Our first apartment was the size of a postage stamp. And I didn’t think about it so much then. Empty rooms. Because we didn’t have any.
But when we bought our first house. There was this one room. It was painted a beautiful shade of pink and had the name “Hannah” on the wall. It was a nursery when the realtor had showed us the house.
And I hoped one day…it would be a nursery for us, too.
But after we moved in, it was just…empty.
And it stayed empty. For months, even years.
(Read my infertility story here.)
We wanted it to be filled. We prayed for a baby, we did.
Every time I would walk past that room, I would ache for a baby. Sometimes, I would keep the door shut, so I wouldn’t have to think about it. And other times, I would leave it wide open.
Sometimes I would throw junk in there when company was coming over. And other times, I would go in and clean it up. Really for no reason at all.
And then, sometimes, I would just go sit in there, by myself, and pray.
For a baby.
For God to fill this empty room.
To fill my empty womb.
And, finally, one day, He did.
I say this with tears,
(And the picture at the top of this post was taken in that empty room, after she came.)
But before she came, before she ever was breathed into my womb. God came.
He came into my emptiness.
He came like a flood. He came and saturated my barren soul with Himself.
And He showed me my womb was not empty. I was not empty. But full. Full of Him. Full of His Spirit. And therefore, I was alive.
I didn’t have a baby in my womb. But I had the Holy Spirit–who conquered Jesus’ tomb–living inside of me.
Dear Barren One,
You know that empty room in your house? The one you walk past and dream? The one you wish wasn’t an office, or a guest room, or a storage room full of junk, and so badly wish it was a nursery? You know that room?
God is there.
Because He is the God of empty rooms.
The God of empty wombs.
And the God of empty tombs.
Yes, He is God. The Giver of Life.
He is Jesus.
He defeated death.
And is full of resurrection power. And life, life, life.
So don’t stop asking. Don’t stop crying out.
Because He sees you. And He hears you. Cry.
Go in your empty room, and worship Him there.
Because He is worthy.
And He fills.
He fills the empty space in that room.
He fills the empty place in your womb.
And your womb, dear one, may be empty, but don’t forget this one very important thing: the Spirit lives in you. The Spirit of God lives in you. He lives in you and makes you alive.
And of this you can be certain: He will fill your emptiness—with Himself.
Because He satisfies in the deepest places, and most empty spaces.
He comes. At your cry.
He comes rushing in, at the sound of your voice.
And even before.
“Before they call I will answer;
while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)
Before you even ask Him, He hears you. Before the word is even on your tongue, He knows it completely. He hems you in, behind and before. And He knit you together in the secret place of your mother’s womb. (Psalm 39)
And He is God over your secret places. Your empty spaces.
And, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear…” (Isaiah 59:1)
So I just want to pray:
You see her who is reading this. You know her. You formed her for Yourself and Your glory. And You are relentlessly pursuing her even now. You want all of her heart. All of it. Even this. And I pray that You come fill her. With Your Spirit. Come and fill the empty. With Yourself.
We declare that You are God of the empty tomb, Jesus. You defeated death and sin. You made us new within. And the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead–is living inside of her. (Romans 8:11)
So let her not walk in death, but in life. Glorious life. Come make her alive in You. By Your Spirit.
It is her desire that You fill her empty womb. And that you fill her empty room.
Thank You that you are there now. Even now you are working in those empty places, and making them full.
Full of You, God.
Fill her room (or rooms) with whom You desire. In the time that You desire. For Your will is perfect. Whether they come from her womb, or from somewhere else. Whether it’s a baby, or a toddler. Whether this child comes from her state foster system, or from an orphanage across the ocean. Wherever this child comes from, we know he or she comes from You. And maybe it’s not a child, maybe it’s a teenager, or adult. Maybe it’s a whole family, coming to stay for a while. I don’t know, but you know. Either way…
Come fill the empty space, with grace.
Come fill the empty place, with Jesus.
And I pray that when she sees that empty room, she will not feel sad anymore. But feel hopeful. Because You are there.
You make the empty full. And You are the God of her empty room. Her empty womb. And the empty tomb. And You will fill her with Yourself and Your everlasting life.
In Jesus’ Name,
[P.S. I was just about to publish this post and this song just came on my Spotify. I didn’t even know this song–but I don’t think it’s coincidence. The first lyrics are, “Before I call, before I ever cry, You answer me from where the thunder hides…” (the Scripture I was just referencing from Isaiah 65:24!) I literally have chills. Oh girls, God is in this. I really believe He is pursuing you. Right now. You are on the brink of something beautiful opening up inside you. So, I want to dare you to do something. Play this song in your “empty room” wherever it may be. Worship Him in that space. (Then play more songs, if you want to.) Let yourself go, and worship Him. He is totally there with you. The song is called “Fierce” by Jesus Culture, and you can play the youtube link by clicking here. ]
Hello Rebekah, i just wanted to tell you that this word you have shared is for me TODAY! I have been feeling quite anxious and lonely lately and our infertility journey is always a daily struggle, especially emotionally and psychologically. I have been calling out to God and this was an answer from HIM to my spirit this morning. I praise God for your life and for allowing yourself to be used by HIM. My husband and I’s fertility journey is nearly 11 years old now but we still hope and pray. THANK YOU again for blessing my heart today. God bless you always. Leilani.
Leilani, I am SO happy to hear from you! And may the Spirit of God continue to breathe His life into you. He has a purpose for you, and He will be faithful to carry it out. <3, Rebekah
Thank you so very much for this, Rebekah. It is exactly what I needed to see today. As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I am so very encouraged. We have filled our two empty rooms with wonderful students who bring joy and laughter to our home but that does not take away the ache in my empty womb. I know that one day our Father will do for us what he has done for you.
Amen Anna. I do realize you wrote this comment a long time ago. But how beautiful that you have chosen to open your empty rooms and pour out love. May the Father pour out His love on you. Love, Rebekah
So glad I happened across your blog today. We just went through our 4th failed IVF cycle and trying to pick up the pieces and keep my eyes forward. I blogged not too long ago about that same song you mentioned at the end, the lyrics have a lot to offer the ailing heart. https://navigatingthewaiting.com/2016/07/21/fierce-love/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true
Thank you so much. xo
Maggie Wolke says
This article has made me cry on numerous occasions. It was everything I needed to hear and so refreshingly different and hopeful. Rebekah, thank you for writing this. Do you have a recorded version of this? I would like to pass this along to some friends who I know would be just as touched as I was. Thank you.
Hi Maggie! I’m so sorry I never responded to you! Were you meaning a recorded audio version of this blog post?
You have no idea how much this text and your pray touch my heart. I have been discouraged to even ask him to fill in my womb. I have asked but he hasn’t yet. Instead I had a miscarriage when I didn’t even know I was carrying a life. I don’t know what to make out of all of this now but I have to come back to him. I just have to. He is all that I have. Everything that I need.
Shannon Ketchum says
This is so good!!! Over the last month I have gotten quite a few baby items gifted to me. Which is funny because I’ve been on the fertility journey for 10 years and never gotten anything. But over the last month God has been answering prayers for me, and then this overflow of baby stuff. So I made a baby box with all my new baby items. And then I told my hubby this past week that I wanted to start preparing a nursery in our empty room because I know that our baby is coming soon, I’m not pregnant yet, but I’m confident that my time is coming. So reading this after making that decision is such a God thing. Thank you for this.