The Cross We Bare

surgical team workingLaura Koch reminds us in her reflection on “My Suffering Is a Blessing” that the crosses we bear can be very hard to bare. Thank you, Laura, for baring your cross to us.

Blessed by God – I suppose that would be the “category” that might describe me since I have four children that were created by God in my womb. But I also know the pain and sorrow of a body filled with stage 4 endometriosis. I know, too, the guilt and suffering that goes with losing an ovary by disease and then deciding to “tie the tube” on the other side because childbirth was becoming too hard.

Our first daughter came to be very early in our marriage. My husband was at the seminary, I was a Lutheran school teacher…we had barely enough money to live on, and yet she came. I was so afraid. How would we take care of her? God provided beautifully for all our needs….and even granted us a son while we were still at the seminary. Another daughter came during my husband’s early years in ministry. Our last daughter came three years later but two months premature, as I was severely bleeding due to placenta previa. After receiving 5 pints of blood, I was just fine. And after 4 weeks in the hospital she came home.

So, why then am I writing here? Because I find so much comfort in the words written on this blog. I believe God has created a natural desire in women to have children. We, on most days, comfortably nurture the people in our home. When this blessing of children is not granted or ceases to be, the pain that a women suffers can become unbearable at times. And when one chooses not to have children because of fear or because of a risk to her body, her grief can be insurmountable, too. I know.

The years following my tubal were filled with so much grief and tears. I wish I had not made that decision in haste – lying on a hospital bed in pain due to an enormous cyst on the other ovary. I don’t know if God would have granted us any more children. I don’t know if my body would have been able to handle it anymore. Eventually, endometriosis would claim my very womb, too.

The guilt over that decision, though, grieved my heart for many years.

A barren womb is not always easy to see.

We all know that we live in a sin-cursed world. We are children of God, saved by grace in the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we live in the freedom of our sins being forgiven. We know that God does indeed love each of us. We need to hear that spoken in our ears every Sunday, if not more! I know that God has forgiven me for that decision and He has calmed my spirit as years have gone by. I look at my children as the true gifts that they are, created in a body that was broken by sin. And I weep with the barren woman because I have shared in her grief, too.

Laura Koch