I recently began communicating with a PCOS health coach. At first, even thinking about contacting her was so humbling, and almost embarrassing. But I thought about it, prayed about it, and had a real peace about her, so I reached out to her, and I am already SO glad that I did. I hated admitting that I needed help… it seems like PCOS is something I should be able to research and learn to manage on my own. But there is SO MUCH information out there; lots of it conflicting. After months of struggling on my own, it became clear that I needed a little direction.
During our phone conversation today, Becky suggested that I look into the stories of the women in the Bible who struggled with infertility. This leads me to an AWESOME story:
Last Sunday, when I found out our IUI did not work (read more here), I was driving from Rock City, TN back to Atlanta. In the middle of nowhere, I did not get many radio stations in my car, but began scanning to find something… anything to get my mind off my pain. I came across a sermon (as I mentioned, it was Sunday morning), and almost kept scanning, but heard the word “Hannah,” and it caught my attention. I listened to a twenty minute sermon about Hannah’s pain in dealing with her infertility. The sermon did not even discuss God’s eventual answer to Hannah’s desperate prayers. The sermon only discussed her agony, her heart-wrenching prayers, her obsession with infertility, and her determination to pray through her problems.
What an AWESOME sign from God that He knows my pain, but He also knows what is best. I sobbed as I listened to the radio preacher, amazed at God’s love for me. I almost did not want to share that story on my blog, because the experience felt so personal… like God’s whisper of love and promise to me, and only me.
Hearing that sermon prompted me to come home and read 1st Samuel, and to learn more about Hannah’s story, but I stopped there. I did not look into any other women’s stories of infertility. But they are right there in the Bible! Some of them are well-known stories we have heard over and over, but others are not so well-known. In fact, a couple of these women’s names are not even mentioned in the Bible.
I will try to go in chronological order:
Sarah and Abraham: “Despite God’s promise, years went by. Still Abram’s wife Sarai remained childless. (Genesis 16:1).” At the age of 86, Abraham had a son with Sarai’s servant (at Sarai’s insistence in Genesis 16:2), but at the age of 99, he and Sarah still had no children together. But again, “When Abram was 99 years old, the Eternal One appeared to him again, assuring him of the promise of a child yet to come. (Genesis 17:1).”
This next part is so neat. God told Abraham that “he will become the root of a huge family tree of multiple nations, and that “his descendants will be exceedingly fruitful. Nations and kins will descend from you.” (Genesis 17:4,6)
It gets even better when God tells Abraham that, “Sarah will receive My special blessing, and she will conceive a son by you. WIth My blessing on her, she will become the founding princess of nations to come. Kings of many peoples will be counted among her children (Genesis 17:16).” How awesome is that?! She was already 90 years old when God made this promise to Abraham! And of course, God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah, and Sarah gave birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1).
Once again, God’s timing is vastly different from our own.
Samson, through his physical weakness, helped deliver the people of Israel.
Samuel eventually became the last and greatest judge of Israel.
Through Michal’s infertility, God wrote this part of human history.
Except for Michal, God opened all the wombs of these previously barren woman. In two instances the women were clearly beyond child bearing years, yet they bore sons of promise. I realize why God did not allow Michal to have children, but even now, my heart hurts for her. I do not understand the ways of God. I do not understand the heart of God, and I do not understand His timing. But I know He performed miracles then, and He performs them today too.