There are a lot of infertile women in the Bible. Sarah, Rachael, Hannah, Rebecca, and Elizabeth all struggle to have children. In the end, each is blessed to give birth to a child who changes the world. When I was in the darkest moments of my journey through infertility, I started reading a book entitled Hannah's Hope. It was the starting point for me finding way to a place of peace and healing.
I have been thinking about these women all day. Sarah stands out the most because she was an old woman when she finally gave birth to Isaac. God had been promising her a son for years, but she gave up hope and took matters into her own hands. She gave her maidservant, Hagar, to Abraham. When Hagar became pregnant, Genesis tells us that she became bitter towards Sarah, but I wonder how jealous Sarah was of Hagar? It must have torn her apart to see this slave woman giving her husband the one thing that she could not. Was she mean to Hagar? Did she cry herself to sleep at night? We know that she took her anger out on her husband and blamed him for the situation. His solution was to allow her to mistreat Hagar and Hagar ran away.
In the desert, God found Hagar and spoke to her. He told her that her son would also birth a nation and that she would be blessed through him. Hagar listened and returned to her mistress. It was almost a decade later before Isaac was born. Isaac was the fulfillment of God's faithfulness. He would go onto father generations of Jews, and through him God's promise to Abraham was fulfilled. However, his brother Ishmael would also go on to father a nation and their descendants are still fighting today.
In a moment of weakness, Sarah gave up on God's plan and implemented her own. She was impatient and tired of waiting, but her plan led her family to experience unnecessary pain and turmoil. If she had found a way to hold fast to her faith and patiently wait for God's plan, she may have saved herself, Abraham, Hagar, and their sons a lot of pain. I really empathize with Sarah.
My husband is constantly reminding me to be patient, and I am always having to check in and ask "my plan" or "God's plan". It doesn't always work, I forge ahead and push things. This almost always ends up with some sort of hardship or pain. Why can't I be more patient?
I feel that this journey has been specially designed for me to learn to let go and learn to slow down. Adoption requires me to trust others, keep the faith, and not give in to despair. Infertility has taught me about honesty in marriage, the amazing love that can come from truly trusting your partner with your deepest fears, amazing friendships that I am unworthy of, and that true peace comes from letting go of my plan.
I am being challenged to let go in areas of my life beyond infertility. Our marriage is a partnership, but you can't always have two people at the wheel. I am learning to give stuff up to my husband and am amazed at how this little thing has strengthened our marriage.
I do not know when my child will come, but I have faith that they will come. Until they do, I have been charged with teaching 185 children a day. That in itself is a blessing.