“Ask a Priest: Why Didn’t God Give Me a Husband and Children?”

Q: I don’t ask God for a lot, and the fact that he has refused doesn’t cause me doubt — I just don’t understand why. I’m 54 years old. I’ve lead a chaste life. All I ever asked God for was a husband and children. My father died when I was 12, I was an only child, and my mother turned to alcohol instead of God for comfort. Maybe God knows I’m just not good enough to be a wife and mother, but if that’s the case, then why won’t he just let me die? I waited 34 years for him to give me the desire of my heart. My friends are married; they have grandchildren and they look down their noses at me. Will God ever tell me why I didn’t deserve a love? -G.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: I am sorry to hear that you think you didn’t “deserve a love.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Every glance at a crucifix can be a reminder of what the Son of God did for love of you. He was thinking of you when he was on the cross. And he would suffer all that again, if need be, for your redemption.

Your core identity is that you are a beloved daughter of God. You need to believe that. “If you knew the gift of God …” (John 4:10).

I don’t know much about your particular situation. It is possible that Our Lord has answered your prayers, but in an unexpected way? Has he put people in your life who need your love? Could you be a loving spouse to Christ? Could you be a mom to young people in your life? Can you reach out to those around you who need help?

With every act of charity you can use those great gifts that God seems to lavish on women: a big heart, the capability to love others and the ability to be a bond of unity in a community.

Perhaps it would help you to look for ways to reach out to others. Don’t waste time being around people who look down their nose at you. Look, rather, for the folks who need you. Perhaps there are shut-ins who need company, or young women with crisis pregnancies who need a place to stay. By focusing on them you will discover your capacity for love. And in giving you will receive.

It might help to take all this to the Blessed Sacrament. Ask Jesus what he wants you to do. There is no shortage of opportunities to love … and to be loved for being generous.

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