I have been thinking and praying a lot about this journey of infertility, and I've come to a few conclusions. Mainly, I am not alone in this. God is in this with me. There is a reason for this, and there is a promise at the end. This road I'm on is only going to bring me closer to my God, and because of that I am overjoyed to be walking down it! And did I mention that there is a promise at the end? Here's what I mean:
God knows my heart, and the Word says that He is a compassionate God, full of mercy. Children are a reward and gift from him. Psalm 127 says that children are a blessing, a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 128 says that the man who fears the Lord will be blessed with a fruitful wife. While I realize that the specifics are up to the Lord, I firmly believe that having a family (through birth or adoption, now or twenty years from now) is a promise from the Lord. And I am going to hold firm to that promise, because I know who my God is. He is full of truth, and his arm is mighty to save.
I read the book of James last week, and while it was full of amazing passages there is one that is particularly applicable to this discussion: Patience & Faith. In James 5:7-11 it points to the farmer as an example of patience. He waits for the rain and waits for the harvest, all the while trusting in the Lord. The verse in that passage that really sums up all the promises and truths that I'm talking about is 5:11, "As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."
James also speaks of faith in prayer: ask and believe, and God will give it, because God is good. That theme is reiterated in every single infertility story in the Bible: The children that came were answers to prayer. The parents asked, and God gave. Isn't it amazing how sometimes the simplest lessons are the hardest to really wrap your head and heart around? The idea that God loves me and would give me something so precious as this, just because I asked him?! As astonishing as that is, it is exactly what the Word of God says, and who am I to question? I can only take Him at face value: if the Word says He loves me and will give to me what I ask, then I believe Him! Since having a family is what He wants for me (I know that Biblicaly), then my doubts and fears have no legs to stand on. My God loves me, it's His will to give His children the blessings of family, and I am submitting myself to Him in obedience. What more is there to say, other than I am waiting in a faith-filled expectation for the working of His power in my life!!
A second point I want to make is this: I am satisfied. I am satisfied. My 19 year old sister is pregnant, and for a few days I was overcome with grief and (I admit it) jealousy. God gave her what I want most, and she was just going to throw it all away. She has no understanding of how blessed she is, how chosen - to have that precious spark of life growing inside of her. To be a vessel through which God, in all of his glory, can use to hold the miracle of His creative power. To be able to give life to someone! And here I am: barren, and sad.
But then this occurred to me, and I haven't been able to quit wondering at, quit smiling over it: I have something that she doesn't, and this thing that I have is far beyond a house full of kids or a purse full of money. I have the Lord! I have life, and joy, and peace, all those things that she is lacking. She has all that the world says should make her happy, and she's not. She's empty, and lonely, and miserable, even with this child growing inside of her. And this truth that I'm trying to explain is the thing that makes everything else pale in comparison: My happiness does not come from the world, and it will not come from children. My happiness comes from the Lord. Even if I never have children, I still have all that I need. I will still be whole, and satisfied, and full of joy. Even in my saddest moments along this infertility road I have never felt true despair or hopelessness. I am never empty, I am never desolate, I am never abandoned. And that means more to me than thirty children!!
Hannah said it beautifully in 1 Samuel 2:5, "...She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away." Children aren't the ones who bring satisfaction and fulfillment. That comes only from God, and I have that, regardless.
This is the same truth told in Isaiah 54:1-5. I've already posted that passage, so I'm not going to write it all again, but the gist of it is this: We may not have children, but we have the Lord. In Him our shame is reversed, our tent is expanded, our joy is complete, our heritage is secure, and the Lord Himself is our husband! And my sister, no matter how many children she has, will never begin to know the depths of the joy that I have until she, too, decides to believe in and follow the God that made her.
So that, simply, is the theological footing on which I stand regarding this issue: A family is promised to me as a servant of the compassionate, merciful God, and I will wait and walk in obedience until He, in His power, brings me to that promised land. And even if He doesn't, I still have all that I need in Him. With or without children, I will never be desolate!! And that truth has just wrapped itself around my heart these last few weeks, and really brought me peace. Thank you, Lord Jesus!!!