Recent writing abilities have failed me the past few months. I have written a few poems that I have put on the this weird blog, but I still have yet to find the words to adequately express what my heart and soul have experienced recently. The phase of life we are in is a peculiar one.
Brian and I have been married for 9 years now. We dated for a year and a half before we were married, so I suppose we have been “together” for 10 1/2 years. That’s one third of my entire life. I find that incredibly strange. By God’s grace we will continue on that pendulum of having more years together than not. God’s grace can be the only sustainer of this covenant, and the One who gives us the desires to even continue working towards holiness and godliness in the midst of it.
Thankfully, the years of barrenness within these 9 years have not been unfruitful. Due to unforeseen health issues we are unable to conceive our own children, apart from the miraculous hand of the Creator and Sustainer of life. What HOPE and JOY the Lord has gifted us during our years of barrenness so far. To walk the path of barrenness is to walk through recognizing where one’s identity truly lies. As a woman we are created to birth life. To bring life into the world through our wombs. To nurture, care, and tenderly and affectionately rear children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. As man, having the innate desire to give life. To train, lead, and raise those who will continue what was so important to you, which in the Christian man would be the fear and knowledge of the Lord. So, as we have walked through these years together bound together by mercy and grace we’ve been shown by our Father, we share the grace upon grace that we have been given so sweetly by Him. A small fraction of that beautiful grace that we have been shown is that our identity as male and female in the conception, birthing, and rearing of children is simply a biological and flesh conception, birthing, and rearing. BUT, when the ministry of the Spirit gets a hold of the songs of the brokenness and barrenness of our lives, be ready for God to reveal His INFINITELY WORTHY GLORY. That same God that GIVES LIFE AND SUSTAINS LIFE, pours out His grace and mercy on the hearts of those singing those songs of brokenness and barrenness (because He is close to the fainthearted…Ps 34:18, Is. 54). What a promise! What a promise through HIS WORDS that comfort and pour out healing balm to those places we want to tuck away and continue to let suffer in our own self-pity. Hosea 5:13-14 shows how God’s people continue to run to false loves to heal and cure these areas of brokenness and barrenness. Whether that brokenness and barrenness is done by our own sin, or whether done TO us due to the fallen nature of the world is irrelevant. Sin has still CAUSED those broken places in us. We try to use false loves to comfort. False light to guide us through it. But when we lean in to the sufficiency of His grace, when we are desperate and dependent on Christ to receive glory from our lives, we won’t want to seek our own happiness and comfort in the midst of the suffering. Our happiness IS NOT the most important factor. Our happiness is NOT what comes first. God’s treasured glory shown through broken vessels of clay is what should be where our delight lies.
I have left behind the lie that to be the Christ-like woman God wants me to be, I must be a mother in the sense that our world, and unfortunately our churches, deem as mothering. Because I am biologically female, because I have been made to nurture, love, and affectionately love humans, I mother differently than the precious woman in the pew across from me who has 3 little ones tugging on her dress, spitting up on her shoulder, and screaming bloody murder in the grocery store. She is precious. Her work as a woman who birthed children and mothers them in her home is KINGDOM work. But, the work I do as a representation of the Trinity in being woman and therefore mothering is KINGDOM work as well. Mothering this way is just how the Lord has shown His grace to me.
Here are a few lies barren and broken women believe:
- My sin caused my barrenness.
- I won’t be able to relate to other women in my church because they are mothers and I am not.
- My brokenness is too ugly to share with other women.
- I won’t fully understand the love of Christ if I am not a mother.
These 4 lies, that I have long believed, are nothing short of tactics of the enemy in isolating us in our suffering. Each one of these reveals the true character of the enemy in how he seeks to kill and destroy the Christian woman. May we not give in to these lies, but instead surround ourselves with the community of women who, if they were honest, were probably feeling the same way about their own walk with the Lord if they replaced the word “barren” with another form of suffering they experience. If this is you, grab hold of the Promises we see in Scripture! Seek the face of the Lord for yourself as you seek to understand the Lord in the midst of brokenness and barrenness.
I want to leave you WOMEN with a challenge. If you have given birth to your own children, legally adopted, or are fostering children, please give the women in the lives of your children the opportunity to be mom to them. This idea often spurs up envy and jealousy in the lives of mothers as they watch their young daughters become close to other women. And that is ok… God wants to use our relationships to sanctify us and make us more like Him. By allowing other women to be grafted into the fold of your own families through loving your children, you will see the love of Christ grow and create unity and a sense of family that you have never experienced. I am not saying have the women who cannot conceive be your babysitters. I am not saying let them take them for a few hours while you get some errands done. While that should be happening too, why not let women speak life and Truth into the hearts of your children? Give us barren women the opportunity to be mothers. Whether your babies still nurse at your breast or are single living on their own… We barren women have a strong desire to love, nurture, and care for the children in our lives. And that is because we women reflect our Godhead… How beautiful for Him to reveal His glory to us this way…