Sunday, September 23, 2012

Abraham & Sarah, the original story of infertility

I grew up hearing the story of Abraham and Sarah, of their desire for children that seemed totally out of reach, eventually of the son they bore, and then of God asking for that son back as a sacrifice. It never really occurred to me, until I heard this song that Sara and Abraham's story was the original story of infertility, and then this story took on a whole new meaning. I came to realize that the desire Sarah had for children was one that was unquenchable, so much so that she sent Abraham to have a child with her servant. Even then I can only imagine the pain Sarah had to feel as Hagar's belly began to swell. The Bible tells us of an anger that grew between Sarah and Hagar, and that truthfully doesn't come as a surprise to me, Sarah spent decades desiring children, and though she suggested her husband bear a child with another woman, I am not sure she imagined the pain it would bring her,. To know that another woman was making Abraham a father and not her, to know that she wasn't the one to grow their family must have been an agonizing feeling. After we lost Sparrow, I felt quite betrayed by my body, that as a woman I was made to carry a child, and my body couldn't even accomplish that very task; did Sarah feel this way? I can imagine that she had the same feelings that I did, wondering why everyone around her could be carrying babies and having children, and she couldn't. Through all of this pain, I can only imagine the joy that came the day that Sarah and Abraham were blessed with their son Isaac. I remember finding out I was pregnant again after our loss, elation doesn't even come close to the feeling I had that day, then the day my son came into this world, and after a long wait took his first breath. It was a joy like I had never known. I can truly say that I only knew such bliss because I had known loss and desire. I know Sarah's joy was also that much deeper because she knew what it felt to truly desire a child, because she had settled into a place in life where her children did not and would not exist. I remember one night in the car, listening to the radio, feeling completely broken, and laying it all at God's feet, telling Him that it was okay if I never got pregnant again, never had another child, and I meant this; I imagine that Sarah may have made the same vow, had this same peace and so to know such a blessing as a child you thought would never be, is joy beyond any other. Then we go on to learn that God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on an altar, oh what faith! To listen to God's promises that you will father nations, that your descendants will be as numerous as the sand and the stars, and then to be asked to sacrifice that, to be the very one to take your long coveted sons life, but God was faithful. Despite the moments of doubt they had, God rewarded Abraham and Sarah, He blessed them, He did what He has long promised to do, He gave them the desires of their heart.

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