"Sir, do you remember me?" Hannah asked. "I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord."
- 1 Samuel 1:26
On a beautiful summer night, December 2015, I attended a women’s camp with some close friends. It was such a beautiful evening; the praise and worship event was held outside. Picture a big lawn surrounded with tall trees close to the foot of a mountain. Worship was being led by a husband and wife team; and as they were about to start one of my friends gasped and pointed to the sky. Two clouds were forming a huge cross right above the camp site!
During worship my friends surrounded me and prayed with me. Only they knew the desires of my heart. At one point, the worship team paused, and the husband said: “Hannah, the Lord says he heard your prayers!“
We had been struggling with infertility for more than 10 years by then.
Even though it’s millennia apart, there’s a lot of resemblance between Biblical Hannah and modern-day Hannahs (women like me who’ve struggled with infertility today).
Hannah was Elkhana’s first wife, but because she couldn’t have children, he married Peninnah who bore him children. Hannah was tormented by the fact the Peninnah had children. Just like Hannahs today. We might not be taunted anymore, like Penninah did with the Biblical Hannah, but we are tormented in other ways. We are torn between being happy for a pregnant friend and being sad about our own barrenness. We are then being pushed aside by our pregnant friends because they don’t know how to deal with the situation. And we don’t blame them, because we don’t know either!
Elkhana loved Hannah. When he presented his sacrifice, he gave Hannah a choice portion of the meat. He was concerned for her well-being when she was sad and didn’t want to eat.
Many marriages fail today due to the burden of infertility and the stress of treatments. We get so involved in the infertility battle that we forget to take care of our marriage. We forget that our husbands are struggling too.
In the Bible story, each year the family would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice. And today, I can relate because worship is what kept me going. Even when I couldn’t utter a word, when I couldn’t get myself to get out of bed. Prayer and worship. With tears streaming down my face.
Hannah didn’t seek to take matters in her own hands. She accepted God’s promise when Eli sent her off with a blessing. Sarah (another woman who struggled with infertility in the Bible) gave her slave to Abraham and when the angels proclaimed that God would give her a child, she laughed. Hannah, however, went back and began to eat again. She was no longer sad.
To the world it might seem that I too took matters into my own hands. But God led us, through various channels, by sending the right surgeons and medical specialists to us to work a miracle in our lives. We didn’t go on the hunt for help, help came to us!
By the next December I discovered that I was pregnant and in August 2017 our perfect little girl was born. December 2018 I met up with some ladies that I met at the 2015 camp and I said, “Do you remember me? I am the very woman who stood up several years ago praying to the Lord.”
Hannahs of the world, keep on praying. The Lord says He hears you.
1. You might not be the one struggling with fertility issues today, but you might know a friend who does. Take a moment and send this devotion to her. Let her know that you are thinking about her.
2. If you are Hannah, and if you feel that life is getting you down, like it did with me. Write down someone’s name that you can process your feelings with.
Dear Lord, Hannah’s story teaches us so much about faith and trust. Her story goes beyond that of a woman dealing with infertility. Let us be reminded of Hannah every time we have doubt.
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