Monday, April 20, 2009

Day 356

I have been doing a lot of reflecting, this week. The kind that has you weeping and praising God at the same time. Some friends asked Ben to lead worship at their gathering on Friday night and he sang a song that I hadn’t heard in ages. Darrell Evans’, Your Love is Extravagant. If you’ve never listened to the quiet lyrics, you must. One line has been rolling in my mind all weekend….I feel I’m moving to the rhythms of your grace…If I had to sum up 5 years of struggle, heartache, and life lessons into one word, it would be grace. I did a lengthy study on this little word, last fall, after God has whispered it to my heart. The printed definition is “the freely given, unmerited, favor and love of God.” That’s grace. And I’ve been swimming in it all year.

As we quickly approach the anniversary to the day we decided to open the door to adoption (April 27, 2008) my mind has been reeling with all that has taken place in one year. I leafed through the last journal I kept before I started my blog and found this written on today’s date, one year ago:

“And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon 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."

~ I Samuel 1:11

I’m sure the name of Hannah is lifted up on every barren woman’s tongue, but for me it runs a little deeper…ever since I was a little girl, Samuel was my favorite Bible figure. I’m a girl that loves to worship and I loved that Samuel chose to sleep in the very presence of God….that he audibly heard from the Lord at a young age…and that their closeness allowed his words to hold power (the Bible says not one “fell” from his lips). I grew up wanting to be him. Hannah was never a prominent figure in my rendition of his life. That is, of course, until I found myself in her situation. For two years straight, I would pray her above prayer…sometimes humbly…sometimes screaming with lunacy.

I decided to go back and read her story again. And today, I found something jaw-dropping. Something I never picked up on before. Verse 5: and the Lord had closed her womb.


For the last two years I have struggled BIG time with the whole womb-being-closed thing. I finally made amends in my heart and my official stance was/is: God did not make me barren. He couldn’t have; it’s not in his character. I live in a fallen world, full of heartache and sin, and my womb has come under that curse. I, of course, did everything I knew, to pray that thing open. But it never happened. When we chose adoption, I altered my mantra slightly to add: Even though I wasn’t born to have babies, I was born to be a mother. God needs us playing on the adoption team. And I’m more than okay with that. I’m thrilled that he’s using us.

Tonight my head is spinning. He closed Hannah’s womb? Why? I didn’t know he had it in him…and then the real reason for my questions…Lord. Did you close my womb so that I could mother Rebekah’s baby?

I have prayed Hannah’s prayer so many times I can recite it by memory. For a long time, I inserted the word “daughter” for son [smile] but somewhere in the last couple of years, I went back to the original. I always intended for my son to be birthed from my belly. No where in Hannah’s story does it say she adopted someone else’s son….Her story is actually packaged real nice. She left the temple, Eli blessed her, her husband slept with her and “the LORD remembered her…in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.”

Although our paths don’t match, I know our anguished hearts and mother’s love do. I'm not sure how I feel about crediting God for closing my womb, but I do know that I've fallen in his love and that his hand on my son's life has been unmistakable.

It's just another rhythm of his grace. I prayed for a son...the same words that ancient Hannah prayed. She got her son and I'm soon to have mine. Both under supernatural circumstances...both destined for greatness.


  1. Three weeks and one day ago I would have hated this post. God did not close my womb, he couldn't have done that to me.

    Now, however, I look at R and there is nothing but God's plan, God's grace written all over her. He didn't do it to me. He did it for me.

  2. Once our daughter was born and we brought her home, I finally saw God's plan and turned my heart from bitterness over not being able to give birth to being grateful that we were blessed enough to be infertile. I would not wish it on my worst enemy, however, it was SUCH a blessing for us. I would not change a thing!

  3. He didn't just close my womb, He had it removed! THAT is just how stubborn I was I guess! But now, I look at the two little girls I have been Blessed with and I would not trade a thing! NOT ONE THING!

  4. I was looking at my daughter one
    day and thought what if God had
    made me a fertile woman or what if we would have adopted when we first found out there was no hope of ever conceiving? Then I
    looked at my daughter again and wondered how I even could think such a thing, and how could I have even doubted Gods plan for us! You see my husband and I are in are 40's and have been married for 15 years befor we went the adoption route! I thought okay I can live with it just being us two but then one day it hit me I really want to be a Mom and God didn't wait around he blessed us with a beautiful baby Girl and her BirthMom named her Grace because she was her saving Grace! She is also our saving Grace! We waited for this Baby Girl for a reason We needed her now not twelve, thirteen years ago, we needed her now and that was God's plan! The Lord works in mysterous ways!

  5. Yes, I too believe the Scripture is correct in saying "God closed her womb" and when I read that years ago, I believed in those moments that He closed mine. For awhile I saw it as a curse, even though I believe God's love is endless. Now I do not see it as a curse, I see it as the means to my children. "He settles the barren woman in her home as the joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord." Psalm 113.9, has become my life verse! And I do not see myself as parenting another woman's child. I tell my children that God's plan was for their birthmother to carry them for 9 months, and for their Mommy to carry them for a lifetime.

  6. R I love to listen to you tell these great stories. You have quite a gift of speaking that is clearly embraced by so many bloggers. I am overjoyed by this entire circumstance and am pleased that I can call you family, even if in just a little way. R has always been my fav. Cousin and I love her until forever! It blesses my heart that you love her and her son the same way. This whole thing is like a live hallmark commercial! *laugh* you are an amazing lady.

  7. Rebekah, this is beautiful. I have no words....just soft tears falling because I can feel your words in my heart core and because I'm so happy for you. :)

  8. I love what "BB" said:

    "He didn't do it to me. He did it FOR me."

    Praise God, through Him we are able to flourish in our hearts desires. Not our will, but His be done. And boy, is it amazing!

  9. Yes!

    Wonderful post!

    God does things that seem so mysterious to us. It seems so unfair, so unlike Him. But in the end He knows that you're meant to mother a child that isn't from your own womb. Miraculous and beautiful!

  10. I would have never understood this until now. God just opened my heart to adoption and I finally get it. And instead of sadness..I am joyful! And full of Hope. Your story has been so inspiring..and has been a HUGE part in my heart opening up to adoption. Thank you for sharing!! Love you!

  11. Beautiful post. And I love Laurie's comment. I don't think I've heard that Psalm before and I'm going to have to find a place for it on my website I think.

  12. I know what you mean. We lost a child to miscarriage just over a year before our son was born. It is so hard to admit it, but I know that, if our first son had lived, we wouldn't have this precious child. Our son was conceived before the due date of our first child, so there is no way we could have had both. I love watching our child grow, and he just fits in with us so perfectly. At first, after the miscarriage, I was so angry. Now, though, I see God's grace. While it's such a mystery to me, and while I'll never understand it, God simply choose that Andrew would be our child to raise, and that He wanted our first child with Him in Heaven before we could meet him.

  13. "He didn't do it to me. He did it FOR me."

    Like Leah said, I love what BB wrote, too.

    Thanks for this post, Rebekah.

  14. Congrats on your Tip Junkie feature- it is beautiful!

  15. I absolutely love the song "Your Love is Extravagant". What an amazing thing...we have someone that loves us NO matter what we do. What a gift it is to raise your son in that light. This post had me in tears as usual.

  16. wow! that was an awesome post, i love how your heart is so open desipe your closed womb, God's plan is so so good!

    ps. that song was in our wedding slide show!

  17. In our case, infertility was the only way that we could truly see God move. It wasn't until ee accepted our infertility that we opened the door to adoption, then to trans-racial adoption. We had an "extreme heart makeover" and couldn't imagine our lives without Josiah.