The candle flickered in the dark as I sat at on the bathroom floor, crying. I leaned against the wall, pressing my face on my knees, wiping away tears and questions. It was late, my husband was asleep. But I was there, whispering to God through the darkness.
“Why can everyone have a baby…
Tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Do you hear me, God?”
“Do you see me, God?”
I didn’t know it then, but He was closer, in that very moment, than I could possibly have known.
Orchestrating every detail ahead of time. Preparing everything.
He saw me, He heard me…and more than that,
He loved me.
Even then, He was loving me.
But I couldn’t see Him, or feel Him, and all I saw was the darkness.
I felt forgotten.
Because all of my friends had babies. Easily.
(Even the teenagers were pushing strollers past my house.)
But not me.
I felt forsaken.
And I wept. Like a drunken woman, like Hannah wept at the altar.
But what I didn’t know, was that God had not forgotten me.
He had chosen me.
He had actually chosen me. I say this with tears.
He set me apart. For a unique purpose He had.
He took a broken vessel like me, and said, “I’m going to make My glory shine through her.”
“I’m going to take her weakness, her brokenness…I’m going to take her barrenness, and shine My glory through it.”
He had a purpose in my barrenness.
Because He always has a purpose.
Through my “infertility,” God wanted to show me something I couldn’t have seen any other way.
I knew I had a barren womb, but what God wanted to show me, was that I also had a barren soul.
I had a barren soul.
My soul was like dry, barren wasteland, where there was no water. Maybe it was from the months of trying (to get pregnant) and failing, maybe it was from the hope that was deferred over and over again, maybe it was from all the anger and sorrow that I didn’t know how to express, so tightly knotted up inside, trying to make myself numb to hope, and numb to hurt, month after month.
Either way, my soul had become barren. I was alive on the outside, but dead on the inside.
But God met me in that barren wasteland. He met me on the inside, He entered into my barren soul.
He came like a rushing river. He came like a torrential downpour and quenched the deepest parts of me.
The One who gives Living Water, who is Living Water, came to me, and watered me, with Himself.
But He showed me how to worship Him when my womb was still barren, and my hands were still empty. He showed me that I didn’t have to wait until I was pregnant, to start worshipping Him.I didn’t have to wait until I was pregnant, to start thanking Him, or to be filled with His joy. And peace.
He wanted to show a barren woman like me, that I could be deeply satisfied in Him, alone, during the barrenness. And that even if He never gave me a baby, He would give me the greatest gift of all, Himself. And that was enough. He was enough. Because He was worthy of my worship, even if my arms were empty, and my womb was barren.
And I could trust Him. I could surrender completely to Him. With my arms open wide, embracing whatever He had for me. With deep joy.
I want you to know, God did heal my barren womb. He gave me two incredibly precious babies. Naturally. And miraculously. (Our daughter is now 5, and our son is 1.) And they are more than I could ever ask for, or deserve, in a million lifetimes. And, I praise God for them every single day.
But what I want you to know is that the joy (of the Lord) came before I was ever pregnant. It came before the babies. (I think it’s easy to believe that “once you get pregnant,” or “once you have a baby,” then you can have joy, and peace, and that satisfaction you long for. But that’s not true.)
Babies do bring joy. They are gifts from God, and I don’t say that lightly.
But God is the one who brings joy, lasting joy. The kind of joy that lasts and stays even when your entire world is flipped upside-down.
Sadly, I have met many mothers who lack this joy. I have met many mothers who are miserable, who are not drawing strength, or joy, or peace from God. (You’d think that God blessed them with a child, they should be happy, right?)
But, it just shows that babies don’t satisfy your SOUL, the way Jesus does. They are wonderful gifts, but your soul was not made to be satisfied by a baby, your soul was made to be satisfied by God. Alone.
That’s why I feel it’s vital to share this message with you.
Because whether you are a mom, or struggling with infertility, all of us are barren inside, apart from Jesus Christ. He is the only one that brings the life, and peace, and satisfaction we all long for.
And I can’t promise anyone a baby, but I can promise you Jesus. And if you drink of Him, you will never thirst again.
He changed me in the wilderness. He came and ministered to me there.
So if you are in a dry place, in a desert place, if you are thirsty–then you are in a perfect place for Him to come water you like never before.
And as for those nights I spent on the bathroom floor, weeping before Him… I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Because those are some of my most precious, intimate memories with Him.
In the dark. When I couldn’t see.
And He was my only light.
As far away as He seemed. As forgotten as I felt…
He did not forget me.
He chose me.
Do you know why?
For you. Right now, at this moment.
He comforted me in my affliction, so that I could comfort you in yours, with the same comfort I recieved from Him (2 Corinthians 1:4). For He longs to satisfy your deepest thirst.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19)
He wants to water your barren places, and make you more alive than you ever imagined.
And something else, He has a beautiful purpose for your life.
You are not here by mistake. And your barren womb is not a roadblock to His plan for you. Perhaps, it’s a catalyst to bring the fullness of His plan in your life.
Maybe He’s doing more than you think He is, and maybe His plan for you is greater than your plan for you.
Did you know that every “barren woman” in the Bible was “chosen” by God for some special role in the coming of (our Rescuer) Jesus Christ, or for the advancement of the Kingdom of God?
First of all, Sarah was barren, but God chose Sarah, a barren woman in her nineties, to give birth not only to a baby, but to give birth to a nation, His people. (See Genesis 17:15-21, 21:1-7, Romans 4:18-20)
Rebekah was barren, but God opened her womb and she gave birth to twins, Jacob and Esau. (Genesis 25:19-26) (Jacob whose name would be changed to Israel.)
Rachel was barren, but God opened her womb and she gave birth to Joseph and Benjamin. (See Genesis 35:16-18)
Samson’s mother was barren, but God opened her womb and she gave birth to Samson. (See Judges 13. This story gave me chills.)
Hannah was barren, but God opened her womb and she gave birth to Samuel. (See Samuel 1-2:21)
Elizabeth was barren, but God opened her womb and she gave birth to John the Baptist. (Who prepared the way for the coming Messaiah, Jesus.) (See Luke 1:5-25)
In their ancient culture, these women not only felt forgotten, but utterly forsaken by God.
But you know what?
Each one of these women was chosen by God.
To raise a world-changer. To prepare the way for Christ.
For a specific time, a specific purpose, in His story.
I don’t know His exact purpose for you in your barrenness. But I know He has chosen you for something.
I don’t know if He will heal your womb, but I know that He wants to heal you of a barren soul. And take you from a place of being barren to beautiful, on the inside.
And I believe He has a purpose for you in this. And that He has not forgotten you.
And just because you can’t see what He’s doing,
doesn’t mean He’s not doing something.
When I first heard this song, “Who You Say I Am,” by Hillsong, I laid my head down and wept. Because I felt the weight of these words, the truth in them, the power they hold to destroy self-pity, depression, and despair. (Click the link to hear it.–>)
The words of the bridge are:
“I am chosen,
I am who You say I am,
You are for me not against me,
I am who You say I am”
I pray that you can sing this (because the darkness trembles When the Barren Sing and that you can declare it over your life, over your home. Because it’s true. And Satan wants you to believe that God has forgotten you–but He hasn’t. Quite the opposite. Instead He has set His gaze on you, and said,
“I am going to take her brokeness, her weakness…I am going to take her barrenness,
and make My glory shine through her.”
He shines through broken vessels.
And you don’t have to keep beating yourself up for not having enough faith. All you have to do is kneel, and surrender. To all He has for you, to who He is. To whatever He has for you. Knowing He has chosen you. And He will fulfill His purpose for you.
And when God chooses you, it doesn’t mean He’s going to make your name great. It means He’s going to make His name great through you. And when He sets you apart, its not because He’s building your kingdom, it’s because He’s going to build His kingdom through you.
More than you can imagine.
And in the end, you fall to your knees, whether your arms remain empty, or full, and realize it was all only ever about Him anyway. This life, whether long, or short, is about Jesus.
And one day, every eye will see.
He brings the joy, the life, the peace. He brings the rivers into the wastelands. And if you find yourself standing in a barren wasteland today, or if you find yourself simply kneeling on a bathroom floor tonight, in the dark,
I pray you can speak these words, even if only in a whisper,
“I am chosen,
I am who You say I am.”
Because He is right there with you, even in the darkness, orchestrating every detail, and preparing to shine His glory through you.