After a long day of meetings I had gladly kicked off my heels, swapped out my dress clothes for some comfy casuals and rummaged through the fridge in search of dinner. My barefoot toes wiggled against the linoleum in comfortable freedom as I brought the thin blade through the bright yellow flesh of the pepper.
I flicked white seeds with my knife and, watching them skip across the cutting board, I realized that in the simplicity of preparing a meal for my small family (just my husband and me), I felt some semblance of femininity creep into my bones and make my flesh warm. Barefoot in the kitchen, yes. Pregnant? Never.
Standing here at the kitchen counter it was as though some small part of me clicked into place. As someone who assumed that my life would be lived in a home full of children, this working outside of the home was anomalous. Coming home to make dinner, however, was a small thing that helped restore my sense of womanhood.
And yet, even there, as my tears sprang to my eyes from the harsh sting of the onion I was slicing, I knew I had to admit I was lost. Floundering. Even slicing peppers and onions, I knew what kind of woman I was: less than. A mere fraction of what a woman should be.
I had grown up in the church: I knew what role women were supposed to assume. I knew that women were supposed to be bouncing babies on knees and wiping jam-smeared faces and snotty noses. The life I lived in the boardroom and on the production floor was second best.
Later that night I posed a question to some friends: if infertility changed how you feel as a woman, what one word would you use to describe that feeling?
Some of their answers:
It was a whirlwind of mixed emotions as I read through their responses, realizing that while infertility impacts what roles we fill, it also etches lasting meaning into how we (and others) view ourselves as women.
And based on the words above, infertility is a broad avenue for the enemy to feed our grieving, wounded hearts lies that sound like truth. As we sit in a church full of mothers, it is so easy to believe the whispered lies that we are less, incomplete, or inadequate.
Lies that seem to have evidence of truth.
Lies that creep into our lives, our marriages, and into our relationships with God.
Lies that sit on our shoulders and hiss that we are only second-rate citizens.
Lies that, the longer we ride this rollercoaster, aim to override Truth:
You are broken, shattered, useless.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)
You are excluded, lost, excommunicated.
I am a child of God. (1 John 3:1-2, Isaiah 43:1)
You are less.
I am His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10)
Walking this road has taught me (the hard way, and through many tears) that we as women, as God’s girls, are so much more than the roles we fill. No matter where life takes us, no matter what path is chosen for us, one thing never changes: we are always His.
We’ll be using this series to explore how to root our identity as women in Christ, not in a role we may or may not fill. I hope you’ll join us.
Are lies of inadequacy or brokenness raining hard and heavy on you today? Will you let us pray for you today?
Author Website: Life as Two
Many thanks to my sweet friends at Hannah's Prayer Ministries for their candid responses to my question!