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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: Barren
By April Bailey


I felt cursed. My womb, which I thought would one day cradle a burgeoning life, was riddled with fibroid tumors. And whatever maternal plans of mine the fibroids didn’t sabotage, endometriosis took up the slack. Pain hadn’t been the issue for the last 20 years; I was used to pain. My monthly adventures with abdominal drilling drained all color from my face and literally sent the room spinning around me on occasion.

I prayed. My husband, friends, pastors, and expectant mothers laid hands on me and prayed. Ancient sisters Sarai, Rebekah, Rachel, and Elizabeth shared my struggle. Everywhere I went, pregnant women caught my gaze — faces beaming, rubbing slow circles on their bellies. But, by the grace of God, even my sisters of old eventually conceived. “Why not me, Lord?” I’d wonder, but soon repent from coveting and the bitterness that promised to follow.

By my 36th birthday, those familiar pains grew greedy, wanting more of my life. A week of pain stretched into two and no degree of strenuous exercise lessened my torment. I visited a physician who launched me on a journey of specialists that finally led to surgery. I’ve had two ultrasounds in my life — a seemingly cruel irony for a childless woman. The first ultrasound came after a debilitating bout with an ovarian cyst that burst. The doctors left me as I lay crying on the emergency room table and, after the test, eventually sent me home with a prescription for aspirin.

When my pain intensified years later, another ultrasound informed the doctor that my abdomen housed a family of fibroids, some as large as baseballs! I reviewed a few options and, considering my desire to conceive, scheduled a procedure to remove them. I prayed the surgery would alleviate my discomfort and, more importantly, make room for a baby.

God carried me to the date of surgery with peace and strength beyond my own. I even gave blood twice (in case they needed it during the procedure) easily and without pain. My orderly sang worship songs as he wheeled me to pre-op. My nurse was friendly and inserted the I.V. as we laughed together. Then I slept.

The three-hour surgery took twice as long, with my mother, husband and friends worrying and praying on my behalf. By evening, I awoke in a haze that made me babble something about the nurse’s pretty eyelashes. At 1:00 a.m., I thanked God for the private room, T.V., and morphine drip. My doctor had removed more than 20 fibroids and layers of scar tissue caused by endometriosis. I went home three days later. Other than the pain, I rather enjoyed my hospital stay.

After months of rest and medication, the sun shone more brightly on my hopes for motherhood. The doctor recommended we try to conceive for one year and, if unsuccessful, then I should start on birth control pills to regulate my body against reoccurrence of fibroids. If I didn’t take them, she said the pain would be so severe I’d “be begging for a hysterectomy in five years.” A tug in my spirit, however, made me question her “wisdom.”

I didn’t conceive in a year … or two … or three. And I refused birth control. When the pain began to reemerge less than two years after my surgery, I grew alarmed. I knew women who’d had multiple surgeries for fibroids and I didn’t want to join them. Pregnancy, I’d heard, created an environment where a woman’s body couldn't produce fibroids. Having a baby, therefore, would essentially cure me. “God, why not me?”

Time was running out and I needed to make a decision. Looking back, it was easy. Trust God. When I did, He led me to resources that helped me develop a natural health regimen. Within months, the pains were diminishing. Today, more than four years after my surgery, they’re only a painful memory. I haven’t returned to that doctor, nor have I conceived. I turned 40 last July and a gradual peace has replaced my longing for motherhood.

To call something barren makes it sounds like a vast wasteland. But to think of myself that way is a lie from the pit of hell. I am no failure as a wife, and birthing a child does not complete me as a woman. Most importantly, God made no mistake in His choice of my family’s composition. I’m certain He looks at my table for two and smiles. It’s exactly the way He planned.

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Member Comments
Member Date
David Story04/27/06
Not only is this beautifully written, but your story is an inspiration for all. God has a plan and we can trust in Him. Thank you for this wonderful article.
Helen Paynter04/27/06
God bless you for your frankness and your powerful example. I especially love the last paragraph for the power of its testimony.
terri tiffany04/28/06
You described a difficult journey for many women. I too loved the answer at the end. Your writing flowed with wonderful word choices throughout.
Jan Ackerson 04/29/06
Even in the early, painful paragraphs, your sweet submissive spirit shines through. Very nice.
Lynda Schultz 05/01/06
What a wonderful testimony! Well done.
Alexandra Wilkin05/01/06
I too was similarly cursed - and He brought me to healing also. A beautiful, honest and tender testomony to faith in Him and the inner strength He brings to you. God bless you.