I’m about to get real with y’all. I consider myself a pretty transparent person, sometimes to a fault, but with this I have been private even to those closest to me.
Ben and I started talking about family around a year ago. I come from a long line of very fertile Mexican women, and knew without a doubt that we’d get pregnant our first month trying.
When we didn’t, it sort of felt like a slap in the face. Month after month, I was faced with the very disappointing reality that maybe things would not go as smoothly as I initially planned.
One year later, we started talking about whether God wanted something different for our family. We talked about IVF, but we don’t have a peace about it for many reasons. After tears, lots of prayers, and some research, we decided to proceed with adoption. I am so excited. Adoption has always been part of our family plan, it just wasn’t part of the plan for our first child. In other words, God’s ‘plan A’ doesn’t seem to coincide with my ‘plan A’. As a person who is an extreme planner, organizer, and at times a down right control freak, this is hard to stomach.
The last month or two has been absolutely fraught with all sorts of emotions. I’ve had to lay down a lot of preconceived ideas about what I thought motherhood would be. No sonograms, no baby bump pictures, forget about having 9 months to prepare- we might have an hours notice! Or.. we might wait years.
There are lots of emotions that, as a woman, I’m having to let die-at least for now. Men won’t understand these maternal, instinctual feelings, and that is understandable, but it sure doesn’t make it easy. I found myself feeling utterly alone, because the person who normally understood me now didn’t get it at all.
“Why, after all the craziness and disarray that I’ve been through in life can’t God just give me a little break with this one little thing? I’m mad at God, this is too much to put on me.”
These are words I cried hysterically to a very scared and confused looking husband of mine one night as my heart began coming to terms with the many losses that barrenness brings. He questioned, “I thought you were excited about our adoption? Do you not want this anymore?” He didn’t understand how I could be mad at God when He was giving us the opportunity to bring a child, who would otherwise not have a positive home life, into our home. My husband didn’t get that my excitement about adoption, and my emotions about being a barren woman, were two completely different things.
Today, Mother’s Day, is another hard day for more than one reason. I thought I’d be a mom by now. I don’t have a relationship at all with my mom- I don’t have that person I can call when I’m miserably sick or I can go to when I really want to know if a pair of pants looks unflattering on me (It’s the little things!) Again, I found myself arguing with Almighty God, “WHY?”
His answer was quick, and it was honest like a parent about a bad pair of pants. “You know what it is like to feel motherless, I chose you because you will understand her better.”
The last six months has been a reminder for me that while others might not understand, God is intimate to my every emotion. He is brokenhearted right alongside me. He understands my fits of crying rage and even my unrighteous anger. He has a plan for my life that, I have full faith, will turn out to be a beautiful blessing.
When we look at barren women in the bible like Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother; Sarah, Isaac’s mother; and Rebekah, Jacob’s mother, there is one thing they all have in common. They struggled and waited for children they felt would never come, but when they did they were some really special people. Each of these men point to the coming of Christ, the Redeemer of the world. God obviously needed a little more time to knit them together. Sarah, Rebekah, and Elizabeth were ‘diagnosed’ barren, but God had a better ‘plan A’ than any of them could’ve imagined for themselves or their children.
I do not know if I will ever be blessed with a biological child, but I recognize God refining me through the hurt and heartache. He is teaching me how to draw nearer, and the barrenness I feel is being filled with his presence, instead.
If you find yourself in my shoes, then seek the One who will understand you when no one else will. Seek the One whose plans are better and more beautiful than your own. Seek His presence and He will fill your cup to the brim when you feel barren in body and soul.
Psalm 113:9 “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!”