Ever since I was a little girl, I looked forward to a future filled with children. I was an only child until age eleven. As all of my friends were receiving baby brothers and baby sisters, I had imaginary ones, seventeen of them to be exact.
Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Children are a good gift, a good desire, a desire that would not leave me as I entered adulthood. When I met my husband in my early twenties, he already had one son from a previous relationship. We were excited with the desire to welcome more children into our family. After several years of trying to conceive, we worried that something must be wrong. We made a prayer request for a child at a small chapel we attended briefly. A few more years passed by. Doctors offered medical intervention when no medical explanation could be found. Friends offered special diets and supplements to aid in fertility. Sisters in Christ prayed fervently. I started to wonder, wrongly, if my faith was to blame. Was I praying hard enough? Did I believe enough that God would answer my prayer?
For eleven years we continued to try to conceive and prayed to God for a child. During this time, I missed several baby showers, Mother’s Day worship services, and Sunday school classes. I could be found crying in the prayer room after another pregnancy announcement. I have at times been angry with God in my mourning for the child that has not been.
1 Samuel 1:8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
Ouch! God was giving me my answer and convicting my heart of sin. In my anger, I had broken the first, second, and tenth commandments. Having a child became an idol I worshiped instead of God. I coveted the pregnancy of others. I had been asking the Lord for a child, but not because a child was what the Lord wanted for me. I was not content with the son God had already given to me through my marriage. I was not content with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 30:22-24 “Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, ‘God has taken away my reproach.’ And she called his name Joseph saying, ‘May the Lord add to me another son.’”
Luke 11:13 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
As God revealed these sins to me, I was brought to repentance and remembrance of God’s truth.
This Mother’s Day, I will rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep as I attend worship services. I am helping to plan a baby shower for a dear friend of mine, and yes, I will be attending it as well. I will weep in the prayer room with sisters who are experiencing these things along with me, and I will thank God for the women He has placed around me who have come out faithful on the other side.
I am looking forward to the future again. A future with my husband, serving the Lord in whatever capacity that may be. I now realize how useful I am to the body because of my circumstances. I can still look forward to a future filled with children as I minister to them and their parents in the nursery, babysitting, at the zoo or wherever that may be. I can be the best mom possible to my husband’s son. I am content with God’s will in this area of my life.
This is my personal story. I am in no way implying that the readers who walk this road are doing so in sin. If you are, I pray that the Lord convicts you. Whether or not, I weep with you, pray for you, love you, and understand what you are experiencing. -by Stephanie Hundley
Stephanie’s story is different from mine but our God is the same. When we confess and surrender our idols and discontentment, He gives us opportunity to encourage others in the same circumstance and to tell them of His faithfulness. I pray you have found that here today.