Along this journey I have spent much time studying the women of the Bible who also struggled with fertility. Sarah, Rachel and Hannah are the most familiar. Each woman dealt with their infertility in a differently giving a blueprint of how I should or shouldn't deal with it. I decided that I would compartmentalize my feelings and actions about my struggle with infertility, between a Sarah Day, A Rachel Day, A Leah Day or a Hannah Day.
**A Sarah Day is day when I am lacking the faith to believe that God CAN give me a baby and that nothing is too hard for Him. Sarah was the first infertile woman mentioned in the Bible. She went through 90 years of cycles trying to conceive. Her lack of faith caused her to literally laugh when God promised her that she would have a son despite the fact she was beyond childbearing years. God, of course fulfilled His promise and she gave birth Isaac.
**A Rachel Day is a day when I am struggling not to become obsessed with my desire for a baby. A day when I have to ask myself what do I love more? When I first read the story of Rachel I felt sorry for her. She fell in love with Jacob and was supposed to marry him, but her father played a terrible trick on Jacob and he ended up marrying Rachel's sister Leah. When Rachel and Jacob finally married, they were sad to learn that she was infertile. However, Leah was a Fertile Myrtle breeding jealousy in Rachel. Rachel became so desperate to have a baby that she did some pretty horrible things. Her most notable deed was when she pimped out Jacob to Leah in exchange for some Mandrakes (a plant that was considered a fertility drug at that time.) She put too much stock in the mandrakes, as many infertile woman today do with Clomid and IVF treatments. However her actions came back to bite her because on that night Jacob slept with Leah, and Leah conceived yet another child. And Rachel didn't.
Rachel's obsession with conceiving caused to her to be ungrateful for the child she finally did have, Joseph, whose name means "to add" because she wanted God to add more children to her. Rachel's response to getting what she wanted was not to thank God and be happy with her baby, instead she was selfish and wanted more. And when she gave birth again, she died. The very thing that consumed her life, ended up claiming it. The thing that was became more important to her than God, eventually destroyed her. Needless to say...a Rachel day is a bad day.
**A Hannah Day is a day when I decide to worship the God of fertility rather than the fertility gods. In the day of Hannah, many people looked to Baal, who was known as the the god who gave fertility. But Hannah knew better. She knew that only the God of heaven could give fertility and so she prayed faithfully to Him. Her prayer was a heartbreaking plea for God to bless her with a child so that she could raise the child to be a follower of God. She promised to give the child up for God's service if He would give her one. God did. She gave birth to Samuel. When Samuel was old enough Hannah took him to the temple to live. There he learned to be a servant of God. Unlike Rachel, Hannah loved God more than she wanted to be a mother.
I wish I could say that in my life Hannah Days were more common than they are. Unfortunately, I tend to have more Rachel and Sarah Days, even though I strive to have a Hannah Day everyday. I think today is one :)
**I think the examples of these woman can be used in aspects other than fertility. The questions are still the same, the object is different. Ask yourself these questions and insert your struggle in the blank.
1. Is _______ too hard for God? Do I believe God can do________?
(This is the lesson we learn on from Sarah.)
2. Do you love__________more than anything else, including God? What do you love most in this world? Am I obsessed with___________?
(This is the lesson we learn from Rachel.)
3. What or Whom do you worship? (This is our lesson from Hannah)
My hope is that you have more Hannah Day's than than any other!!