Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

With Eyes of Faith…Hannah’s Significant Other November 17, 2011

By Dorothy Williams

“…why are you weeping? Why are you not eating? Why are you so miserable? Am I not better for you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)


The questions a husband asked his barren wife many centuries ago could just as easily represent feelings secretly harbored by our family members today. Can you imagine poor Elkanah sitting by the bedside of his wife, Hannah, feeling completely helpless and perfectly invisible as she quietly sobbed and rocked herself? 
And I ask myself, how many times did my own husband sit by me feeling the same thing? Or what about my sweet mother?  Or even my best friend? I was blind to their love, too, as I grieved the loss of my children.


In the biblical story, Elkanah had two wives named Hannah and Peninnah, but only Hannah was barren.  Peninnah used her status as a “mother of sons and daughters” to provoke and torment Hannah because she viewed her as a rival. Seeing what was going on, Elkanah gave “a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:5).


When we are provoked, it’s easy to devalue the close relationships we enjoy with our spouse and other best friends. I guess it’s because the power of the moment gets our focus fixed on what we lack rather than on all that we have.  For me, it was like a giant microscope was shoved into my face every time I had to deal with a pregnancy announcement.  My grief forced me to peer down a tube at this giant hole in my soul, blinding me to the daily favor I enjoy as a child of God.


And speaking of God, the same questions could be posed in a different way:  Isn’t our relationship with the Lord better for us than ten sons?  And where in our lives has God given us a “double portion” because we are so deeply loved?


It’s something to think about this Thanksgiving, as we count our blessings.


Dorothy Williams lives near Chicago.  She enjoys time spent with her family in Christ.


8 Responses to “With Eyes of Faith…Hannah’s Significant Other”

  1. cazzolafamily Says:

    Wow. What a wonderful perspective. Thank you for sharing.

  2. IrisD Says:

    Thanks for this post! What an important reminder.

  3. kc Says:

    Just what I needed to read this morning – thank you so much for the reminder!

  4. CiCi Says:

    Wow! What an absolute truth! Here I’ve been reading my bible looking for insight, guidance, understanding. And never once did I see this the way you presented it. I just keep seeing all the other stories of God opening a women’s womb…blessing her with children, while I sat praying for the same. I need to stop and look at what God has ALREADY given me. Isn’t His love greater than anything else I could possibly want? Didn’t He give me a husband 100 times better than I could have ever imagined?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the Word!

  5. Kendra Horst Says:

    Thank you for sharing that- it was exactly what I needed to hear today!

  6. Dorothy Says:

    Thanks, everyone! I count the LWB community as part of my “double portion” of blessings when I give thanks. Hope you have a blessed and happy holiday.

  7. Angela Says:

    That was a wonderful reminder and I needed that so much right now! Thanks for sharing that, Dorothy 🙂

  8. Julie Says:

    Thank you! I love how you mentioned that we should look for where the Lord has given us a double portion. I definitely need to do this.

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