Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More Than a Story

Yesterday, we were helping out in the 4/5 year old classroom at church. We're new to the room, as we just moved, this summer, from 3s, when Ty turned 4. We like moving through the kids ministry with the boys. We want to know their friends, the girls they'll likely want to date, the parents in both scenarios, etc.

We only serve once a month, so this was just our second time in the "red" room. It has been such a blessing to see the depth of study and worship that our kids are experiencing at such a young age.

As we were settling in for lesson time, I took my perch about midway through the rows. Getting 40 4/5 year olds to sit quiet and engage is a feat! The Bible lesson was on Hannah.

My heart flipped when I heard her name. I know her story inside and out. Though separated by centuries, our cry was the same. I know her and love her and prayed her prayer more times than I can count. I shifted my weight to my toes as I listened to my friend's testimony, re-told by the teacher.

"Hannah was barren. She couldn't have children of her own. She cried out to God; God heard her cry and she became pregnant with Samuel!" The lead teacher went on to talk about the great man Samuel was...I stood aghast. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and shout, "STOP!!!!"


You can't sum the reality of this woman's heart...this life...in one sentence! The moments of complete desperation between "She cried out to God" and "God heard her prayer" are so weighted in pain, I can feel them in the back of my throat. "Year after year" Hannah cried and begged; pleading with God. Barren is so much more than not being able to have children...it's emptier; darker; lonelier. It's not just an empty womb...it's an empty life.

Hannah is heroic in her vulnerability and ultimate sacrifice.

I couldn't believe her story was being promoted without passion. I wrestled with whether or not to interrupt when Ty looked at me from across the room. His eyes twinkled and he gave me his just-for-mom smile. I knew he knew. He knew that I prayed for him...just like Hannah prayed for her Samuel.

I held my tongue and wiped my tears.

I know her story because it's my story.

And it's okay that a classroom of kids hears "miracle" before moving on with their day. My family doesn't just hear...we experience the miracle. Every day. And that's what makes us special.

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...


  1. oh yes, that sums it up so well. I always think (when I hear Hannah being taught in church) "you just don't know her pain until you have lived it!" I am right there with ya :)

  2. ahhh tears! what a precious moment between you and Ty. Beautiful!

  3. Wow. I'm a new reader. Found your blog on the blog roll of another. I also suffered infertility and loss before the miracle of our son in 2008 through IVF and the mose AMAZING miracle of our daughter who came to us as a frozen embyro through embryo adoption in 2010. I often have people ask me if it is different to have a biological vs non-bio child. Simple answer NOPE! I completely believe God chooses the souls that will be our children long before we even consider having them. When our bodies cannot produce a physical body vessel that chosen soul....God finds one for us and then helps guide us to him/her. I have NO DOUBT that my Genevieve is the soul God meant for us. She is our daughter and William is our son and there is no difference as they were both hand chosen by GOD for US! Your boys are beautiful and chosen for you by God Himself and I'm pretty sure Ty and LJ both know that.

  4. I needed to read this today. I always forget I am not the only one going thru this! It is an incredibly lonely place to be. Thank you so much sweet sister for your words!

  5. The story of Hannah even being in the Bible shows you how close God is to us when we are going through things like that. He never forgets us. Ever. His plans are so magnificent.

  6. This moved me to tears several times today. I copied it and sent to several friends from my fertility group, as only they will understand the raw emotion experienced by Hannah and us waiting for God's plan to be revealed through our pain. Beautiful post. Thank you.

    Ashley Moon

  7. Grabbing the tissues to wipe away the tears,
    Beautiful, thanks for sharing.

  8. This was my favorite story growing up, probably because I was named after her... even as I got older I always found myself flipping to 1 Samuel. Then I got married struggled with infertility and her story became my story. Now I have my twin daughters and every day I think of Hannah bringing Samuel to the temple and giving him to God. I may not be bringing them to a temple to live but as I raise them I know that I'm raising them to be used by God.

  9. I love that Ty gets it. That's what matter, he knows how God has worked (and continues to) in your lives.
    We are a foster family and our kids have grown so much through the things they have seen in our foster children and the ways they have seen prayers answered....
    If any of Rebekah's readers are considering foster care or adoption, maybe you can listen to this interview I just did with my 9 year old daughter: http://notofourhands.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-do-my-kiddos-really-thinkpart.html
    Thanks Rebekah for your honesty and testimony!

  10. http://hopeforisolde.blogspot.com/2013/08/two-kinds-of-love.html

    this is a post on a blog I follow... you and becky popped into my head when I read it.... hope it blesses you.


  11. Hey Sweetheart! just wanted to say I've been thinking about you and your family... praying... Loving you from afar!!! miss you here in this space. hugs to the boys xx

  12. I too look at my children and flash back to that time of lonliness, emptines, even a helplessness... being barron, losing a child, and then being thankful and seeing my children today... it is a whirlwind of emotion! I remember this passage was read at a baby shower after my 4th miscarriage and too had the urge to burst out... but then too it was not for me to say... it was for me to listen...