I Samuel 1:1-28
Kevin and I were married in June of 1988. As most newly-wedded couples, we assumed children would be the next step in our lives. It became apparent that would not be the case with us, and for years we struggled with infertility. There was a point in my life in late 1991 that I remember praying on my face to God one night. I was distraught over my father’s declining health, and I remember God gave me a comforting promise during that prayer that led me to believe we would one day have a child of our own. After years of going to doctors, medical testing, and being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disease, that promise was pushed to the back of my mind, and we came to terms with the harsh reality that we may possibly never have a child of our own. I told myself it didn’t matter, that I could feel complete without ever experiencing being a mother. But, deep inside, the insecurity continued, ever reminding me that I was less than other women. I couldn’t even do the one thing women are meant to do….conceive and bear a child. There were times that I would feel that deep ache inside, and I would wonder why it had to be this way. I knew of others who had no problem conceiving babies, and who did so on a regular basis, only to abandon them and leave them with grand-parents and other relatives to raise. Others came to mind, who regularly conceived babies, only to abort them early in the pregnancy. I thought, “Lord, WHY? Kevin and I have SO much love in our hearts for each other, and we would have so much to give a child.” Not in the way of material possessions per se, but by providing it a secure, loving environment in which to grow and thrive. As the years passed, I struggled with bitterness and resentment when I heard women I worked with complain about their children. I would hear them speak of how they couldn’t wait to send them to school, so they could get on with their lives and careers, and I just wanted to scream out to them, “Don’t you realize what you have?” The last OB-GYN I visited ran a series of tests on me and delivered the most grave baby news that we had yet received. She told me that even with fertility drugs, my chances of ever conceiving a child were very slim. Her words hurt. They sounded so permanent and cold. She left the option open to us about taking fertility treatments, even though she gave us little hope of it helping our situation. We made the decision that God would have us just leave it in His capable hands, and we declined the treatments. During those days, I remember reading about Hannah, and I felt a deep bond of understanding develop between myself and this noble woman. I remember reading of how she was taunted by another woman and ridiculed for her inability to conceive a child and how her husband, Elkanah, tried to comfort her by asking, “Hannah, why weepest thou? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?” I Samuel 1:8 KJV Many times, Kevin would hold me, and in his sweet, gentle way, tell me the same kinds of things. His words were soothing, and I knew he meant every one of them. But, the deep void in my heart remained. A woman is created with a nature to nurture, to care for, and to “mother”, if you will. Why couldn’t I just do what a woman was meant to do? Every now and then, I would remember that promise from so many years before, and I would wonder about it. Why didn’t God fulfill it? Had I even heard His voice? Did He really promise me that? Sometimes, when God makes a promise to us, we think it will be fulfilled immediately. The truth is, He is not on our timetable. He isn’t boxed into our whims and wishes and demands. He fulfills His promises in His Own time, but He never makes a promise that He doesn’t keep. I loved reading the ending of Hannah’s story, and how in due time (God’s timing), she was granted the desire of her heart…a baby boy, whom she named Samuel. In due time, twelve and a half years after we made our vows to each other, on December 26, 2000, (over nine years after my special promise!), Kevin and I were granted the desire of our hearts….a baby boy, whom we named Zachary. Kevin chose the name…on the day our ultrasound showed we were having a boy. Up to that point, everyone had told me I was carrying a girl. We already had a girl’s name picked out….we would name her Hannah, of course! As we left the doctor’s office after the ultrasound revealed I was carrying a boy, it hit us that we better rethink our baby’s name! Kevin casually remarked, “I like the name Zachary…I’d like to call him Zach.” I liked the name, too….it just seemed to feel right and fit. One day, a few years after Zachary was born, I was in a Christian Book Store looking at the little name cards that show a name’s meaning. I looked for Zachary, and I stood there amazed at what I was reading…..the name Zachary literally means “The Lord Remembers”. Wow! As I stood there and the reality of what I was reading sunk in, I was amazed at Kevin’s choice of names. The Lord does remember. He never forgot His promise to me…all those years later. Even after I had doubted Him, doubted whether or not I had even heard Him, doubted my own ability to distinguish His voice, the Lord remembered. And His timing was absolutely perfect.