Every time she visited her newborn nephews and nieces, and her relatives asked “when is it your turn”, her heart broke a little. But she couldn’t tell them just how much she wanted a child too, and that she and her husband have been trying so hard. They made visits to an infertility and IVF clinic, unbeknownst to her relatives. But every nervous telephone call in half-whispers to the clinic for results of post-implantation serum BHCG levels were met with sad answers, and her heart broke a little too each time. Another embryo missed its chance… She found a room to cry a little, even at work. And a week after each call, every discharge down below she noticed herself having reminded her sorely of the failed attempts, and her heart broke a little more.

She took a month or two off to escape the people she knew. The small oncology department became one nurse short, and she was missed. When she returned, it had been three years or four since she and her husband first started trying, and several thousands of dollars given to IVF clinics (and they weren’t rich by any means) — but she was resolved to try again.

One year after I left, when social contacts had slowly and unknowingly been replaced with new ones, on a random day when I was dry coughing quite badly, I got told she had given birth to a healthy baby girl. What joy!! The child was given a beautiful name to celebrate a yearning of many years met. I remembered the box of chocolates she once gave me to thank me for helping out with some medical certificates and prescriptions (and listening too, probably), which I was embarrassed to accept. I’m so very glad it all worked out in the end, truly.

But how many desires, how many yearnings in this world — legitimate as they may seem — continue unmet? Even when years have passed with no return, and we grow weary and our lives made bitter, who is so strong to still be able to comfort and satisfy?

Here I know God is a God of recompense, and He is mighty enough.

2 responses to this post

  1. David Sia
    // reply // #

    Very touching and beautifully written. Just in my bible reading, I find it interesting that barrenness is a recurring theme in the patriarchal history.

    • // reply // #

      Absolutely… paradoxically it is a means by which God gives grace. and related to this is this thought too on jazzsalmon.

      As an addendum haha — here are some verses that came to mind as I wrote this entry: Deut 3:23-27 (how it grips my heart!!!), Isa 56:3-5 (this has become one of my favourite verses!), Joel 2:25 (God is able)

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