I know one of the reasons you won’t confide in people about your barrenness. There are those who insist on fixing you. You know, the people who slip you a piece of paper with the name of a health book they think will cure your barrenness, or the people who tell you to relax or – my personal favorite – start the adoption process in order to get pregnant.
But not everyone wants to fix you. Some people just want to care for you. Leah Houghton, a mother and part-time social worker, is one of those people, and she has something she wants to say to you:
The journey to parenthood has certainly been very trying for my family. Just of few of these trials include a partial-miscarriage of my first pregnancy where I miscarried one of the twins with which I was pregnant. During a standard sonogram, our second child was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate. We were told by doctors that he would be blind, deaf, and mentally delayed. We were also told he would have heart and lung problems and would be “grossly disfigured.” We would have to wait until his delivery to discover that none of these things were true about our son. Yet, we still faced (and are still facing) numerous surgeries, doctor’s visits, clinic appointments, speech therapy evaluations, etc.
Just a little over a year after our son’s diagnosis, we experienced the miscarriage of our third pregnancy. I have also experienced moderate postpartum depression after the birth of my second child. Then, after I stopped nursing my daughter, I began experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks (related to hormonal changes) that nearly incapacitated me for months. However, throughout all of these trials, the Lord has provided our daily bread and given us such grace and comfort. All these gifts truly surpass our understanding.
Sisters, I know from the outside that the woman who has a handful of young and energetic children may seem like the last person on earth to be able to provide you with any comfort when you are struggling with barrenness, and it is true that I cannot imagine the grief that an empty womb and an empty home must be. Yet, I encourage you to please tell your sisters in Christ your struggles. Let us care for you. Let us be a quiet ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a comforting hand to hold. No, I don’t know what it is like to walk by empty nurseries that have been prayed over night after night with hopes that God would choose to fill that nursery in some way. No, I don’t know what it is like to have empty arms that so long to hold a child near. But, I do know what it is like to carry a child when you don’t know if you will ever get to bring that child home from the hospital; I know what it is like to grieve the loss of a child that you will never see on this earth; and I also know the strength and peace that can come from waiting on the Lord. And, sisters, I want to encourage you and carry that burden with you in prayer and love.
Please let us care for you! Let us pray with and for each other and bear with one another in love!