What This (Barren) Mom Thinks on Mother’s Day

My Christian faith was a great comfort to me years ago when my husband and I were wrestling with infertility. Honestly, though, I wasn’t very inspired by biblical examples of women who longed for children and then miraculously gave birth.

Lois and girls on Easter

Maybe it was because I knew my chances of conception were slim to none, or perhaps I found more solace in passages that had to do with God’s faithfulness, sovereignty and love.

There was one particular verse about mothers that intrigued me, however. Psalm 113:9 says this: “He settles the barren woman in her home, as a joyful mother of children.”

As I well knew, by definition, barren women don’t have children. And yet, there it was. What was I to make of it?

The Amplified Bible parenthetically describes these as “spiritual” children, which makes sense. But as families around the country gather this weekend to celebrate mothers, I can gratefully testify that this verse has come to pass in my life.

Literally, not figuratively.

Sometimes I think I refrain from praising God publicly for his specific blessings because I don’t want to cause undo pain for someone else. I tread carefully even now, never forgetting the anguish this time of year can cause for women who are struggling to conceive. I still don’t relish going to church on Mother’s Day, because I remember. I look around and wonder, Is anyone here feeling what I used to feel? The ache, the sadness, the loneliness?

I remember what it’s like, and my heart breaks for those who are there now.

And then I go home, to the two lovely ones whose presence allows me to call myself a mother, and to my husband, who traveled every step of the rocky road to parenthood with me, and I remember something else. I remember how God turned this barren woman into the joyful mother of children. And I can barely keep myself from shouting His praises from the rooftops.

We’ve always told our girls a little story that goes something like this:

“We wanted children for a long time. We prayed and prayed that God would give us just the right ones for our family. Out of all the babies in China, he chose the two of you, for us. And we are so glad he did.”

Eight years after we adopted our second daughter, I still haven’t gotten over it.

Life hasn’t always been kind since then. Like everyone else, we’ve weathered economic storms and personal challenges. But the story of God’s faithfulness in creating our family endures. And it gives me hope that the God who answered our prayers so remarkably in the past will never leave us or forsake us, no matter what the future holds.

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up today with the lovely ladies at Missional Women.

This column originally appeared in the Kansas City Star.

17 Responses to What This (Barren) Mom Thinks on Mother’s Day

  1. I don’t know what you feel like firsthand, but I have several friends who have struggled with infertility and have seen their pain. In honor of them and those who have lost their mothers, I wrote this post: http://www.sunshineandspoons.com/2016/05/a-mothers-day-reminder.html

  2. Hello from another Lois! Had to chuckle when I read on your about page about it being an “old aunt” name! I always seem to get the Superman comparison!

    This post is beautiful and so encouraging to me… Deep in my heart since I was a little girl, has been the desire to adopt. Although I have no reason to believe at present that my husband and I would have difficulty conceiving, I still dream of adoption. I know it’s a tough road, and one that, financially, we cannot afford right now (in fact, we wonder if we’ll ever be able to afford it… but we know that God will provide if and when He calls us to adopt). I do feel that He has planted it in my heart, though… I guess it all comes back to “nothing is impossible with God”. Thanks again for sharing. Same name, same love for adoption… It’s been great to “meet” you, my sister (or twin!) in Christ 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      It’s lovely to meet you too, Lois! Is Lois a family name for you? In my case, I’m the sixth of seven children and all of us have Bible names. I’ve also heard the Superman jokes, especially when I worked as a newspaper reporter (groan). 🙂 I’m glad the post was encouraging to you. I’m trusting with you that God will make a way if He calls you to adopt. Your willingness and passion for it is so inspiring, and it’s also a huge first step if you do end up on that road some day.

  3. Jenni DeWitt says:

    We struggled with infertility as well. What a beautiful post! And I’ve never noticed that verse. Thank you for pointing it out! I’m sharing this with my readers.

  4. Oh so true. We never know what anguish others are going through. I know your words here are going to give someone hope!

  5. Beautiful Lois. I love God’s faithfulness. I loved the picture that gave me a glimpse into your family. You have so much to be thankful for. Your words bring feelings of hope! Cheering you on from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thanks so much, Kelly. Among all the situations in life where we just have to trust God, never fully knowing the “why” behind the struggle or pain, I love it when He sometimes gives us a glimpse of His purpose or plan. My family is a good example of that for me, and yes, I am profoundly grateful for that!

  6. Veronica says:

    Lois, your girls are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Happy Mother’s Day.

  7. Lois, when I read your title, I was thankful you were my neighbor at Coffee For Your Heart. As a barren woman, I looked forward to hearing your thoughts and pray your heart is filled with joy this mother’s day, even as you remember those like me.

    As for me I am learning to accept and even embrace the plan God has for me, even though it is one I wouldn’t have chosen. : )

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Learning to embrace God’s plan can be really hard, but the peace it brings is worth it, don’t you think? Thank you for your gracious comment, Crystal.

  8. Kristine says:

    Beautiful story, Lois. And what precious girls! Thank you for sharing this important message. Visiting from #rara linkup. Blessings!

  9. Lois,
    What a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness and for your daughters to experience being adopted the way God adopts each of us…Thank you for praising God and for encouraging other women…Lovely photo of you and your girls 🙂

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