About halfway through the Lifeshapers course is the Holy Spirit night. After a time of worship, prayer partners team up to pray for course participants, and the Spirit is invited to do His healing and cleansing work in people’s lives.
I was dreading Holy Spirit night: the wound of childlessness was deep and raw, and I was terrified that an awful primal wail might burst from me if my internal pain was exposed.
A few days before the Holy Spirit night, the Lord revealed to me that I had always blamed myself for losing Two and Three by sinning. I shared this with my faithful prayer partner Judy, who prayed into it with me. At home the Holy Spirit reassured me with various Bible verses that Jesus took all the punishment for my wrong when He died and rose again, and that I was forgiven. I tried hard to believe, but still the doubt persisted.
On the Holy Spirit night, Judy and another friend, Pam, ministered to me. As they prayed I saw a picture in my mind of a beautiful meadow full of flowers and grass, with a stream in the distance. I saw three people: Jesus was playing and laughing with two small red-headed children. I watched as the three of them held hands and danced in an ecstatic and exuberant abundance of joy. I’ve never seen anyone as happy and fulfilled as those little children laughing and playing. They absolutely belonged in that wonderful place. It was like seeing a picture of God’s sovereignty and I knew that nothing I did could ever have altered God’s purposes for my twins. God’s Spirit made God’s Word real to me at that moment, and the burden lifted.
I became aware of Judy and Pam quietly praying over me in tongues. Judy offered me a handful of tissues, I hadn’t realised until then that my face was wet with tears. They hugged me and while Pam moved away to pray for someone else, I shared with Judy something of what I’d seen.
With the weight of guilt lifted from me, I finally felt ready to face my childlessness but wasn’t sure where to begin. So I decided to borrow the ‘March of the Penguins’ DVD from a friend because it shows a scene of a penguin losing her chick in a snowstorm. Her heartrending cries are terrible and the only other time I’d watched it, I felt stabbed to the heart witnessing the penguin’s grief. A couple of nights before I watched the DVD, I had a dream: I was talking with Jesus in a room. He invited me to follow Him out of the room because He had something better to offer me, but I wanted to stay in the room and wouldn’t go with Him. In the end He left, but as He walked away He looked back over His shoulder at me and I couldn’t resist the invitation on His face. I left the room and walked towards Him, and He looked so glad. Then I woke up. I recognised that the room was like my childlessness, it was time to leave it behind to pursue Jesus. It gave me courage to watch the DVD.
I watched ‘March of the Penguins’ with plenty of tissues at the ready. The pain went deeper than tears, and at the very depths of the pain, Jesus asked me to give my childlessness to Him. ‘But it’s shameful Lord,’ I replied. ‘Are you sure You want this shame?’ Then I remembered that He had already borne all my shame on the cross and so I felt able to hand it all over to Him.
I know that healing has taken place because my whole way of seeing babies has changed: I no longer see them as threats but as lovable little people that I enjoy cuddling (albeit a bit nervously). I used to dream almost every night about empty houses and empty roads leading nowhere, but from the day I gave my childlessness to Jesus, all of my dreams are crowded with people!
Deep inside me there was a raw wound that I thought could never heal. It would crack open and bleed at the slightest provocation. But it wasn’t beyond Jesus’ gentle, yet powerful, healing touch.
And perhaps the most obvious proof of healing is the new category on my blog: childlessness.