Childless Women Know All About Unanswered Prayers

Only a year or so after I began my journey with The NotMom brand and the women attracted to it, a very good friend who is also over 50 told me she didn't know "how I could do it." She, like me, once desperately wanted to be a Mom. Needless to say, motherhood didn't happen for either of us. We are at an age where we know for sure, it never will.

I remember telling my friend that I had found acceptance with my Life choices as well as the things that Life chose for me. I no longer cry at the sight of a pregnant woman's extended belly. Thoughts of "what if" don't fill my head anymore before I fall to sleep.

And yet.

Recently, good old Facebook informed me that a woman I really like, who served as a speaker at the first NotMom Summit in 2015, is now pregnant. She is surprised and very, very grateful at the turn her Life has taken.

I would like to think that I would have been OK with the news, were it not for the graphic she used for her announcement. I won't repost her artwork here because then she will surely know that I am referring to her. Instead, I'll just tell you what it said::

"For this child I have prayed" 1 Samuel 1-27

The first time I read her post, I felt a very familiar though invisible dagger puncture my stomach.

I once prayed for a child, too.

Please understand, I am so happy for my friend that I could pop. And call me crazy, but I believe I would have been surprised by her news and happy for her with maybe, may-be, a teensy pinch of heartache. It was the Bible verse that did me in.

I once prayed for a child, too.

My friend's post refers to the biblical story of Hannah. Hannah prayed, and prayed, and prayed. After years of frustrating failure to conceive, the Bible Gateway site explains: "Childless, Hannah was not prayerless. Barren, she still believed, and her pain found a refuge in prayer."

So, what about me? And by the way, I know for sure that I am not the only childless woman bugging God with that question.

At the first NotMom Summit in 2015 when this now soon-to-be-a-Mom was our conference speaker, we also featured a breakout session on Faith. So many childless and childfree women had commented here about their challenges continuing to attend religious services that it seemed a logical programming choice.

In 2017, we are not repeating the Faith session, and I realize, that's probably a mistake.

A basic tenet of any religion is that humans are not as smart as God. I may never know why one particular childless woman's prayer was answered when mine was not.

The idea that God does have good reasons that determine who becomes a parent (and when) and who doesn't is something that I may never know. Basically, the concept that although it is my Life, I am not the one who controls it, keeps me sane.

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