Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Grandchildless - The renewed sting.

I will not become a mother, or a grandmother in 2013, or any year thereafter. I won’t have a brag book to carry around and I won’t have stories of my children figuring out what grandma name to call me. I think I would have liked Gramela, but who knows? It won’t ever matter. I won’t know the feeling of the baby who was part of me, having a baby who is part of her. I won’t see my legacy in future generations, raised by me and the man God gave me to love. We are not parents. We did not choose it. Childlessness chose us.

So, my life looks different than the life of my parenting, and now grandparenting, friends. Life sometimes passes us by because the world revolves around families. People become friends with the parents of their children’s playmates, or with people who have children close in age to their own. It’s a great bonding experience for most Americans. For some of us, it feels like we are on the outside of a grand game; and no one picked us for their team. It’s not because we don’t have a lot to offer, or that others don’t find us friend-worthy. It just takes more effort on our part to reach out, but reaching out involves being in close proximity to the thing we want most: children. So, sometimes, we withdraw into painful loneliness and even shut out those who love us most.

It’s hard to put yourself out there when the chances of heartbreak are nearly 100%. I consider myself to be healed from the heartbreak of infertility. I’m not angry about it, and I LOVE new babies, born to my friends and young couples I meet through church or work, or wherever. I love hanging with my friends kids and being a sounding board and sometimes even an advice giver when they ask for it. But, as we reach our middle forties…and our friends’ children are starting families of their own, Grandchildlessness has reared it’s head. I knew it would. I wrote about it in my book on childlessness and insisted that chapter stay in the book. It’s important.

Infertility did not stop when I came to terms with childlessness. The ramifications will slap me in the face, at least occasionally, until I breathe my last breath this side of Heaven. It can either break me to the point of depression, self-loathing and endless grief, OR I can choose to live out the plan God has for my life. The plan he knew before I was conceived and still chose to put in place the moment I was  formed in our mother’s womb. He knew me, He knew my pain, and died to bear my sorrows. The brokenness was redeemed, by Him, almost 2ooo years before I was born.

The only cure for my heartbreak is to rejoice. A rejoicing heart can go through heartache, but it will not be broken. A rejoicing heart gives thanks in every situation and worships God from a place of purity and passion.  A rejoicing heart shines the light of Jesus everywhere it goes and the Holy Spirit radiates from it. Yes, rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn, bear one another’s burdens, and let Him raise me up on wings as eagles; that’s the life I want, that’s the relationship I want.

My pain is not greater than anyone else’s pain. It’s source is different, but we all have a cross to bear. There is pain and anguish I will never experience, things I will be spared, simply because I am childless. Is there a greater pain than burying your child? I will not experience that devastation. Is there heartache when your child chooses dangerous paths? I won’t be put through it. Yes, there is grief in my childless heart and there was a time that It could not be consoled. But it is finished. Bring on the brag books and baby shower invitations…I want to rejoice!


  1. And here I was teaching the girls to call you Mrs. Pamela. I know it's not the same, but we can have the conversation about what they should call you. I love your transparency, and beautifully written, as always, my friend.

  2. Just ordered your book, and found this blog. Thank God. I am 25 years old, and my husband and I have been trying to conceive for 5 years. I feel like when I read your words, it's like I'm reading my own thoughts. I pray and hope someday, I can overcome my devastation and grief and find someway to move on and become happy again. Thank you for sharing your story and feelings to the rest of us out there. It is so lonely sometimes!

    1. Thank you. I hope the book is helpful for you. I know how hard the first years were for us. I pray that you receive your miracle. There are three miracles for those of us who cannot conceive, of course the first is that of having a baby, another is the miracle of adoption, and the third, is no less a miracle, and that is the healing of our hearts. I received the third, and life is much different than I had dreamed, but beautifully blessed, nonetheless. God bless you as you travel this journey.

  3. Thank you for your blog! What you have written is my life also. The only difference is that I still retain my uterus and ovaries. Even at almost 58 and on the other side of menopause there are still moments when the thought comes...Sarah was well advanced in years but God blessed her with Isaac...I don't think that hope will ever end this side of heaven.

    The comment I find totally insensitive is the mother who casually says, "I struggled with infertility too! It took me 8 months to conceive my second child".

    And thank you for understanding that even an unconceived child can be mourned.

    Knowing there is another woman out there that "gets it" has been a real blessing to me. I am thanking God that he led me to your blog today. God bless you for your ministry!


    1. Thank you for your comment Audrey. I am glad it was what you needed today. That is exactly why I wrote the book, and why, when a thought strikes me, I blog. Because we are not alone in this journey, but it can be one of the loneliest roads we'll ever walk.

      Blessings to you.