The Barren Years

These were the days I had dreamed of …

No more pre-schoolers!

No more running after little ones!

No more toys all over the floor!

No more smelly nappies in the laundry!

Free time for me to choose what I wanted to do!  Now I can work for the Lord!

After our fourth child, we decided that was enough, and my husband had a vasectomy.  What a relief!  No more worries over contraception!  A life of freedom for us both!  As a pastor’s wife, I became busily involved in church ministry and the Christian school.

But deep inside, I longed for more children.  “Four is enough” I would tell myself, firmly.  “Our life is full and busy enough without more children” I would argue and then push the desire away from my mind.

One day, while in the kitchen I thought back on my life.  Yes, we had come to the Far North Kaitaia with zeal to serve God and build a church for His glory.  At that time we had a dear seven-month old son, Mark.  Benny and I ministered well together and we both had a strong calling from God upon our lives.  Then, another son was born whom we called Joshua.  Three years later, a third child was born and this times God blessed us with a daughter, Anna-Marie.  Two years later, Benjamin was born.

With four children and ministry, life was hectic, but solidly fulfilling.  As our family grew, so did the church.  Every time I carried a child, I experienced such a zeal for evangelism.  I found that it was easier to meet non-Christians with a baby or toddler.  We had a common bond with our children, so conversations and friendship were easily formed.

 These were the Fruitful Years


Then came the barren years.  Church work became maintenance work.  Benny had his vasectomy.  

 Being Physically Barren Meant I was also Spiritually Barren


I hadn’t let anyone to the Lord for about eight years and that was how old our youngest son was!  I realized that a physical blessing is a spiritual blessing.  My life had been far more fruitful and fulfilling in every way when I carried and had young children.

I enjoyed our four children, but it wasn’t enough for me.  I felt unfulfilled.  “Lord, you made me like this,” I would cry, “What do I do?”  I would ask God to give my husband a desire for more little blessings or take the desire away from me.

Another day while in the kitchen (God always seems to speak to me in the kitchen), an agitation arose in my spirit.  I was now in my early 40’s and I still wanted more children.  I felt I must go and see the doctor about having a reversal.  She said, “Go for it, but it will cost a few thousands dollars!”  My husband was not impressed with having to pay money to have an operation.  I could only surrender my desires to the Lord.

Then three miracles happened:

1. My dear husband, Benny, had his eyes opened to the value and joy of a larger family.

2. Finances became available.

3. Within three weeks of having the reversal, I conceived and nine months later gave birth to a beautiful bouncy boy, named Alexander.  We look at him now and say, “Son, you might never have been!”

Since Alexander’s birth, I have a renewed love and zeal to serve God and His people.  Spiritually, our church is experiencing a harvest of souls.  

How does this all relate?  One day we’ll know, but for now, living in surrender and following the Godly desires in my heart is so fulfilling.


Sharon Tan

Kaitaia, Northland, New Zealand.

ABOVE RUBIES June 1996, No. 45

© Lues 2012