I relate to the boy with the loaves and fish. In John 6, Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand people by taking an anonymous boy’s food, five loaves of bread and two fish, and handing it out. Not only was everyone satisfied, they had twelve baskets full of leftovers.
I feel like that as a writer. All I have to offer are words, and only a few words at that. There are not enough words in me to feed the needs of the world. Yet I offer these words to God that he may bless them and distribute them, and that those who read may be satisfied by him.
All I have to offer are words.
This is what prompted me to write a book about childlessness. There are many childless people on this planet, and I cannot hope to reach all of them, especially under my own steam. But with God, my words might be multiplied enough to help others.
My writing is fuelled by hope. I hope to assure other childless people they are not alone. I hope to promote solidarity as we stand together against isolation and exclusion.
And I hope that, by sharing my childless experience, others might be prompted to share their stories too.
I hope that, by sharing my childless experience, others might be prompted to share their stories too.
Stories are powerful and have the ability to multiply. Have you ever heard a story so captivating you simply had to share it? Stories spread like viruses. They get under our skin. They stick to our minds. They resound in our ears.
They simply must be told.
My own childless journey has been filled with exclusion and rejection. I have been told I am in sin. I have been openly mocked. I have been excluded from playdates. (Adults like to play too.) And I have been informed that a Christian woman’s role on this earth is to bear children.
My particular brand of childlessness is rooted in medical dangers. I have struggled with the grief part and I have struggled with the illness part. There have been times when I have felt like everything is falling apart.
At those times, and by God’s kindness, it is writing that has stepped into my chaos like a ceasefire. It has provided a haven for me, like the eye of a hurricane, like a secret garden. Writing has been the one right thing in my life when everything else is wrong.
Writing has stepped into my chaos like a ceasefire.
And so I write. It is more than a hobby, more than a passion. It is a mission. I simply must write or it will eat me away from the inside out.
Sharing our stories is not always easy. It takes a lot of faith to open up to others: faith that we will be heard, faith that others will be helped, faith that God will bless our words like loaves and fish. We don’t know if or how God might multiply our words. But we hope he will.
It takes faith to open up, faith that God will bless our words like loaves and fish.
Writing is an act of bravery. It defies the silence and stigma surrounding childlessness. It is an act of social rebellion. It is a leap of faith.
I wonder what difference your story will make to the world.
Do you have a story of childlessness? Would you consider sharing your story this World Childless Week, or sharing the stories of others? How might God be prompting you to take a step of faith? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.