For more than fifteen years, I identified myself as a barren woman. I was labeled infertile by several doctors and I fell under the belief that I would never have children. The ins and outs of that are not something I care to explore and explain in this medium, because it was all so invasive the first time.
Infertility was an area that contributed to my shame and the false identities I attributed to myself. I walked around feeling like damaged goods over some dirty, old baggage and it fed into the belief I carried regarding my ‘fruitlessness’. I felt the grief in my heart on a daily basis over infertility. I could not shake the feeling that I was a mother without my children in my arms. I would cry and grieve over that sensation, not knowing why I felt like I had lost someone I never had. My arms were empty, yet they felt so weighed down by the emptiness. At times I would find myself staring blankly at the empty spare bedrooms, as if I were stuck somewhere in time or space, unable to move.
I just accepted that I did not deserve to have children and, well, let’s just say there was a downward spiral with a lot of bumps, bruises, and a variety of losses over the next several years.
When a couple of complicated cysts showed up on my ovaries in 2012, I was in the hands yet another doctor. There were some other issues to tend to as well. All was benign and things were resolved, but I was beginning to seriously resent my reproductive system.
The doctor loved what she was seeing on the follow-up ultrasounds and said, “Whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it. I am amazed at what I am seeing. You are going to be an OB patient before you know it. Trust me on this, it is a feeling I have.”
Her seeds of hope, while real and sincere, sent me on the soul search of a lifetime. My husband prayed with me when I made the decision to just let go. I gave it to God and asked Him to remove the desire for children from my heart. I was in my late thirties and figured my window of opportunity had closed, anyway. I needed this weight off of my heart, I needed the shame to disappear, and I needed the resentment to come to an end.
I had the shock of a lifetime when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter during the holiday season in 2012. My doctor became my OB and she even did a little “I told you so” when she congratulated me. When my husband and I watched that new life bouncing around on the ultrasound, I could not contain the sobs. When I look at my beautiful daughter now, I am still reeling at the shock of it all.
When I found out I was pregnant with my son in July of last year, I was speechless for days on end. I was actually overwhelmed that I had been blessed twice and I often asked God, “Why me? I don’t deserve this! I will take it, I love it, and I thank You, but I do not deserve it!”
I started being hit with Isaiah 54 from a variety of sources, just out of the blue. I decided to I needed to pay attention to it and let God speak to my heart. It took a while and I had to revisit Isaiah 54 many, many times before it finally took hold.
Whatever the context of Isaiah 54 is, it spoke directly to a lot of hurt in my heart regarding a plethora of issues. Whether or not this was meant to take literally, these verses rooted out the giant tree of bitterness that had been growing in my heart for decades. That bitterness had roots that went in every which direction and it rendered my heart completely lifeless.
There was a time when my spiritual state was truly barren and desolate. There was a time when my spiritual state was completely and totally fruitless. My insides were once a parched desert where life could not and would not grow.
I asked for forgiveness over all of the tangled roots of bitterness I had allowed into my life and, suddenly, I felt free from it. I felt the weight of all the darkest years disappear and I felt the weight of God’s mercy come over me.
The Lord truly never ceases to bring me to my knees and leave me speechless.
Words are not enough here. I can do nothing more than bow down and proclaim you king of Kings and lord of Lords. I can do nothing more than submit myself before You as your mercy and grace take root where bitterness used to grow.
Thank You for the fruit in my life. Thank You for those two little love letters playing on the floor together right now. My tears of joy are overwhelming and overflowing.
I pray that Your Spirit would touch, hold, and bless barren women everywhere so that You may be glorified.
Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
This post appears in the book: Shattered in Him © 2016 JD Mays