“Let Him Add” – God’s Word for the Barren Womb

by Melissa Langley

MM_Prayer Series

If infertility strikes a woman by surprise, how much more unexpected is the struggle of secondary infertility? Secondary infertility is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children. Statistics show 20 percent of women experience secondary infertility, which is twice the number of cases reported for primary infertility.

Infertility is a silent struggle.  A woman feels alone and invisible at times.  On the other hand, her struggle is very obvious: she has no children!  But for the woman who has conceived and birthed a child “effortlessly” and then finds herself in this unknown world of secondary infertility, her struggle is unexpected and even perplexing. She finds herself dealing with the passing of time and maybe even the pain of losing a child through miscarriage. A new set of emotions and thoughts floods her mind – “Will I ever experience the miracle of pregnancy again?”  “Will I ever hold a newborn in my arms again?”  “Will I be able to give the gift of a sibling to my first child?”

The desire for more children also brings many questions for the mother who once was barren but has experienced God’s mighty work in her life. “Will I be able to have more children?”  “Will I have to go through this struggle a second time?”  “Will those who prayed with me the first time lovingly and patiently support me again?”

We have all heard the phrase that is supposed to “encourage” the mother’s heart that aches for more children, “Well, at least you have one child!  You should be so thankful!”  Yes, we should be thankful for our children, but does that mean we are selfish to want more? The fleshly nature of women has been, and will continue to be, one that collects and competes – especially with our children.  If you don’t believe me, just read Genesis 30!

The Spirit-filled woman recognizes that it is a God-given desire to be a wife and mother (Titus 2:4-5). So then, pursuing the worthy calling of motherhood is not only desirable, but Biblical.  It is in the Scriptures so we will be encouraged by those who have gone before us – women just like us, who have struggled in the process of growing their family tree. Rachel and Leah’s story is one that is very familiar to many of us. Rachel waited year after year as Leah bore one child after the other. Genesis 30:22 says, “Then God remembered Rachel… and opened her womb.”  What an answer to prayer!  It’s the highlight of the chapter. God listened to Rachel. The God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth has an intimate relationship with a barren woman.  He is a relational God who sees, listens, and feels.  And He gives Rachel a son.

But this is not where the story ends. We have to read carefully so we don’t miss what comes next. Rachel names her son. The meaning of her son’s name is lesson number two for the woman who has struggled with infertility, past or present. “She called his name Joseph, and said, ‘The LORD shall add to me another son’” (Genesis 30:24).

Can you hear Rachel’s courage and conviction in those three words? “LET HIM ADD!”  She had just transitioned from pregnancy to holding a newborn in her arms, and there she was proclaiming her desire to have another child to the One who could grant her heart’s desire. Imagine her friends’ response as they heard the name. “It’s a boy! And his name is Joseph!” She didn’t hide her desire to be a mother for the second time. Instead she goes public with her desire to be a mother of two. When she named her son “Joseph,” it was as if she said, “Do it again, LORD!” Joseph’s birth announcement was a declaration of faith.  

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I can relate to Rachel. After years of infertility, God gave us a beautiful baby girl. These last eleven months of motherhood have brought such joy to my life. I would love more children! I have no idea what the future holds, but I know the One who holds it. How grateful I am for God’s Word and that He still speaks to women today. He still opens the barren womb.

Rachel’s story reminds me of three things we should do when we want our family to increase:

1.) Talk to Him about your request. Go to God. Converse with Him. Use this opportunity to build intimacy with Him as you pour out your requests before His throne.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7

2.) Thank Him for His resources. He is an abundant God. He is the God of increase! He is not lacking in power or resources. Thank Him for this truth. Thank Him before He answers you. He is worthy of your praise!

“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

3.) Trust Him with the results. Whether or not He answers the way we expect Him to, He will answer us! He has your good in mind. He has a future for your family. Worship Him and rest in His love for you.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20, 21

If you are struggling with primary or secondary infertility, we would love to pray for you! Please e-mail us through our “Contact” page to let us know how we can best pray for your family. May this be the year of increase for your family including increased intimacy with your Savior!

Melissa Langley


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  1. Jeanne says:

    That was beautiful Melissa! What an encouragement! We never know until we try to have a child whether or not we will be able to concieve! We all assume we will get pregnant without any problem. It really is a miracle any of us can get pregnant because of the mystery of conception and all that has to take place for a baby to implant. So glad The Lord allowed you to have your precious daughter and have the gift in your arms. I know you give God all the glory and even if He didn’t give you a child you would praise Him all the same.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you, Jeanne, for your encouraging words! I agree that having a baby is a miracle for us all. Infertility becomes a blessing when it leads a woman to know that truth personally. And yes, He is worthy of our praise regardless of the size of our family. Whether the nursery is full or empty, He is worthy!!

  2. Mani says:

    Thanks for this post. I feel so good that our God not only has the answers for everything but has also clearly put out the struggles of many women in Bible in issues related to infertility.
    I am experiencing secondary infertility right now and do not know what to do. Have been praying and also seeing a doctor and hoping for a godly miracle soon, I al still so very thankful for giving me my son without much difficulty, reminds me of how great i had it the first time.
    Thanks for your words and please pray for me that I would be able to have a healthy baby soon.

    • missionalmotherhood says:

      Thank you for sharing Mani! We will definitely pray for you and your family as you walk this difficult road. Will be praying you also draw near to God and experience intimacy with Him like never before in the midst. Thankful He is in control! – Lindsey Wingo

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you for letting us know, Mani! I will be praying for you that God will add to your family. Keep trusting Him! He has a plan and a future for your family.

  3. Roberta Keen says:

    In November my husband and I will celebrate our 38th anniversary. The first 5 years we were married I cried myself to sleep every night because of the doctor,s words that haunted me for the same amount of years, “I,m sorry but …..” and that,s the last that I heard what my doctor said as to why I was having difficulty conceiving. As it happened my.husband was unable to go with me to the doctor due to work, so alone I heard those words and alone those words repeated themselves in my mind along with the added phrases such as “you,re not a real woman” “you,re a failure” ” or even worse were the words I heard “even God knows you would make a terrible mother”. . . NOW FAST FORWARD 37 years later. During conversation with a very trusted Christian sister in a bible study one morning, the Lord showed me that it,s not because I am not a real woman or I am a failure or even that God would even think I would make a terrible mother… it was because my unconceived children would have been born “so special that I could not handle or have the capabilities of caring for them”. We have all heard that sometimes God,s answers to our prayers is “NO”… I believe God was always answering my prayers but I just couldn,t hear His voice due to my heartbroken and selfish crying.

    • Roberta Keen says:

      In a twist of fate the Lord did allow me to become a mother (my husband,s first marriage resulted in the birth of a very beautiful baby girl whom I met when she was 18 months old)and grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren. The Lord does give us the desires of our hearts, just not in the way we think He should.

      • missionalmotherhood says:

        Thank you for commenting Roberta. I appreciate your openness! May the Lord continue to bless your family! -Lindsey

  4. Melissa says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Roberta. So thankful the Lord gave you three grandchildren! What a wonderful testimony you have to pass down to them of the Lord’s faithfulness in your life!

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