I sat working quietly. The two Ladies behind me were old friends. Their lives overlapping at work and in their non-work lives. Both nearing retirement age: both I had known many years. They had known each other for a long time. Decades perhaps. The common denominator for their outside work acquaintance: voices that make up a choir that sings for audiences across the nation. Both can frequently be heard humming or singing to themselves songs I often recognize and some I do not.
They were discussing a trip, perhaps an upcoming singing engagement. They discussed airline preferences, and they talked of plans. I halfway heard what they were saying as I was not actually a part of the conversation. I try not to be an eavesdropper. One joked with the other who has been married a number of years, more years than I have been alive. “Are y’all going on a honeymoon?” The other howled with laughter and managed a “No.” that rolled out with a number of syllables as she laughed.
The Jokester continued, “Well don’t be coming home pregnant.” Now they both were laughing, and honestly so was I. I giggled to myself at their banter. I smiled at their lighthearted friendship knowing there was no offense given and none taken.
“Girl, don’t you worry! I couldn’t make a baby with a recipe!” I was literally about to start laughing audibly.
I thought for sure in this Chess-game-like moves of words, that this was the final move. The check-mate and surrender from the Jokester knowing she’d been one-upped by her opponent. Beat at her own game. They both laughed and as the Jokester carried on with her business she nonchalantly said, “Well you know that’s what Sarah from the Bible said and you know what happened to her.”
Their laugher roared, echoing down the hall. I had to stand up and walk away lest I risk bursting with laughter myself.
I too, knew about that Barren Sarah, the one to whom they were referring, the woman whom God promised to make a mother. The woman who in her old age bore her husband a son, Isaac, whose name means “he laughs.” Abraham and Sarah both laughed. When the Lord promised that baby to the geriatric couple, they laughed.
I’d’ve laughed too. All those years of a fruitless womb, month after month of disappointment. I can understand that. Sometimes I find myself laughing so I do not cry. Sometimes I laugh at the absurdity of some things. I suppose it may have been a combination of both when Abraham and Sarah laughed. They laughed so they did not cry and they laughed at the absurdity of the thought of ever becoming parents together. But just as was promised, within a year Sarah bore a son and he was named Isaac.
I once was barren, I too, once knew that heartbreak, that hoping for a child, that disappointing void I felt, a chasm created between my husband and myself because of unspoken stress, blame, and strain.
I remember that feeling of impossibility that Sarah must have felt too and many barren women since have felt. Another Biblical womb and the question of pregnancy yielded words of impossibility, the speaker asked simply, “How can this be?”
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:30-37
Luke 1:37, NOTHING is Impossible with God. Not A Thing. I wasn’t nearly as old as Sarah when I was barren but I grabbed hold of that promise that nothing was impossible with God, and as it was so with Sarah, my barrenness no longer defined me and became a statement made in past-tense. However, I still cling to that Word like my life depends on it. The truth of the matter is, there is nothing God can not do, His Word says so.