On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Empty Arms

This is a moment to honestly lament, or maybe to ramble - a moment to wallow in the proverbial sea of self-pity. Sunday was a day of celebrating Mothers and being a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother for millions of wonderful women.

Nana Diana beautifully expressed in her blog the sadness for many who “have deep, dark pains that hide beneath some of the smiling faces … aches that are too deep to share with anyone.”

But there are thousands others with deep, dark pain that lurks in their soul and hearts of the longings that were never fulfilled - the desire to simply be a Mom. On Mother’s Day, I don’t begrudge the joy of those who celebrate and revel in the love of their children. In fact, I rejoice with them. I rejoice and enjoy the “bonus kids and grandkids” of my own, whom I love with all my heart. I’m not forgetting that though I never had a child, I was a child, and did have a wonderful and loving mother. I have a friend whose own mother told her she wished she had had an abortion. Many of my friends have husbands who do not love them. Several have children who have brought great pain and disappointment to them or they never even see them.

But Mother’s Day brings to mind all the feelings, the “bitterness of soul” and disappointments of somehow being incomplete … being different … somehow a second-class woman. Like Hannah in First Samuel, I wept many tears. How well I can remember the pain of yearning, hoping, grieving. Month after month, year after year, and losing hope that it would ever happen for me, as I listened over and over again to others relating to me their great news and watched them raise families. And the emotions on Sunday, and then Monday morning continued to rise and fall within my heart and I know they will once again be pushed down inside. Those emotions don’t really rise up as often as they used to. Years ago, I accepted that it would never be, and so I am able to rejoice with others in the excitement of their pregnancies and their experiences of birthing babies and raising children.

How could I ever describe it to you? Only one who has been there and desired it so deeply could ever understand. Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, didn’t understand. He said to her, “"Why are you crying, Hannah?" . . . "Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn't that better than having ten sons?" (I'm thankful to say my own DH is sympathetic to my feelings.)

The feeling isn’t even one of loss - because how can you lose something you never had? But there is grief. Somewhere I remember reading this is “unrecognized loss.”

I won’t go on and on. My life is too blessed as it is. For whatever reason, there is a reason. There is a purpose for everything under heaven, and I understand all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose. So the purpose of these few paragraphs are to try … I said try … to get this off my chest and go on with my day - my life, which I will most certainly do. Life is too wonderful to wallow in self-pity for more than a few hours or a day. I remember a line from Anne of Green Gables that has stuck with me. “To be in despair is to turn your back on God.” I refuse to despair. Life is too good.

God has been far too good to me for me to wallow - and I know He understands this brief lament. But God also knows every unexpressed thought and every unexpressed desire. He knows. He is Good. He has richly blessed me with His love, and with a husband who loves me, whose children loved and accepted me from the beginning, and their children know me as their Nonnie.

This post wasn’t written for sympathy, and it wasn’t written to counsel anyone. Everybody is different. Everybody has different feelings, depths of grief. But if I could offer any word of encouragement, it would be to say, don’t give up trusting God that He knows and understands what you feel. Explore prayerfully the avenues you can to bring your dream to pass, but don’t let it become your god, define who you are, or become your obsession. Help somebody else. Be a loving daughter, sister, aunt, friend. Volunteer to help somebody else. Some people thought it was crazy that a woman with no children wanted to lead a Brownie troop, work in Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, or babysit for others. Believe me, you will be appreciated, and you will find joy in giving!

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
(Psalm 56:8 NLT)'
It is comforting to know that our tears don't go unnoticed, but life is better when we find that His grace is sufficient.


  1. You know I have a ton of unshared grief/loss. I could spend my time dwelling on it - and truthfully I have done that. Went through all the stages of grief through so many things. I think going through a lot of grief makes your stronger. St. Teresa asked that God didn't think she was that strong to keep getting all the trials.
    What did it teach me - to rely on Jesus every single minute or every single hour of every single day. I can't do it alone.
    I am not sure what loses you have - but hugs and love to you.
    There are so many hurting people out there now - even though I have had my share of losses and trouble - I feel so blessed.
    Love, sandie

  2. Nonnie, you have an amazing attitude. What a blessing you must be to those who have had the opportunity to know you! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  3. You seriously are a blessing! I think many of us have grief on this day for one reason or another. I'm so sorry for yours! My grief most often comes because of the estrangement from one of my children. There are no easy answers, just a great big God who loves us through these rough days!

  4. such an inspiration you are, beautiful post,

  5. You've "done a good thing" in sharing this with others. Is there anyone who can't identify with the feelings, even tho their circumstance might be different. Your reliance upon God and his plan for your life always speaks to me. You are definitely an "Over-comer". I'm so glad God planted you in my path, cause you have ministered to me in many ways, and I am SURE there are others who feel the same.

  6. Nonnie ~ This is a good word for all of us. I, like Chatty Crone, have so many unshared pains and loss. I also, like you know that I am so blessed and have so much. I determined to try and be an encourager on my blog, and since my family (my daughters) are not blog friendly and most of my pain deals with children and family and I respect their wishes to not include them on my blog I keep it on the light side sharing my joys, my grandkids, my cooking and my Lord.
    I so resonate with your story and sometimes LONG to share more deeply and that what I do in my personal journals.
    Thanks again for a deeply personal and meaningful post. I love you dear Nonnie.

  7. What a beautiful, honest post. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know it will help others heal and it will make some of us learn to Thank God more and question Him less. ((hugs))

  8. What an honest, transparent account. I love how you respond to it. We can't choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react, and you've done a great job in bringing honor and glory to the Lord with that.

    Big hugs to you, my friend~

  9. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know it blessed many women.

  10. I loved the way you expressed your thoughts. There is deep emotion around this issue and you handled it with sensitivity and transparency. The passage from Psalm 56 is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Beautifully written. I can relate to a good bit of what you shared. It think that's why my Amber is so special to me. She was a gift I had nearly despaired of receiving. She, in turn, had to struggle the same as I in order to have her precious children. We never know why God has plans that are opposite to our heart's desires.......
    You are an inspiration and thank you for sharing your heart so openly and honestly.

  12. Oh Nonnie, this is so deep and heartfelt...thank you for expressing this so beautifully...from deep within your heart and soul. I know just writing this had to have been so difficult, and yet, so healing in some ways. You have touched my heart. We studied Hannah in our service yesterday...and I felt her anguish of soul. God did hear her prayers and respond. For whatever reason, your prayers were not answered in the way you hoped. We cannot understand all that happened and did not happen in life. But somehow learning to accept our circumstances and trusting God in the midst of disappointment and heartbreak is a stepping stone to drawing nearer to God's heart. We all have our crosses to bear in life...different for each, but still a cross. But Jesus is there to bear our cross for us and to carry us through the sadness and sorrows. Hallelujah! What a Savior. Thank you for your honesty and openness. You are an encouragement to me and to many.