crying silent tears
It was the morning of 31st August, and I was lying in bed mulling over the events of my life with tears trickling out the corners of my eyes. I couldn’t believe that I had just turned 30 and I was still single with no prospects of marriage and no children.
Growing up, like most girls, I had dreamed of getting married, having children and ‘living happily ever after!’' I’d had boyfriends over the years but here I was a 30-year-old childless spinster—left on the shelf. Both my older sisters were married with children and all my friends were either married or getting married…so what was wrong with me?
I was angry with God (because of course it was His fault)! I’d even been to Bible College and was now working as a full-time Church Worker!! And to make matters worse, while at Bible College, I believed God had told me that I was going to marry one of the guys who worked there. However, after many years of believing this, I discovered that the guy didn’t get the same message!
That was a really difficult time for me—trying to fulfil my duties as a Church Worker but inside my faith was wavering and my heart was breaking. I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was struggling with being single so I put on a face and pretended that I was fine but with every engagement, wedding, birth, family event or social event where it was nearly all couples, my heart ached and I cried silent tears.
hiding my sadness
The years rolled on and I became an expert at hiding my sadness. Please don’t get me wrong—I wasn’t sad all the time. I had wonderful friends and family and, between them, my two sisters had provided me with four nephews and two nieces, who I loved to bits, plus several of my friends had children with whom I was able to build relationships and have fun with. My relationship with God improved, but due to health reasons I had to give up my job as Church Worker.
Lots of love to give
By the time I was 43-years-old, I had completed a degree in Occupational Therapy, had a permanent job and had my own home…but still no husband or children and still carrying sadness in my heart. It was at this stage that I asked God,
What now? I have time, a home and lots of love to give.
I contemplated fostering or adoption; however, the option which seemed best suited to me and my circumstances was shared care—which is providing respite for families who have a child with special needs. After a pretty gruelling year-long assessment by Social Work and me praying that God would choose the child that He wanted me to care for, I was introduced to Rob and his family. It wasn’t long before I had fallen in love with this adorable, big blue-eyed little five-year-old who couldn’t talk and had just learned to walk.
After a period of time getting to know each other, Rob came to stay with me every second weekend—and continued to do so for the next 14 years! I vividly remember the first time Rob’s mum called me his second mum! The tears flowed down my cheeks as I realised that, in spite of being single, and in spite of never having given birth, I was a mum and I couldn’t love this amazing wee boy any more if I had given birth to him!
the rare jewel of Christian Contentment
Psalm 113 says,
He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother.
Between Rob, my 16 great nieces and nephews (whom I adore) and the many other children I am blessed to have in my life, I am indeed ‘a happy mother’!!!
God has given me a contentment with my life that I never thought possible and I can now genuinely rejoice with those getting married or having children.
Would I still like to be married?
Would I still like to have children?
—Hmm…….I think that ship has sailed!!
HE GIVES US STORIES ///
Thank you for following along with our Advent series, He Gives Us Stories.
Our prayer is that you have been encouraged as you've read of the exciting and amazingly varied ways God is at work in our church family
Attached you will find our 2018 Update, which includes our vision moving forward and ways that you can invest in this kingdom work. Will you join us in 2019 as we seek to be a church family that loves God and loves people?
We want to personally invite you to be a part of the continuing story of Refuge Church in Glasgow, Scotland. Would you consider linking arms with us through prayer or financial support?
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Happy Christmas and may you know God’s blessing in the year ahead!
—from all at Refuge!