Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Name Better than Mother

Tomorrow is a special day for many women around the world. There will be flowers, breakfast in bed, special gifts, and lots of hugs.  But it will not be a happy day for everyone.  There will tears shed over hopes yet fulfilled and dreams lost.  Yet, our hearts are often insensitive to those struggling with the inability to be a mother.  I read an article this week which has reinforced a lot of the thoughts I have sometimes felt. I am a mother to a beautiful 20 month old little girl. But the reality is, due to my chronic pain, it is not likely that I will be able to physically have another child or adopt, which I have always desired to do. I have days when I grieve about this, but I am also very saddened for my daughter because she may never have a sibling. There are at least two other young mothers I have met online who are in a similar state as they have one young daughter and desire to have more children, but cannot due to their pudendal neuralgia. I know I do not really understand how women who struggle with infertility feel, but I do feel like I can identify with their grief to some degree.  I would add to this article's points that we should also remember women with chronic illnesses that often prevent them from having children by any means.

Pastor John Piper in This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence brings up a passage which has given me great comfort concerning these desires. 

"For thus says the LORD: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off." Isaiah 56:4-5

Verses like these help us keep from putting children and marriage on a pedestal as the "end all" in this life. God through Jesus Christ has given those of us who trust in Him for salvation an everlasting name which is far better than sons or daughters.  God has called some to be married and others to be single, some to have children and others not, and some to be both married and be mothers/fathers in this life.  One calling is not better than another. They are all good because God is good and His plans are perfect.
Piper says, "Someone might ask, wouldn't it be better to have both-the blessings of marriage and the blessings of heaven? There are two answers to that question.  One is that you will find out someday, and better to learn it now, that the blessings of being with Christ in heaven are so far superior to the blessings of being married and raising children that asking this question will be like asking, wouldn't it be better to have the ocean and also the thimbleful? But that's not the answer you wanted.  So here is another one: Marriage and singleness both present us with unique trials and unique opportunities for our sanctification-our preparation for heaven.  There will be unique rewards for each.  Which is greater will not depend on whether you were married (and had children I might add) or single, but on how you responded to each." p. 113, This Momentary Marriage
These truths help me keep perspective in this momentary life. I pray that I will respond well to God's calling as a wife, mother, nurse, and chronic pain sufferer (at least for now) in this life to better prepare me for heaven. After all this life and all it's blessings is just a foretaste.


  1. Thank you for these thoughts.
    It helped me.

  2. Oh, Hannah, you have to recognize the grief that you are feeling over this. I love your perspective (thank you for it, by the way) but I also just want to hug you and tell you it's okay to have these feelings of sadness! It is a loss that needs to be grieved.

    I just really believe that you and the two other mothers are going to see some improvement.

    I hadn't seen that article, so thanks for sharing.