About the author
More posts by Moderator
Mothers Day in the United States is fast approaching… as an American living in the UK, I see people celebrate the day twice, as Mothering Sunday is before Easter here in England. Both days used to fill me with dread, grief and pain. But not anymore. It’s not necessarily an easy day, but neither does it leave me feeling empty and worthless.
This is my Mothers Day story.
“Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” I’ve been to so many seminars and heard countless sermons and lectures on those verses and the message was always clear: a marriage blessed by God was one that produced many children. A large family was evidence of Gods approval and pleasure in the lives of the parents. With each new child born, His blessing multiplied. A childless couple on the other hand… God was withholding His blessing on that marriage. Infertility and miscarriage were spoken of as the result of sin, of Gods disappointment. Perhaps they’d married against their parents’ wishes? Or hadn’t remained pure enough before marriage? Regardless of the reason, the result was clear: God withheld His ultimate blessing of children from the undeserving. This teaching followed me into my marriage.
And repeatedly broke my heart.
We knew before we married that we would not be able to have our own children. But I was convinced that if we maintained a “Christ centered” marriage, God would overturn the physical difficulties and shower us with His blessing: a miracle pregnancy. Maybe even two! But after nine years, it is still just the two of us. It took eight of those years for me to accept that our miracle baby would probably not happen. Eight years of aching arms and a broken heart… a heart that God healed ever so gently. A heart that He filled with love for others’ children, and the young people working for me. So my mother heart was satisfied, completed. I no longer felt like part of me was missing.
A friend sent me a text on Mothers Day telling me that the day was for me as well… because I had many children who loved me. And I knew she was right. But still, in the back of my head, was the nagging thought that God was not blessing our marriage due to some unseen sin or disappointment. After all, it says right there in Psalm 127: Children are a gift from the Lord. A reward from Him.
Why, then, withhold such a gift from us? Why no reward for us? I asked God this question repeatedly. And late one night it hit me: Children are A gift from the Lord. “A” reward. A. Not THE gift. A gift. One of many. When someone loves you and knows you inside and out, they want to give you wonderful gifts. They take time to think of and plan the perfect gift… one that is tailored to you. And each gift from God is specific to you. He delights in our individuality because that is how He made us.
So nothing has been withheld from me. I have been blessed. I’ve been rewarded. It just looks different. Which is awesome. Because those gifts and blessings are bespoke to who I was created to be.
Infertility is a very, very painful road to walk. But in no way is it the result of sin or disappointment. So if this has struck a chord with you, take heart. He isn’t disappointed in you. He isn’t withholding His blessing. He knows you inside and out, and has the perfect gifts for you.