During my desperate phase: “Give me children, or else I die!” –Genesis 30:1
Rachel had beauty and the love of her husband Jacob, but no children. Her sister, Leah, who was married to the same man, didn’t have the love of her husband, wasn’t blessed with beauty, but had seven of his children. This particular scripture, “Give me children, or else I die!”, is Rachel beseeching her husband. The next scripture tells his response: “And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?” (Probably like a modern-day husband would respond if you screamed something so dramatic at him.) Like Rachel, I was desperate. I felt like screaming, “Give me children, or else I die!” to my husband and to God. I probably did.
Upon adopting our firstborn: For this child I prayed. –Samuel 1:27
I didn’t pray for just any child. I feel like I prayed for him. His soul was meant to be here, and it didn’t matter in what body he arrived. He is our firstborn son.
This particular scripture is not about adoption, but it was how I felt about my firstborn son. This scripture is about Hannah. The Lord loved her but had “shut up her womb”. When she “wept sore” about her infertility, her husband said, “Am I not better to thee than ten sons?” (I must confess, Mr. Okayest is kinda even better than ten sons. )
Finally pregnant: “And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.” –Genesis 30:22
Eventually, Rachel conceived. Eventually, after much trial and tribulation, I did too, with the help of modern medicine (which I believe God wants us to use and has given to us as a blessing).
At naptime with three boys on my lap: “I will…open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” –Malachi 3:10
Even though this scripture is technically about tithing, this still expresses how I feel each naptime, when I settle three big baby boys on my lap for their milk. Combined, they weigh almost as much as I do. They take up all the space on my chair. My lap literally cannot hold them all. I get weepy and emotional each day during this rare quiet five minutes. It’s the only time of day I get to cuddle them all. I think of this scripture each day during this time, because there is “not room enough to receive” them all. My arms are full. My lap is full. The windows of heaven opened, and, I must say, we worked really really hard to open them.
I understand that not everyone will get the blessings for which they pray, or even the blessings that they deserve. I don’t know why my particular trials happened in this order, other than it may have been the only way our oldest son could make it into this family. Perhaps I had to go through infertility to bend enough to consider adoption. I have been taught that God always answers our prayers, but not necessarily with an affirmative. Sometimes the answers are “no”, and sometimes the answers are just “not yet”. For many years, my answers were “no” and “not yet.” Then, three times, my answers were “yes.”
I have also been taught that if we do not receive the blessings we ask for and deserve in this life, that we will receive them in the next life.
The trial that was infertility is over for me. If it is still happening to you, I hope you will gain strength from my story. I have other trials now – and here’s to hoping you will, too!