Barren and Bitter

How God found me during my years of infertility
Barren and Bitter
Image: Paulio Geordio / Flickr

She leaned across the counter drawing me in with a glint in her eye that said I have something worth shouting, but it’s sacred enough that I’ll whisper.

I had seconds (not hours or even minutes) to prepare myself to not just receive but form a response to the kind of news that would often send me underground for days, in my heart.

“I’m pregnant,” the words her mouth formed matched the look in her eye. She was glowing, expectant in more than just her womb. “We’re having another baby,” she said—almost mischievously, as if her third pass through this rite of passage was carelessly conceived.

My friend’s accident had become the life-dream that evaded me. I’d never wanted what she had until I spent years without it and nothing I could muster could get it for me.

I faked thrill and felt sick on the inside. Did she momentarily forget my deepest heartache or, even worse, had I been waiting so long that she assumed I’d stopped wanting? Had she forgotten my pain? Was she going to acknowledge that this “happenstance” moment only highlighted my loss?

I wasn’t crying out to God from the depths of my ache or placing my bleeding heart in his hands; I was just jealous. And bitter.

It reminded me of the wedding I’d attended of a friend, just out of college, when my giddy girlfriends and I sat around the table moaning about what it would be like to be still single years from then, all of us ignoring the 50-year-old woman sitting with us who, herself, was single. She’s over it, I flippantly assumed when I had that fleeting thought that our conversation might have pained her. She can’t possibly still want that now, I thought callously.

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May 25

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