As of now I could have had three children, my eldest would be 18 perhaps in her first term at University, I like to think she would have been a girl, she was to be called Lydia, her sister Orla at 13 might be a mix of emotions, on the cusp of growing up but still clinging to some girliness … while 10 year old Joel would enjoy annoying the other two and being the family comedian …
These 3 children represent my 3 known miscarriages and readers must forgive me for ‘Disneyfying’ them, their names are what I would genuinely have called them (and what I clung to through the years I battled to have them). It wasn’t to be. It’s not that I think my life would be radically different now had they been born, we would probably live in a similar way: beliefs, preferences, jobs, home, pets and so on but it would doubtless be richer, far more complex and much more expensive!
Being denied a child has been the biggest challenge to my faith and will always be a regret I will carry until the day it ceases to matter. I have no answer to those with faith who seem to want to ‘find a reason’ my prayers weren’t answered. What I do know is, life sucks very often in this world and there ARE no answers … I also find it tedious when others assume I didn’t want children, or see benefit somehow in not having them! It’s a painful and silent minority to belong to and not made any more comfortable by ignorance or misunderstanding.
So does God feature in this post? actually yes as He prompted me to write it. It began with the title from Jeremiah 31:15 when I felt God wanted me to be open and like Rachel, express my grief about this subject. Not self indulgent, factual … this is what it’s like. God is letting me walk this road and (to borrow a powerful example from a godly lady speaker I recently heard) it’s like He’s saying in reply to my kicking against my situation: I’m not interested in what others have got or in what they’re doing, I want you to follow Me.
Coo big ask Lord, ok I haven’t got a lot of choice but will give it a go … as graciously as I can (which won’t be always). But He can be trusted and I glimpse Him in the situation as I learn to trust Him more: whenever I remember that this life is short and temporary and I have eternity to look forward to (and this does restore perspective to most things!), when my husband reminds me we will have 3 children in heaven, when someone acknowledges the maternal in me and values it, when I realise it’s more fun not to be conventional. All these things and more are like God shining His light into a dark place, and while weeping may endure for a night, I truly believe that joy comes in the morning … (Psalm 30:5)