In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head… Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” — 1 Samuel 1: 10, 11, 17
This morning I woke up and decided to read the stories of the infertile women in the Bible.
One of the stories I read was Rachel’s story. God eventually blessed her with two sons, Joseph and Benjamin, but her path was not easy. I don’t relate to her story very well because: A) Ed does not have another wife; B) I do not have a female servant and C) There is no way that A and B will ever happen. We no longer live in a time where I have the option of saying, “Here take my servant as your wife so that she can give me a child.” The wife in me says that I would not be able to handle that. To me, that would just be torture knowing that my husband was with someone else. How women were able to be strong enough to do that back in the day, I will never understand. So after reading this story and knowing that I can not really relate, other than the infertility part, I turned to one of my favourite stories. Which makes me wonder why that was my favourite stories since I was a child… did I know that I would relate to this next story somehow?
Hannah’s story, in particular, always appealed to me but scared me at the same time. I know that I am like her, in my misery, just wanting a child. Like Hannah, I’ve prayed so much for the Lord to give Ed and I a child. The thing about Hannah’s story that scared me was that she would give her son to the Lord if he gave her one. A woman who had wanted a son so much that she would be willing to give him up as soon as she finished weaning him was beyond my comprehension. So, I know that when I prayed, like Hannah, I always had this reservation in my prayer… I didn’t want to tell God the words that Hannah said.
However, this morning when I was reading and praying, I realized that by giving my child to God didn’t mean that I would have to leave him/her in a temple. We just don’t live in that time anymore. Giving my child to God means that I would raise my child in the Christian faith. To be God-fearing and God-loving. To walk in his footsteps. If my child were to grow up to be a priest, nun or pastor, so be it. That is what I’m promising to the Lord. My child will grow up a Christian and that is how I will raise my child. Yes, I will love my child no matter which faith he or she chooses but in doing my part, in keeping my promise to God, I will do my very best to raise my child to walk in those footsteps.
This all came about when Ed and I were talking about baby names. We have 3 girl names and 2 boy names lined up. I know… if I even have 1 child I would be lucky. But nonetheless, we thought we should have 1 more boy name. So we went through a list of names, many of which were vetoed. One name in particular, we seemed to agree on: Samuel. I told Ed that this name has a lot of meaning to our situation since it was Hannah who was infertile and prayed long and hard for a son and she ended up giving birth to Samuel.
5 more days until I find out whether my IUI has worked or not. Ed has promised to take my phone with him that day. I just can’t bear to hear the cursed words “Your pregnancy test was negative”. Until then, I’ll keep praying that God will give me a child who I will raise to follow Him.