Barrenness Christian Hedonmism Lament

Lessons on Waiting from the Barren Woman

April 29, 2020

I remember being a little girl on the top bunk in a bedroom shared with my sister thinking, I wonder if I’ll ever be a mom. I couldn’t have been more than eight or nine. I had the same thought a few years later when mother nature made her first visit. I was so young and had no clue what was happening. My two older sisters weren’t home so I couldn’t ask them, so I sheepishly called for my mom. She told me what was happening with my body, but I remember being afraid I would never be able to experience becoming a mother someday. Ten years later my fear became a reality when I sat in the office of my doctor who gently broke the news to me. “Mrs. Saylor, you have something called PCOS and a host of other endometrial issues. While it won’t be impossible for you to have children on your own, but the likelihood is less than 2%”. I remember sitting in his office holding Brian’s hand thinking back to both times I had a preemptive fear of these exact words.

April is National Infertility Awareness Month. For thirteen years I have carried the cross of infertility and all it brings with it. Each cross of infertility has profound effects on a couple (as well as on the single person with no prospects of marriage), and I have spent many years questioning God, questioning my gender, and questioning my identity. However, the decade and more of waiting prove true the significant claims Jesus makes about Himself in relation to our desires when circumstances never change.

Early in my journey with infertility, I knew to wait may or may not produce that which I waited for. A child. I learned sometimes when I am in the long arduous season of waiting, the end result doesn’t always produce the object or changed circumstance I would imagine. Sometimes the end result of waiting is receiving more faith in the belief of Jesus’ claims about himself than I had previous to my season of waiting. Think about some of those striking claims he made. He claimed to be the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). If we believe God’s word is literal about Jesus being the only way, then the antithesis to his claim would be our being utterly lost. Jesus also claimed to be the bread of life (John 6:25). To not have the bread, then, would mean to be in a perpetual state of starvation. In John 8 Jesus says he is the Light of the world. To be without light is to be in total darkness. Jesus went on to make many more claims about himself which the Pharisees revolted against to the point of declaring Jesus a dead man for his seeming heretical claims. These claims he makes about himself meet us in our waiting and become the healing balm we need to persevere in the journey of faith and to walk faithfully in the good works he has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10).

As we start believing for ourselves, not just in theory, these staggering claims of who God is for us, then regardless of what season of waiting you’re in, these claims can be for you. Perhaps you’re waiting, like me, to bear a child. What claims did Jesus make about himself that can meet you in this season, even if the season never results in you becoming the mother you expected or dreamed you would be? Maybe you’re in a season of waiting for companionship, whether in friendship or a spouse. Jesus said he is the Living Water and he calls us friend. Do you believe the thirst you feel, which goes even deeper than the need for companionship, can truly satisfy your longing heart (Psalm 107:9), or enjoy the depth of friendship you can have with him? This same Savior also made hefty claims for those who committed adultery. Maybe you’re waiting for restoration and redemption from failure you’ve recently walked through. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Our waiting isn’t always waiting for the wrong things. Our waiting can be for healing, restored family members, or justice. Whatever your season of waiting is, Jesus has prolific promises which can meet you wherever you are.

“Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We can enter Jesus’ rest from our striving with infertility (trust me, I did the treatments… I know what kind of striving it can be), striving from fear of outcomes, striving from trying to just make it through your season of waiting. Embrace your season. Embrace the waiting. Let us not believe embracing your season to mean you just grit your teeth and bear it. Go to Jesus, find your rest in him. Find his claims to be sure and true and lasting. Remember, too, all our waiting is training us to continuously wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus, where all our waiting ends. We WILL wait no more on the day he comes for us.

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