Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ~ Colossians 3:16
I believe I’ve been fighting depression for many years. I believe Satan has been attacking me continually with very little respite since childhood, if not from birth. And I believe he is now attempting to destroy my hope in my future by attacking my womb. I must admit, there have been many times over the past few months where I’ve wanted to give up on my future and let him win.
The thought of Satan counting me as a victory galls me. But not more than the thought of me giving up on God…and His faithfulness. He has promised to provide those who love Him the desires of their heart.
I never imagined facing such a difficulty in both my physical and spiritual life. For my body to come to a point of such finite impossibility and me knowing in my spirit that my God can do anything – teetering on this point of convergence is a test of balance and faith. I thank God regularly for the measure of faith He has given me, for it’s the only thing keeping me from giving myself over to the encroaching darkness intent on consuming me.
I have come face to face with the dragon pursuing me so ardently. I know his intent to steal every seed of hope, joy, love, and faith from me. I know he is committed to destroying anything in me that can be used as a testimony for the glory of God. I understand that he has asked for me and has been granted permission to come against me.
I also know that my life is not his unless I choose to give it to him. And superseding all of that is the knowledge that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has prayed for me. He has prayed that I return to my brothers and sisters in Him stronger than I was before this trial began. And He continues to intercede on my behalf at the right hand of our Father. It is only through faith that I can believe this. It is only because of the measure of faith I’ve been graced with that I have even the slightest sliver of hope of overcoming the darkness in my life. It is my faith that bolsters my spirit and allows my spirit to encourage me by singing songs to my womb.
“Whose report will you believe? / I will believe the report of the LORD!”
She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:10-11
When doctors first explained that the likelihood of me becoming pregnant was a near impossibility, I couldn’t think beyond the fact that they were saying “no” to something I’ve long believed God had green-lighted for me. When they explained different surgical procedures that could either help or continue to hinder my body’s procreative capabilities, my hands immediately went to my belly with a silent guttural cry, “YOU CAN’T HAVE MY WOMB!”
What turmoil I’ve been in since that dark dreadful Friday. I went from blaming myself for all the men I said no to in my possibly fruitful twenties to scolding myself for being a near recluse in my thirties. And of course the thought crossed my mind to go out and find a man to help me prove the diagnosis of barrenness wrong. But in between each gust of wind that takes me to the edge of my reason, my spirit whispers, “Whose report will you believe?” And my mouth sings back, “I will believe the report of the Lord.”
I don’t remember that Saturday, but I remember on Sunday, during our time of worship, one hand stayed on my belly and I kept the other raised in praise as I lifted my womb up to my Creator and Healer. Later that day I researched “when God shuts up the womb.” Now that I think on it, the remainder of Friday and Saturday were spent researching my diagnosis and the possible procedures and their possible results….
There are several mentions of God shutting up wombs in the Bible. And each instance is either preceded or followed by a recipe for God to open the wombs He closed. Remembering these instances keeps my mind off of Satan and his intent to destroy my life so completely that I bear no fruit at all – physically or spiritually. Remembering that God is in control even of the situations He has allowed Satan to interfere in and granted me the free will to choose my actions, brings peace. I have to remind myself that if I have truly surrendered all that I am and all that I’m becoming to Christ Jesus, then that includes surrendering my life and my womb to Him as well. It includes letting go of the worries and concerns of not having the future I’ve envisioned for years. It includes accepting that where I am is where I’m supposed to be and how I am is how I’m supposed to be. I can’t second guess my past or re-write my future. I must trust God and know that His purpose for me is greater than what I see in the darkness of this moment.
That’s what my spirit is telling me. My emotions are another matter. Emotions are irrefutable proof that the Holy Spirit isn’t about quelling our human nature as much as His presence guides and soothes our transition from each height and depth of joy and sorrow.
The description of Hannah’s depressed state in 1 Samuel 1:10 is just as much a description of my own current depression. Her cry and prayer to God is no less heartfelt than my own weeping prayers offered to my Heavenly Father. The recipe that is shown when God is called upon to open a womb He has shut is a lifelong promise of devotion and a covenant to dedicate the first fruit of the previously barren womb to the service of God for the life of the child.
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
and on them he has set the world.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.” ~ 1 Samuel 2:1-10
Look at Sarah’s story. Read about Samson’s mother. Remember Mary – I add the Virgin Mother in this category as well because she was untouched by man, but made pregnant by the Spirit of God. And Mary sang a song too. Then of course there’s Elizabeth, who like Sarah, conceived long after she could have naturally done so outside of God’s plan for her.
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” ~ Luke 1:45
Mary didn’t have an extended period of depression or concern about her future. She was given a word by the angel Gabriel and replied simply, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) Mary knew who she was and was willing to be used however the Lord chose to use her. Songs of thanksgiving and praise. Songs acknowledging the greatness of God and denouncing the pride of man. The Lord God kills and brings to life. He brings us down and raises us up. He is merciful to those who fear him and he guards those who are faithful to Him. God is good. And my desire is to serve Him all the days of my life.
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.” ~ Luke 1:46-50
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:12–13
My song is very simple. Very short. The referenced verses loop through my mind daily.
Satan has asked for me, but Jesus has prayed for me. I’m under vicious attack. Yet I stand. My faith allows me to stand. For my Lord has plans for me. Plans for good, not evil, to give me a future and a hope. There is hope for my future.
God knows. His word is the first and the last in all things. I’m expected to cry and pray to my Father during turbulent times. He’s expecting me to seek Him wholeheartedly at all times. I am where I’m supposed to be. I am how I’m supposed to be as well. By faith, I will continue to praise Him and trust that my life will be everything He wants it to be – and my joy will be complete because my desires will line up with His.
Reference verses: 1 Samuel 1:10-11, 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Luke 1:45-50, Luke 22:31, Job 1:6-12, Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 6:10-20