Preparing for Motherhood while Barren
I have spent six years battling infertility. There have been many doctor’s appointments, procedures, surgeries, tests, and tears. I have had to work through an assortment of difficult emotions: anger, resentment, depression, fear, disappointment, and physical pain; along with peace, joy, comfort, self-control, confidence, hope, contentment, and resolve. The Lord’s faithfulness to me through each of these steps has been nothing less than perfect!
There is one thing I wish I would have done earlier on in this process. I should have spent better time preparing for motherhood in my barrenness. Those who know me well may laugh when reading this because I tend to “mother” everyone! However, I’m more specifically referring to inward preparation in response to God’s calling to be a mother. So, as I wait for the children only God can give, I’m stewarding my current season by practicing these things:
Pray. Pray. Pray.
I did not hold prayer and petition before the Lord as highly as I should have early on. As we seek to steward our preparation time well, we must pray about all things! (Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Mark 11:24, John 15:7, Hebrews 4:16). I certainly have not reached a level of perfection in this area (who could but Jesus?), but I now pray specific prayers often.
I pray for the Lord:
- To reveal anything in my heart that needs healing or forgiveness.
- To break generational sins and sorrows in my family line.
- To release blessings on my family.
- To bless my womb.
- For the health of me and my husband.
And then I pray for my unborn children! I pray over their health in the womb, their personalities, their obedience to us parents and God, their salvation at a young age, their wisdom, their friendships, their marriage, and their contributions to the Kingdom!
Investing in My Marriage.
My husband and I will be married ten years on our next anniversary! We’ve had some really hard years where I questioned if our marriage would survive. But we’ve also had some really amazing years where I could not be more grateful God brought him to me. Would you like to know what made the difference? We both submitted to God’s authority. We began forgiving one another, praying for one another, encouraging one another, and compromising for and with one another. Ultimately, we had to get stubborn and just decide we were going to make this work and do it God’s way.
All of these things I’ve mentioned are crucial in preparing for godly motherhood. The more I’ve come to understand God’s covering, protection, and authority that He’s given me in my husband, the more prepared for motherhood I feel. Isn’t that beautiful? I feel more ready and prepared when I’m in alignment with God’s order! My husband and I now regularly discuss how we desire to raise our children. The topics range from proper Bible teaching, salvation, discipline, routines and schedules, their friendships, church involvement, sports, etc. Even though technically having children is still hypothetical, we are preparing ourselves and our marriage.
Observing and Receiving Wise Counsel.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is how intrusive people can be with their opinions and perspectives on parenting. I am very guarded about who I will receive guidance and counsel from in regard to motherhood. However, there is great wisdom in observing others. There’s always something to learn. I always say the silver lining to not having children right when I wanted, is the gift of time to watch everyone else around me have children first. I’ve been very careful to notate all the things I would, or wouldn’t, do when the time comes for me to be a mother.
There is also great wisdom in receiving guidance from those to whom you see parenting biblically. The Word of God must be the standard to which I prepare myself to be a mother. When I see others demonstrating what I see in Scripture, I want to learn everything I can from them!
We don’t have to be burdened and overwhelmed by everyone’s thoughts and feelings regarding motherhood. However, receiving and learning from those who go before us is practicing wisdom and stewarding the preparation time well.
As you await motherhood, I encourage you to lean into the process. Do not despise this season of waiting. Allow the Lord to strengthen, prepare, counsel, and heal you. Invest your time in prayer, your marriage, and learning about Godly motherhood. Trust that God’s ways and timing are perfect!
|Tiffany Layton lives with her husband Lex in Alabama and graduated with a degree in theology from the University of Mobile in 2011. She now serves on staff at her church leading worship, and small groups, and as the church administrator. She loves fall, coffee, songwriting, and staying organized!|