What does infertility have to do with the feast day of  Saints Anne and Joachim, Mary’s parents, and Jesus’s grandparents? July 26 is the feast day of this holy couple, and according to 2nd-century tradition, Anne and Joachim dealt with years of infertility before conceiving Mary, their blessed gift from God.

Infertility is a heavy cross to carry. The following poem, Dreams, is lovingly dedicated to all who carry this cross. O Holy Saints Anne and Joachim, pray for us!


She never had real labor pains
but sometimes, in her dreams,
she’d feel a flutter in her womb
and then her spirit beamed.

And then she’d wake to truth so stark
and barrenness inside.
The emptiness she felt in life
she truly could not hide.

A decade passed since vows they took,
and still, no babe to hold.
She prayed and pondered on God’s oath
to Abe and Sara old.

Their longing never went away,
“We’ll strive to trust like them,
and patiently await God’s will,
oh please, a child do send!”

The hardest time of all was when
the manger and the child,
appeared to brighten the dark days,
yet on her, more grief piled.

So many times, she’d see the babe,
His tiny arms outspread,
seeming to ask to be picked up,
to hold Him and be fed.

The bed with hay did not bring joy,
it looked more like a cross.
She wept each year the bitter tears
and wallowed in her loss.

Then came the Christmas of despair,
and dimly, she did pray.
So weak and tired of holding on,
she let go and did lay

her pain down at His feet and said,
“Dear Lord, I give to you,
this worn-out dream I’ve carried long
and clutched so tightly to.”

With burden gone and nothing there,
a space for God to fill
was opened up that holy day,
and in her, love was sealed.

She looked upon the child in straw,
His arms outstretched as norm,
yet what she saw seemed so different.
It brought peace to her storm.

Instead of begging to be held
Another view she saw—
My arms reach out to save you, dear!
To you, I give my all! 

And though she’s had no labor pains,
accomplished are her dreams.
For Christ, the babe flutters within
and from her soul, He beams.

Author’s note: The struggles of cherished family and friends motivated me to write this poem. I love them dearly and pray for them daily.

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