“Isn’t it about time for you two to start having kids?” came the question. I looked up from fixing my coffee at church, while the man waited for a response. I forced a smile, as hard as I could, “Oh, I don’t know!” I tried to let out a little laugh, like the thought had never even occurred to me. Like I hadn’t just taken a pregnancy test that morning, or cried before church.
Sometimes, it just catches you off guard.
All of our friends had kids and babies. But our arms were empty.
They were all trading in their sports cars for big SUVs and minivans. And changing their offices and guest rooms into cute little nurseries, but our house stayed the same.
I remember going to baby showers. Holding the gift I had wrapped, that I so carefully picked out at Babies R’ Us or Target, studying the registry, careful to match up the numbers of the right bottles or crib sheets. I’d fumble through the Baby section of stores with a registry printed out on blue paper in my hands, feeling like a foreigner with a map in this seemingly forbidden world of motherhood, which I so longed to be a part of, but feared I’d never belong.
And I’d sit at the shower, sipping on punch and trying to fill out the Baby Bingo card, unsure of what to even put in the blank spaces, and feeling a blank space inside of me, wondering, if I would ever get to have my own baby shower? Wondering, as I heard all the “oohs” and “aahs” over all the little tiny gifts, if I would ever have my own little, tiny gifts to open?
I feared I never would.
Because no matter how much I wanted to be a mom, no matter how much I wanted to have a baby, I couldn’t. We couldn’t.
Sometimes, it felt like the whole world was rushing past us. But we were just staying still, frozen in time. Everyone else’s life was changing, and growing, and expanding. But ours stayed the same, like a big rock in a river, where the water keeps rushing past, but it cannot move.
I used to watch teenage moms from my second story window, push their strollers past our house. And they were smoking. Their poor baby’s lungs breathing in a cloud of smoke. And I wanted to scream at them. I wanted to raise their baby for them.
And I couldn’t understand why God gave them a baby, and not me.
I couldn’t understand why it seemed like He gave everyone else a baby, but us.
And when night came, I’d go in the bathroom and sit on the floor and cry.
“Why can’t I…have a baby?”
And I would pause for a long time. My arms wrapped around my bent knees.
“Why can everyone else have a baby—but us?”
“Do you see me, God?”
“Do you hear me?”
There in the dark, in the quiet, in the flickering candlelight, He was with me. My soul stretched out, right there on the bathroom floor, tears rolling down my cheeks.
I was broken.
And I felt it.
My body was broken. It didn’t work the way bodies are supposed to work.
My heart was broken. In a way I did not know how to piece back together.
What can you do when you have a broken body?
And you have a broken heart?
All you can do is one thing: be broken before Him.
So this is what I did. I would just lay on the bathroom floor, and the closet floor, and living room floor, and weep before Him. Like a drunken woman. Like Hannah.
I would just “be broken.”
And He did not despise me for it.
Nor, will He despise you for it.
And I say this with tears, I would not trade those moments with Him, for anything.
So, weep before Him, dear one. Be broken before Him, and do not be ashamed, for He says,
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
And as you are, remember the One, who was broken for you.
Whose body, and spirit, and heart was broken for you, on the cross.
That by His wounds, we are healed.