"She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your servant and remember me and not forget Your servant, but will give Your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life." 1 Samuel 1:10-11
Yesterday in church, as I watched families walk in and the worship team sang... my eyes filled with tears. I stood there crying and prayed silently in my heart.
"Even if You just give us one Lord, I will be satisfied. Please give us our Samuel and I will give him back to You."
As Sarah sang about the extravagant love of Jesus, I wiped away the tears and prayed again.
"Lord, even if You do not give us any children, I will still praise You. Blessed be Your name."
Waiting for our Samuel has been an emotional roller-coaster over the past couple years. There are times when I'm more okay with it then others, times where it stings a little more and times where I am soothed. Times that I remember the things God has done while we wait, and times that I feel hurt and bitter. Times that I'm excited still for opportunities we may have while we are still childless and times that I simply wonder why? Times that I feel like it will happen and times that I feel like it never will.
I haven't often prayed specifically for a baby because I have been afraid to. It's hard to sort through the emotions that keep me from praying for a child but they seem to fall into two categories.
Sometimes I'm afraid to pray for a baby because I know it may not be God's timing yet and that there are more things for us to do. I know things will change a lot and maybe I'm not ready. Maybe there are a few more adventures that are planned for Tim and I without children. I worry that I will pray for a baby and then will see that God gave me what I wanted but it wasn't what He wanted.
And other times I'm afraid to pray because I'm afraid of the answer being no. It's almost like if I hold back on that prayer, there's still a chance that we will have a baby. There's a chance that I haven't tried everything yet, and I want that answer to be yes so I'll wait.
It's all very emotionally convoluted and I realize it doesn't make much sense because it doesn't make sense to me. I also realize that there are many couples who have waited much longer than we have. This struggle is widespread and painful for many. It is difficult because you are reminded of it every month you aren't pregnant. Some months are better than others, but the disappointment remains.
I often think about the women in the Bible that were barren. Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth. Many of them waited many years, some of them until they were very old (Sarah & Elizabeth) to bear a child.
I love how in those stories it isn't punishment that is causing them to be barren, but for God's glory He chooses to wait sometimes. Sometimes the answer is not yet, and sometimes it is never, but God always works things for good to those that love Him.
I didn't want to post this. I cried about it in the car yesterday because I felt like it was what I needed to write and I didn't want to share. I didn't want to let anyone in to my pain, I wanted to lick my wounds alone. But I know that often it is through the sharing of our suffering that we are healed.
While we drove to my parents house and talked about praying for a baby, "Casimir Pulaski Day" played in the background through our speakers.
As I shoved the tears off my cheeks the last lines repeated in my ears.
"And He takes, and He takes, and He takes."
In my mind I heard the words to "Blessed Be Your Name" as an echo.
"You give and take away, You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name."
I will pray and wait patiently for our Samuel. Whether he comes from my womb or the womb of another, I will pray for him. And I know that barren or fruitful, children or no children, the Lord is good, the Lord is love, and His mercies endure forever. I will praise Him as long as I have breath. My heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be Your name.