Friday, May 23, 2008

"The Year of Living Biblically"

I am currently reading this book by A.J. Jacobs. The book is funny, humbling and inspirational, I really like it. Almost right off the bat, the author talks about his and his wife's struggle with infertility. Although he shares his personal journey, he also relates it back to the bible. Here is an excerpt from his book:

"Conception was a huge preoccupation of the ancients. If you think about it, many of the Bible's most famous stories center on the quest to get pregnant. Abraham and Sarah probably had the hardest time conceiving of anyone in the Bible, if not history. At one point, the seemingly barren Sarah became so distraught, she lent her Egyptian handmaiden to Abraham as a concubine. That union produced Ishmael, the forefather of Islam. A few verses later, God and two angels visited Abraham and Sarah's tent and announced that Sarah would soon be pregnant. Sarah's reaction? She laughed, presumably with skepticism. In her defense, she was ninety years old. But God fulfilled his promise, and the nonagenarian matriarch gave birth to Isaac — Hebrew for "he will laugh."

And then there's Rachel. Rachel and her older sister Leah were both married to the clever shepherd (and my namesake) Jacob. Leah was a procreation machine — giving birth to no fewer than six sons and a daughter. But Rachel remained childless and heartbroken. At one point she said to Jacob, "Give me children or I shall die!" Another time, Rachel bought some mandrakes from her sister — mandrakes are a Mediterranean herb once thought to be an infertility cure. But it was to no avail. Finally God "opened Rachel's womb," and she gave birth to Joseph, he of the multicolored coat.

There is an upside to the Bible's infertility motif: The harder it was for a woman to get pregnant, the greater was the resulting child. Joseph. Isaac. Samuel (whose mother pledged her son to God as thanks for the conception). These are some of the giants of the Hebrew Scriptures."

Greater the resulting child? I can handle that. Something about this info gives me peace. I think its reassurance that the result is more than worth the struggle.


lovealways6565 said...

shannon i love this! It realy does give you a sense of peace knowing that the result will be greater in the end! :)

MrsDutchie said...

The book sounds great! You will have to let me know how it is when your done!

Ro said...

I love it, Shan. I'm constantly telling myself that this whole process will be worth it when I hold my little one. I know that it will be worth it for both you and me.


jbwife said...

Shannon, you don't know how much this means today!! It has been a hard couple of days and those words give me such peace. Thank you for sharing.

Goosesgirl said...

Oh my God. I love that exerpt. It totally puts things in perspective for me and makes me think that all my frustrations with this or that will result in something so monumental. Thank you for sharing this and make sure to let us know how the book ends!

Cezanne said...

That was a beautiful passage very inspirational.