Accepting the Empty Womb
By: Divine Connections
The dreaded question: why you do not have children? I have been asked that question hundreds of times. And it has been one of the most offensive questions anyone can ask a woman that does not have children. Whether she has made it a personal decision, or if it is a medical issue, it can be a gut punching question. Sometimes I ask myself do people really understand how offensive it is to ask questions about a woman’s fertility.
Now that I am 49 years old, I find it more of an insult than a concern that some may pretend to have. Over the years I have always answered I’m too young or not ready. Now, age has revealed the devastating news that it will never happened. It leaves you in position of hiding a public secret that nobody wants to talk about. For me, not having any children was not my personal choice. My body made the choice for me without my permission. I think that is the worst kind of betrayal, being double crossed by your own body.
From a young girl it always seemed to be so easy to have a baby. Every female around me was pregnant, but no one talked about the flip side of the coin; not being able to have a baby. I feel, as a black race, we do not talk about our female family members that do not have or could not have children. We have created a secret society that women, like myself, who desire to have children, but cannot because of medical issues. I think the pain becomes even worse when you do not have the outlet to grieve the loss of a child you never had.
Even now, being a Christian, it’s never discussed in the original text it was presented. The bible used the word barren. The definition describes it as; not producing or incapable of producing offspring, unproductive, unfruitful. The definition itself seems cruel and hurtful to describe a woman’s status. In the church we preach from the scripture about Hannah, who was barren, but we never really dealt with the issues that came along with that very subject. I guess if we don’t talk about it, it really doesn’t exist. For my entire adult life, I have sat back and suffered in silence right in church, because being barren is taboo to discuss. Not being able to have a baby, means you do not have faith in your God.
The most ignorant statement a woman can make to another woman who cannot have children is “you are blessed.” How can you be unfruitful and blessed at the same time? I have accepted the fact that God’s answer to my prayers about having children was No! I decided to embrace being a childless woman and accepted God’s Will for my life; to help other women who will be in my same situation one day. It will be a link to my ministry; a childless woman ministering to other childless women.
You can’t really help someone with an issue you never had. It’s hard to say ‘I understand’ when you haven’t ever walked in those shoes. I accept the calling upon my life for God to use me to speak life and encouragement into women who are facing the same answer from God as I did, No! It was not my choice, but God’s Will. Now I understand the words of God that say, “God will not put more on you than you can bear.”
In the beginning it did not seem like I could bear the thought of me not having children, but over time the weight has become lighter. Believe it or not, I really was angry with God for a long time. But God and I turned that anger into passion. I thank God and author Lisa W. Tetting for the opportunity to express, for the first time in writing, a real serious struggle that is alive today. This will be the start of a new beginning for a lot of women around the world, who really need an outlet to express their disappointment of being a childless woman… Not By choice. I, June Joyner-Bynum, am “Accepting the Empty Womb.”