If I Can’t Raise Children

She was infertile, like me. Yet, somehow, someway, God opened her womb and she bore children. But then they said no more. Impossible.

The last baby, he wasn’t suppose to be. The doctors said no, so we feared something was wrong, but it wasn’t cancer or questions, it was another son.

When we got the call, I sat down and cried. Great heaving sobs. Joy unspeakable. I scrawled into my journal, “It’s almost like something deep inside me sighed and said, Oh, yes, God IS good. I knew it, but I doubted. I’ve tried so hard not to, but I did.”

Something settled hard into me that day. I looked around with clearer sight. I saw things for what they were, instead of what the enemy was whispering.

I read Isaiah 58, where God promises to those who leave behind their fake religion and petty beliefs for true fasting, true belief, that He will make them like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. They will be called Repairer of Broken Walls and Restorer of Streets with Dwelling.

Names that whisper the hope of life. 

My journal scrawled the words of truth, scraping them into my being:

So far, all the tests tell me “no” to the children I desire. Yet, still, here I sit with a little boy at my table, smiling up at me. An infant sleeping in the pack ‘n play in the bedroom. A five-year-old getting off the bus at 3. A fourteen-year-old who calls me “Ma”.

No, they are not the children I longed to give birth to, nor the orphanage of children I thought of, nor anything else I dreamed up– But they are the ones God has given to me today.

And today I say, God is good. God is faithful. 

I taped the verses from Isaiah 58 to my windowsill, and wrote down the list of my heart.

The “if I can’t raise children” list

If I can’t raise children then God must have more for me. So I will trust. 

If I can’t raise children then I will be a repairer of broken walls in other people’s lives. 

If I can’t raise children then I will bless and encourage those God places in my path.

If I can’t raise children then I will love, with a mother’s love, every child I meet. 

If I can’t raise children then I will pray restoration into the lives of each person I am around. 

I stopped fasting and praying for the fulfillment of my desires, and instead began praying for the grace to fulfill my list. Like a well-watered garden, the verses said, like a spring whose waters never fail. I tasted the wetness in my heart, the living water bubbling. Repairer of Broken Walls, the names filled me up, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. 

Today, as I read the journal entries, the verses in my Bible– underlined and highlighted, circled and dated– I breathe deep. God is good. Always, always good.

For each of us, He marks out a path. A road to travel. And He walks beside us, every step of the way. Breathing miracles into our physical lives, and more often, into our hearts. Watering the soil with His grace, His mercy, His hope, His love.

I pray that instead of being known as “barren” I might be known as Restorer and Repairer.  The one who speaks Truth into the lies the enemy is whispering.

The lies about needing marriage to be fulfilled. The lies about needing children to have worth. The lies about needing a certain income, or certain clothes, or certain jobs, or certain positions.

Take your pen, friends, and write. If I can’t get married then… If I can’t have children then… If I can’t work this job then… If I can’t be this then… 

What will you choose to be if your desires aren’t met?  Will you be a Repairer? A Restorer? Or will you sit still and listen to the enemy feeding you lies about your worth?



4 thoughts on “If I Can’t Raise Children

  1. Thank you for this. Chances are we will never have children, despite wanting them very much. I don’t know what to think about the fact that God COULD change this fact but seems disinclined to do so, 10 years of marriage later.


    • I understand the struggle with those questions. May you see the Lord redeem the pain in ways you could never have imagined. ❤ ❤


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