"Sing, O barren, you who did not bear a child. Break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child. For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says the Lord" (Is. 54:1).
This passage spoke to me a decade ago. I felt God was using it to make a promise to me. Yet here I am, years later, still holding only the promise in my hands.
Some would say I misunderstood. It was just emotion and hope; God didn't really say anything to me.
Or did He?
As time has passed, God has periodically reminded me of His promise. I've had people who know nothing about this pray about my "mother's heart." He's even given me glimpses or visions of what he has planned. Children are definitely part of my future.
Has the wait been hard? Of course. I've wept and cried out, feeling the stretch of the delay in the womb of my heart, sometimes wondering how much more I can bear.
"More are the children of the desolate woman ... ."
It's easy to feel forgotten. It's almost expected to be depressed when things haven't turned out like we expect.
But I want to let you in on a secret. The Hebrew word for "being desolate" also means being amazed or astonished.
"More are the children of the woman who is in awe and wonder at God's goodness ... ."
Sure I could still get married and have children. But that wouldn't cause anyone to gasp in amazement. And the ache I feel can't be eased with the American dream of "us four and no more."
I want hundreds. And that's the promise.
"More are the children ... ."
How will it work? I don't know all the details. But I do know my God. He always goes over and above, far beyond what I could imagine or think.
So I don't let go.
I take a deep breath. I look up. I see the anticipation in His gaze as He whispers, "Just a little while longer."
I clench my fingers a little more tightly around a promise only He can fulfill.
I exhale. I smile. His faithfulness is unmatched. It's coming.
And He's told me to sing in the waiting.
Karen Ramsey is a special education teacher and blogger.
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