As I plopped onto the couch after having put my daughter down for a nap, pulled out my laptop, and stretched my legs on the chaise, the view in front of me immediately grabbed my attention. How could it not, considering all that I have been meditating on this morning? I may not be looking out over the great expanse of the Atlantic ocean, or gazing at the millions of stars in the African sky (which is, by the way, absolutely indescribable), but from my vantage point today, the view could not be any better. To the right of my legs sits Hope’s knock-off American Girl doll, complete with a feeding tube and ileostomy bag to match hers. And scattered all over the living room floor are toys and books, beckoning me to clean the house before our afternoon guest arrives. This mess I’m encircled in is a beautiful mess, though, for it is the evidence of a full heart and home. Sweet, sweet peace.
After a week of poring over just what to write next on the blog, I awoke this morning to find my answer- a little but significant word in a verse sent from one of my dearest friends. Let me tell you, this precious sister of mine is the most faithful woman I know, putting even my most faith-filled commitment to shame. When the Spirit prompts her to share Scripture or a word from Him, I listen. And today, I’m thankful I did.
What do you feel when you hear this word? For most people, hearing it spoken conjures up nothing but the vision of a bare desert of sand and maybe a few cacti peppered about. But if it describes your childbearing state, my guess is that its sound causes your heart to drop and sends your stomach into a pit of knots. Reading through the rest of this post may even feel unbearable to you, but will you continue on? I wonder if the LORD has something for you today.
Let me be honest and say that I’m not going to artfully work up to the pinnacle of what I want to share, because sometimes we just need to get straight to the meat of the conversation.
It hit me like a brick one day. Hope was about 3 months old at the time but had been home from the NICU for only a few weeks. In a rare moment of quietness, I hopped into the shower for a quick rinse, unaware of the profound enlightenment that was about to overcome me. Our loving Father used my short 5 minutes of peace and spoke the most tender words into my soul. It was as though He was audibly speaking. What resounded deep down was this: the womb of a woman is her heart.
My spirit understood this with assurance, for I was daily walking in its truth. Hope was not woven together in my uterus; her life not brought forth from my body. But our great Maker, in His kindness, did knit her together in my heart. She is my child, the one hand-picked for me. The one I love with every thread of my being. I was not barren then, and I am not barren now.
You see, while my physical body may be wrought with barrenness, my heart is brimming with fullness. My Jesus came to this earth to offer life, and to offer it to the full. I experience that life when I joyfully accept the path for which He has laid before me. Lest you think my days are full of chocolate covered cherries and perfectly-arranged bouquets of roses, I invite you to come back for a visit and a read of what life is like parenting a daughter with special needs. And to have a look into what my spiritual journey was during, and continues to be after, our legal fight with Hope’s birth father. It is painfully messy, but it is beautiful. So beautiful.
If you are a childless woman who is longing with complete desperation to bear children, the LORD is ready to remove the barrenness in your heart and replace it with joy that only He can give. He is ready to pave the path before you. Maybe you are part of His plan to care for orphaned children, and it is time you obediently respond to the tugging on your heart. Or maybe God’s will for you is something else, and He is drawing you now to willingly walk forward, even though it looks so much different than you would have ever dreamed. If you are a woman whose quiver is full and overflowing, but your heart is empty, His fullness is for you too.
Oh, Barren Woman, God longs to wipe away your tears, crown you with splendor, and bestow on you a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Will you let Him?