Jill Kawchak and her family have been attending Cochrane Alliance Church for about a year. She is a mama to one amazing little girl and one very troublesome yellow Lab, and a wife to a truly good man. Jill lives in Cochrane, where she homeschools her daughter and reaches out to others (online and over a cup of tea) who are experiencing infertility and miscarriage. A follower of Jesus, she tries, fails, and tries again to seek Him first. We want to thank Jill for her perspective as we approach Mother's Day next week.
Depending on your past experiences, Mother’s Day can be a wonderful time of celebration of the gift of motherhood…sticky fingerprints, endless piles of laundry, complete lack of sleep and all. Motherhood is exhausting and wonderful, and truly, one of the best examples of ‘dying to self’ that we can possibly experience. But when you are (or have been) dealing with infertility, miscarriage or baby loss, Mother’s Day is excruciating. It can feel like a bag of salt inside a very private and painful wound. When you are so desperate for little arms wrapping around your neck and a sweet voice calling you “Mommy”, this holiday can be absolutely brutal.
Especially in the church.
You can feel so very alone in a swarm of mothers carrying infants, reaching for speeding toddlers, gushing over the crafts that preschoolers make. You can feel forgotten and hopeless on this day. But you are not. Some of the most profound stories from the Bible are those centering around infertility. Hannah. Sarah. Rachel. Far from being put aside, women and infertility are centralized in the Bible. It’s a loving message through the ages from our Creator, assuring us that in this “children are a blessing” culture, He has not abandoned us as women without (all of our) children.
I love that ages ago, God knew that women going through infertility, miscarriage and baby loss would need to read accounts where they could see themselves represented, could empathize with Rachel, watching Leah’s sons and daughters multiply, and feel the sting of a barren womb. He knew that we would need the strength of Hannah’s prayer, her desperate cry out to Him for the longing of her heart. We too would feel the pain behind Sarah’s laugh when told she would conceive. These women (and more!) were placed here for the countless generations after them to read their stories, take hope in their circumstances, and know that when they feel like they are completely isolated in their grief, that the Lord hears the anguish of their cries.
The One who created you knows what you are going through. He knows the longings of your heart. He feels your pain, and understands your distress. He too felt abandoned. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) is the cry of a soul who felt separated from His Father, who felt alone. He truly knows what it feels like because he was there. He comes alongside you while you cry out in the middle of the night, grieving for something not given. He comforts you in the day as your heart breaks from many small encounters with a world that doesn’t understand your pain. He is the one you need to run to. His arms are ever open, and His love is all-encompassing.
You are not alone. You are infinitely loved, cherished, beyond all measure by your Creator, who hears your pain and wipes your tears. And you are not alone.