I have often pondered something I didn’t expect to happen in my life – the barren womb.
The process of realizing that I fit into the category of barrenness was very slow. (I realize that I have been able to get pregnant and carry short term pregnancies that led to miscarriage. I might be using the word “barren” loosely. For me, it means I have not been able to carry a baby to healthy delivery; not being able to have birth children.)
When the word “barren” slowly descended on my senses and its reality sunk in, I didn’t know just how profound it would be.
The longing in my womb called so deeply, wished so grand, and disappointed so easily.
I prayed. We prayed. Our church prayed. I saw doctors. I went through medical procedures. I took medicine.
There didn’t seem to be any options. Either I couldn’t get pregnant or I did get pregnant and miscarried.
As we entered the foster care process, I think we looked at it as a way to minister to children and also as a way to help fill the void of having a childless home. Our walls practically echoed when we spoke and the ensuing silence shattered our heart’s cry to love and parent children.
We knew we might not be able to “keep them”. Our hope was that maybe we could just be a place where more children than we could have ever given birth to would be touched, hopefully in a dramatic way. At least then we would have done all God wanted us to do. Even if our picture of normal family life didn’t happen, at least God would be pleased.
Here we stand now, just a little over a year after having our first foster children in our home and we are so grateful. We are now entering into adoption for two and guardianship for one. These blessings were so unexpected. Our precious children are just that – so precious to us. We love them as if we had given birth to them. We cannot imagine life without any of them.
On the same token, can I say that my barren womb has been satisfied? Can I say that I never longingly look at a pregnant friend or those who hold newborn children in their arms? Can I say I don’t still feel the pangs of longing?
No, I can’t say that.
I still hope. I still wish. I still pray. I still feel disappointment.
I am embarrassed to admit that I touch my stomach often and ask myself if I might be pregnant “today”? Could it be? Even when it is obviously NOT the case, I often retreat to the quiet voice that seemingly calls from my womb.
There is a verse in the Bible I have often read that describes it perfectly: Proverbs 30:16
Three things are never satisfied, no, there are four that never say, “That’s enough, thank you!”—
(2) a barren womb,
(3) a parched land,
(4) a forest fire.
So, if any of you out there are feeling this same way, please don’t feel alone. I am FAR BEYOND blessed. I have wonderful gifts from God in my home and still yet my barren womb is not satisfied. And the neat thing is we can be honest about that. It is ok to read a verse like this and simply be honest and say, “God, I am not satisfied. Please be my strength where I feel weak right now.”