Monday, October 7, 2013

I Weep for the Barren

Now that we are empty-nesters, my husband and I are endeavoring to declutter all we've accumulated over the last 30+ years of marriage and parenthood. One of my bigger projects is culling through my five-drawer legal-sized filing cabinet that is crammed with things important and necessary (mortgage papers, health records, etc.) and things not important and not necessary (articles on raising goats and chickens, college bills, etc.).

Yesterday I pulled out the file labeled "Infertility," sat down at my desk, and entered into that earlier, emotionally difficult era of my life that defined the better part of my mid-20s to mid-30s. Most of the papers were easily tossed, being articles that no longer applied to a menopausal female. Some of the papers -- the ones detailing our hopes and dreams and prayers and medical journey -- were not so easily tossed. Indeed, I read every single one, immersing myself into that previous pain, wondering why I was torturing myself so, and yet not willing to forgo even one sentence of those historical documents. I did manage to turn that fat file into a skinny one, but I couldn't bring myself, yet, to completely empty it out.

This poem was written in the middle of those difficult days. Those days when my focus was on conceiving a birth child, just one healthy child, when I really craved more. Those days when it felt like sex with my husband was reduced to a clinical appointment rather than a beautiful gift. Those days when my monthly period would inevitably arrive, plunging me into deep despair and audible keening.Those days when it seemed that all the women  in my life --  from coworkers to churchgoers to neighbors to friends -- kept getting pregnant and becoming parents. I was able to rejoice with them, thankfully, but I was secretly curling up in a fetal position in the innermost part of my being. Those days when all I wanted to do was die if God wasn't going to bless me with a baby to love.

~*~

I Weep for the Barren

I weep for the barren
who, surrounded by green,
make allies with winter
despite summer's sheen.
In the midst of the meadows,
in the flourishing fields,
how we envy the Grower
the power He wields:
He offers the hungry ground
life-giving seeds
that blossom in beauty,
that nourish the needs.
Yet the plot that is vacant,
that wonts in the womb,
is like Bethlehem's inn
that was closed, had no room.

Yes, I weep for the barren
without garden within;
I weep for the barren
with whom I am kin.

~*~

Those days are long gone, so it is with surprise that I still feel the prick of sorrow. Not as intensely and only on occasion, but when it surfaces, I am caught off-guard. The Lord did eventually bless us with two beautiful daughters through adoption, but it was not until I had come to a place of acceptance and peace and a longing for Him greater than my longing for a baby. He healed my empty, aching heart with Himself, first and foremost, and for that, I am eternally grateful.


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