Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

With Eyes of Faith…Birthday Jesus December 15, 2011

By Dorothy Williams

You won’t be receiving one of those cute, holiday photo greeting cards from me this Christmas.  You know, the kind you get from relatives and friends, showing the perfect, smiling family with the caption, “Greetings from the Williams bunch!” 

 

There’s nothing wrong with those holiday photos, of course, and now that I am in the acceptance stage of my grieving process, I enjoy seeing nieces, nephews and children of friends grow into the healthy, beautiful adults that God designed.  But when you’re struggling with infertility, or finally coming to terms with the stark reality that God may have a different plan for your life, the influx of December mail can be awful.

 

I once dreaded opening my mailbox during the holidays as if tiny pipe bombs lay in there, waiting to explode with emotional shrapnel.  My hands shook as I opened each holiday photo card because I knew there would be another reminder that I was childless-not-by-choice, and it would take hours to process the raw feelings of rage and sorrow that welled up. I’m glad I didn’t say anything to my family during those years because it might have stopped the cards, preventing the joy I receive now. Instead, I shared my secret pain with a couple of trusted advisers, and of course, my best friend and Savior, Jesus. It was good to have a powerful friend who experienced deep suffering, too, and didn’t mind talking about it.    

 

So instead of sending one of those cards, I am sending a link to Birthday Jesus at the Skit Guys website as my holiday greeting.  Have you heard of the Skit Guys? They are the comedy duo of Tommy Woodard and Eddie James, best friends since high school, who now serve the Lord, making up wonderful stories about life in Christ.

 

I hope you enjoy it. Merry Christmas

   

Dorothy Williams lives near Chicago.  She sends out holiday greeting cards that celebrate the birth of Christ.

 

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.

 

Guest Post: With Eyes of Faith…Our Sacred Journey October 20, 2011

I’m very pleased to announce a new series of guest bloggers. We’re kicking off this week with Dorothy, who will share her thoughts on faith and infertility. If you’d like to contribute your voice to the conversation, I’d love to hear from you. You can find  Guest Blogger guidelines here

by Dorothy Williams

“Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures” (Luke 24:27).

 

As a childless Christian, I was shocked to discover the lack of biblical guidance for my particular situation. You know, the kind of specific, scriptural passages which give hope to a permanently barren wife. And I stress the word permanently because the more I researched the topic, the more I saw that infertility was merely a temporary situation for believers.  As I looked at examples from the lives of Abraham and Sara to Hannah to Elizabeth, I saw one miracle baby after another.  Gosh, it seemed that as long as I had God on my side, all I had to do was pray for my circumstances to change and BANG! I would get that miracle baby.

But that didn’t happen.  So where in the bible was support for my situation? Did it mean that my journey was not sacred or my life not meaningful?

After praying about this for over a year, the answer finally came when the Lord prompted me to look more closely at a resurrection story about Jesus.  It’s known as the “Road to Emmaus” and it is contained in a book of the bible called the gospel of Luke (specifically, Luke 24:13-35).  I won’t repeat it here, except for the one line quoted at the top of this blog entry.  The gist of it is that the bible is not actually about me. (Slap my forehead…duh!)   It is about God’s relationship with His people and the gift of His Son, Jesus.

Christians believe that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus saves us from everything that is lacking in the human condition, including infertility. Our journey can be sacred despite all the twists and turns it may take because Christ’s perfection fills up what is imperfect in our own lives.

So I have a renewed devotion to the risen Jesus, of course, but this exercise also gave me a profound respect for authors who write specifically on the topic of being permanently childless.  Their books may not carry the weight of Holy Scripture, but they just might be working with God in a different way to give our lives sacred meaning as we travel together on this unique road.

Dorothy Williams lives in the Chicagoland area and is making the transition from childless to childfree to Christian one prayer at a time.