenness. Dad has always been a stronghold for our family and has always loved me unconditionally. I am blessed to be “Daddy’s little girl.”
As a father, I like to have everything go smoothly for my children. When they were little, I’d tell them to bring whatever it was that needed fixing, so I could fix it, and they would be happy. Example: the child has fallen and his/her knee hurts. Well, I’d kiss it to make it better. Or, if some toy needed some minor repair, they could bring it to me, and I’d do my best to fix it. Now, I’m not a “Mr. Fix-It,” but I’d do my best.
When it comes to barrenness, as a father, I still think it is something I should fix. I want to fix it somehow so my daughter can have all the children she has ever wanted. But it is something I cannot fix. I’d like to fix it, but I can’t. That’s why I simply put the entire matter into the hand of God. He knows what to do or not to do. He has it all figured out already. And I have to realize that He can do the impossible. That doesn’t mean He must, but He has the capacity to do what might be deemed as “impossible.” So, I commend my daughter and her husband into the hand of God for I know God will work good through this very difficult matter.
Do I think less of my daughter for being barren? Not at all. She is who she is: a child of God, made God’s own in Baptism, kept God’s own through the Spirit’s working in Word and Sacrament. She is not any less a child of God because she is unable to conceive a child. She is still “Daddy’s little girl” and will remain such. I have always been very proud of her. That has not changed. Barrenness does not define who she is. It is a cross she bears, but not one she bears alone. As a father, I am here to listen, to pray, and to give her the support she needs. I don’t always do a good job of all of that, but with God’s help, I will do better in the weeks and months ahead of us.
“God is our Refuge and Strength, an ever-present Help in trouble.” Ps. 46:1