The seed was sown.
And it produced exactly what was intended. The death of a dream.
One day I will have a home full of children, I believed long ago, when I was still naive. Both of my parents came from relatively large families, and I was filled with utter joy when we all united on holidays and special occasions. This is what my future home will be like, I told myself, children everywhere and a flurry of activity — children playing hopscotch, late-night homework, football games and proms to attend — and me in the middle of it, beaming with pride as I luxuriated in the world of Motherdom. And teaching — oh, how I wanted to be a teacher, the only occupation my young mind gave thought to. I even had a dream about children, one in which I was sitting on a chair, wearing a flowing skirt, a child in my lap and others standing and sitting beside me. I was sure children were in my future.
And then the soil opened up and the seed was dropped.
Abandonment. Lost trust. Instability. Distorted views of family and the integrity of the institution of marriage. Harmful words … “You wouldn’t be a good mother.”
And poof! — just like that, the dream was gone and my days became a matter of living for self … surviving on whatever would protect and feed my hungry heart. I was more vulnerable than ever.
What I was certain was to be my purpose in life had vanished into thin air.
My siblings had babies. Friends had babies. Workmates had babies. Babies were everywhere! Children spread like wildfire throughout the neighborhood in which I lived. Children having birthday parties, sporting events, dance recitals. I was invited, and festering resentment and jealousy, along with a fake smile, accompanied me to each event.
More seeds started dropping. Why are they special enough that God would give them children and not me? (Hello, Worthlessness.) What have I done so bad that God allowed this to be my lot in life? (Why not join us, Self-condemnation.) Nothing is ever going to change. (Make yourself at home, Hopelessness.)
My heart grew cold. I decided children were a nuisance and aborted the idea of ever having any altogether. The seeds spread roots so far and wide that I nearly choked to death. I was broken.
The perpetrator had done his work well. It didn’t matter how often I went to church, how much I poured myself into other activities or tried to fake it until I made it — that blackened chamber of my heart remained, sealed and locked up.
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24
God had other plans — He’s kind of a mastermind, you know — and one by one, wise, mature, authentic, godly women began appearing in my life. Divinely assigned, they tended to my hurts, weeded the lies and deception from my heart, and planted seeds of Truth. After a lengthy season of cultivating and pruning, I began to grow. Others were drawn to me because of the fruit they saw growing. I was new and they wanted what I had received.
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, said, “God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others.” Sounds mean, doesn’t it, that God would allow pain? But what if, instead, we looked at the pain as a gift? What if it would lead to His purpose for our lives? Would you accept the pain if it gave birth to something God ordained?
… for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
You may not agree that childlessness is a gift, but I am living proof that that is exactly what God intended it to be. Since dying to my own desire and allowing God to produce the fruit of His Truth in my life, young women (and sometimes young men) have appeared before my very eyes in every arena of my daily life: in the workplace, at church, at the gym, in small groups, in my neighborhood. They’re young women who need a “mom” to talk to, someone who won’t judge but will listen and help steer them … young women whose own mothers have been absent, those who have been abused, rejected, or experienced unplanned pregnancies. There is a bond, a kinship, between myself and them. They’re my God-given children, and there are so many, I can’t count them!
God exceeded my expectations, blessing me as a “mother” with more than my womb would produce (and without the stretch marks!). God had a purpose in my childlessness all along!
Don’t refuse the gift of your purpose just because it doesn’t look like what you were expecting. It may be exactly what you were created for.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16
What gets you excited? Read along with us for the next few weeks as we explore purpose and passion.
Pam Freitag Weyant traded the harsh Midwestern winters for the sunny South. Her best friends are her steno machine (she works as a freelance court reporter), her aged but adorable cocker spaniel Jake, and books. She is grateful for time spent traveling, writing creative nonfiction, and working out. Her goal is to share her story with others so they may also find freedom in a redemptive Savior. Read more of Pam’s Breath on Paper bio here.