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Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Prayer for Infertility - Learning From My Jewish Roots

Although I am the grand-daughter of a Ashkenazi Jewish refugee, when my father became a believer in Jesus as the prophesied Messiah, we were brought up in a Christian, rather than a Jewish, home - and I praise God for this wonderful foundation granted to me through my parents faith in Him. Since my twenties, I have been developing more and more of an understanding of the Jewish aspects of my relationship with God, the Scriptures, life and others. There is such a depth I have discovered as a Jewish-Christian that at times I wish I had known about them sooner!

Woman Entering Mikvah
This is became stronger today, as I found a ritual Jewish based on Leviticus 15:19-24, which Jewish women still follow, which God had set out when He first met the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai. I'm not saying I would particularly follow this personally, but I have discovered that contained within this ritual is a prayer of strength for the women who is TTC, which is so precious. In this, there is an acknowledgement of the struggle for women who, like the Matriarchs Sarah, Rachel and Rebecca and not forgetting Hannah, desire to become a mother of her own Bubba. Through this monthly prayer, there seems to be a freedom for the woman, unlike us Christians who are still hiding from infertility, to be allowed to grieve in order to move forward each month. Because at the end of the day, the monthly journey can't be covered by a prayer from three months ago - as each cycle of hope for Bubba fades with the arrival of Aunt Flo.

Every month, after Aunt Flo has been and gone, Jewish women enter a Mikvah (a large bath used in Jewish rituals for full immersion in order for the person to be purified and made clean - there were literally hundreds of them around the Temple in Jesus' day!!) in order to be purified after her period. Before she is immersed, she says a prayer, which in the case of a woman who is TTC is so significant, and such a blessing as it acknowledges the pain, the struggle and the hope for life:

A Meditation - Using the Mikveh when Dealing with Infertility

Prayer written on the ritualwell website, shared by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers

Mekor Rakhamim (meaning ‘source/place of mercy’. While at such times [Rabbi Debbie] do[es] not sense the merciful, giving God, Rakhamim has it’s root in Rekhem, meaning womb, and therefore is an obvious choice) I thank you for the blessing that is contained in my body’s abilities and functions, which I should not take for granted. But I also cry out to you in my pain, anxiety, and wants. I do not expect an answer, and yet I hope for one.
Help me and my beloved stay strong through the coming month, and remember the strength we share together. We pray that this will be stronger than my monthly remembrance of death, contained within which is a reminder of the hope for life. Help us not to blame ourselves, or each other, and to accept those blessings we do have, rather than focusing on those we do not.
May I find comfort in the merit of my mothers, SarahRebeccaRachel, and Hannah, who called out to you in their childlessness, and were comforted.
Blessed are You Eternal, who creates each of us whole, and none of us perfect. 

I'm not saying I should suddenly start looking for the nearest Mikvah and start dunking myself under each month, but I think this prayer would become a valuable part of the Journey for Bubba on a regular basis. Surely bringing God to the forefront of our pain, of our struggle is the key thing here! Surely inviting God to keep His hand over Hubby and I each month, as we go through the monthly cycle of hope, anticipation, waiting and failure can only be a good thing.

I hope this type of monthly prayer can be a source of comfort and strength to those of us who are embroiled in the monthly battle of TTC. The battle is not ours, it belongs to the Lord!

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