Fear. It is the direct result of the lies we believe. Lies that are whispered to us by the enemy to steal our hope. Rob us of joy. And destroy our faith. They whisper to us that change isn’t possible. Our dreams are unattainable. And our God doesn’t love us. But when we replace those lies with Truth…God’s Truth…the impossible becomes possible. Our dreams become attainable. And our fears no longer have room within our hearts.
Today I am honored to have Rebekah share with us four lies many barren women believe (at one point or another) while on this journey of infertility. These lies come from her own experience as she, too, has battled infertility. But with God’s Word replacing these lies, she has not only overcome her fears, but has since given birth to a little girl named Selah.
1. Lie: “My womb is dead, I am dead.”
Truth: If you are infertile, or barren, you may feel like you are dead. After all, the very definition of the word “barren” means “unfruitful, unable to produce.” Kind of like a dry, barren wasteland, where nothing is growing, right?
Although your womb may be currently barren, your spirit doesn’t have to be. If you are a believer in Jesus: He has made you alive. (Ephesians 2:5 ESV) And nothing can take that life away from you. Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28 ESV) This is important to understand because God’s definition of “life” and “death” are different from our culture’s definition. Death and Life are more than just what is happening in your physical body–because you are more than just a physical body. There is a spirit part of you. God has created a spirit in you, with His very breath. You bear His image, and the Holy Spirit really does live in you. That’s why you can be spiritually alive, even when your physical body is suffering. Paul wrote, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)
Even though your womb cannot conceive right now, you can still be fruitful and alive in Christ. When I was barren, I wrote a song that I believe God gave to me to help me through that season. The lyrics were:
“There’s Someone living inside you,
though not a child tucked inside your womb,
but it’s my Holy Spirit, who conquered Jesus’ tomb.
He’s alive, He’s alive, He’s alive,
Hear Him roar!
And you’re alive, you’re alive,
More than ever before.”
Be set free today! Your infertility no longer defines you. Your physical ailments no longer define you. God defines you. And He calls you: alive. So, wake up living one and breathe, and exhale, and know that God has made you alive.
2. Lie: You are not a woman. You won’t know the fullness of “womanhood” until you birth a child. And your husband won’t see you as a woman until you bear his children.
Truth: This is a BIG UGLY lie. And yet it is pervasive. It’s quiet. It’s (hopefully) not something anyone has ever said out loud to you—but it’s something that’s felt in your heart of hearts. Maybe during those sappy Mother’s Day commercials, or Ads for diapers. But it’s false.
You are a woman. First of all, your womanhood was determined by God, before you were born. (I know this is something our culture is slowly losing touch with.) But our genders are chosen, and breathed out, and spoken by the Living God. The Living God who says, “When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:13b NIV)
And God didn’t just speak “XX chromosome” over you.
He spoke your real name. And He spoke, “Daughter.”
He saw you as precious.
You are a Daughter. Maybe it’s been a long time since you have heard Him speak, “Daughter” over you, or felt His smile over you. But I pray, you hear it again, you feel it again, or for the very first time.
Daughter. Beloved of God. Beautiful one. Precious girl. In whom My soul delights.
You are “Daughter.” No matter what you do, or don’t “produce” in this life. Becoming a “Mom” is an incredible gift—but it doesn’t make you any more female. You are wholly a daughter before becoming a Mom, and wholly a daughter after.
Bearing Children Does Not Make You More Of A Woman. And p.s. (Spoiler Alert!) Having become a mother myself, I’m just going to say: going through childbirth doesn’t make you feel more “feminine.” As beautiful and miraculous as child-bearing is…it is a STRUGGLE to find your “womanhood” again after “motherhood.” Carrying a baby for 9 months, going through labor, and nursing a baby, and having to get stitched up “down there,” and wear big ugly nursing bras—don’t actually make you feel pretty, or feminine. And as for your dear husband—let him in enjoy your pre-baby body now. And post-baby body later, too. Remember, he married you for you, and he loves you for you.
Know that you don’t need to go through childbirth to be a “real woman.” Stretch marks on your body do not prove anything. It’s the stretch marks on your soul that matter. Those times in your life when you love so big, and so hard—your heart can’t go back to its original size. This, I believe is the essence of womanhood. These are the stretch marks that matter—the ones on your soul formed in those moments when heaven met earth.
You are a woman to the fullest extent. You are beautiful. You are daughter.
And you are so very loved.
Only God Can Give Children. As much as you want to “give” your husband the child you feel he deserves, the pressure is not on you sweet girl. It is not your burden to carry. Only God can “give” you children—and oh, I pray He does. In His time, and in His way. Remember He is the Giver, and He makes everything beautiful in His time.
3. Lie: I can’t have children because I am not good enough. If I were more “righteous” God would reward me with babies. God is punishing me for a past sin.
Truth: Oh sister. You know this one isn’t true—why do you believe it?
Let’s debunk this lie a little bit.
Children are a blessing. There is no doubt about it. Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
However, God also says that, “He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45 ESV) The rising sun and falling rain are symbols of blessing. God actually pours out His blessings on the just and the unjust. Both saints and sinners.
If He only gave babies to the ones who were “righteous” enough—pretty much no one would have babies. (Like ever.) His word says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:11) And God says that our most righteous deeds to “filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) So let’s stop believing, “If I’m just a little more righteous, then I will conceive.” Because if that’s true, you will just keep heaping heavy burdens on your back. Children are a blessing and a gift to be received, not earned.
God is wise. In a way we can’t fully comprehend in this life. The fact that you can’t conceive is more based in His wisdom and purpose for your life, and not based on your good or bad deeds.
Look around, are the people with babies righteous? Some are, many aren’t. Using “righteousness” to obtain blessing from the Lord is a D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S place to be. This was the trap the Pharisees fell into. They thought their “righteous” deeds “earned” them a blessing. And that’s why they were furious when “sinners” were inheriting that blessing before them.
Ladies, I get it. I too have wondered, “What is wrong with me? Why does that teen-mom keep pushing her baby past my house? Why does it seem like this works for everybody else—except me? Did I do something wrong to make God close up my womb?”
While it’s good to ask God to reveal your past or present sins and aim to live a righteous life—you have to remember God’s immense grace for you. Grace is unmerited favor. Un-earned. Don’t get trapped into believing that you can “earn” a baby, or anything else for that matter. None of us can “achieve,” or “produce,” or be “holy” enough to earn God’s blessing. And yet, He is so gracious. It’s because of Him that we are saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and not by anything we could do.
I encourage you to keep crying out to Him and bring your requests before Him, just as Hannah did. But as you do, put your hope in His faithfulness, and not in your righteousness.
4. Lie: God has forgotten me, otherwise, He would have given me a baby by now.
Truth: God never forgets. And He has such tender words to the barren woman in Isaiah 54:
He first tells her to “sing,” and lift up her voice. Because He is going to enlarge her territory. And then He says, “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated…” (Isaiah 54:4a NIV)
But isn’t that the fear…that you will be ashamed? Disgraced? Humiliated? Forgotten?
These lies come from the evil one, not your loving Father. Maybe your body has failed you, maybe people have failed you, or you have failed people. But you know what? He never fails. His love never fails. And so you can put your hope in Him.
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10 ESV)
You can put your hope completely in Him. No matter what happens this week, this month, or this year. His steadfast love shall not depart from you.
And then He says,
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.” (Isaiah 54:11)
I encourage you to read all of Isaiah 54, so you can see the full context. I don’t understand in it’s entirety what is symbolic and what is literal. But here are some things that this chapter points about God’s character and His love for the “barren woman”:
He sees you.
He speaks tenderly to you.
You are not forgotten.
He is going to expand your territory.
His love for you will not be moved—even if the mountains come crashing down.
He will not fail or forsake you.
He will take away your shame. Forever.
He is building a beautiful foundation for your life.
Oh beautiful one reading this today. It’s time. It’s time to stop wallowing in the darkness. He has ordained your life with purpose. Can you sense it?
Today, you are alive.
You are bursting with life–if His Spirit lives in you.
Today, you are Beloved Daughter.
You are precious, and honored in His sight.
Today, God is gracious and kind.
He delights to give you a thousand gifts you could never deserve.
And He is full of grace and truth.
Today, He is establishing His beautiful purpose for your life.
Today, may the Spirit of Truth come rushing in and cast out every lie. Every single one. So that you will know the Truth, and speak the Truth, and believe the Truth–and that the Truth will set you free.
Rebekah and her husband, Brandon, have one darling 3-year-old girl named Selah, for whom they long waited, cried, and prayed before conceiving. Rebekah writes about her journey of infertility, motherhood, and marriage in between cups of coffee, and tripping over Magic Clip dolls on the floor. You can find her at her blog www.barrentobeautiful.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/barrentobeautiful .
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