The Reflection 


Deb Shirley

 As the doors closed and my eyes adjusted to the dimly lit elevator, I was ambushed by her reflection in the mirror.  It was obvious I had not seen her in quite a while. Judging by her appearance, it must have been at least six months since our last encounter.

Since the elevator was filled to capacity, I continued to face the front and stare at the reflection cast upon me.  I should have been elated that she had overcome the infertility battle. I should have been thrilled that one of the stricken had conquered her disease.  I should have been happy for her; but as I viewed her reflection in contrast to mine, I wondered silently, "Why her?  Why not me?"

I subconsciously ran my fingers across my own abdomen and contemplated how it must feel to have a miniature person growing inside. My recent surgery had deprived me that possibility. I would never savor the moment when life announces itself with a sudden flutter.  I would never experience the force of a tiny arm or leg pushing against the inner walls of its temporary shelter.  My body would forever be void of the instant when a child makes its presence known to its mother. She was given the chance to possess every sensation of a life within her, but I had been denied. Why?

We had a lot in common, she and I.  We both had endometriosis.  We both had been through surgery.  Her surgery was an overwhelming success; mine a complete failure. She was bringing new life into the world; I was enduring life, childless and barren.  She had been blessed; I had been shunned.  Why?

I remember the first time we met.  She was a young girl in her early twenties and I an older woman in my late thirties. A mutual friend sent her to talk to me about her medical problems. The doctor told her she might have endometriosis, but he did not prepare her for this devastating condition.  I provided a list of symptoms and we talked for several minutes comparing notes and treatments.  I shared my experiences with her; she shared her fears with me. She had questions; I had answers.  Together we diagnosed her illness.  There was no doubt in either of our minds.  She had been invaded by the silent fertility thief – Endometriosis. I promised to pray for her, and I did.

A few months later her doctor confirmed our prognosis and scheduled her for laser surgery. Her reflection in the mirror confirmed that her surgery had been a huge success.  God heard my prayers for her.  I felt as if He had turned a deaf ear to me as I fervently pleaded for a child of my own, yet He heard my prayers for her, and now she was pregnant.  Why?

The elevator doors opened and as she exited I congratulated her and wished her well. Immediately, I felt guilty for my earlier thoughts. I was happy for her – really I was – but I still couldn't help wondering, “Why not me?”

Why did God choose to heal others and not me?  Why did He answer one prayer yes and another no? Why did He allow so many the gift of life and refuse me and others like me?  Why were we denied this blessing?

Some days there are too many questions and not enough answers. It's at times like this that I am reminded of one certainty in life. God promises in Isaiah 42:16 (NIV) "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."  

He has not forgotten me.  He will never forsake me.  He promises to make the roughest times smooth.  Even in the darkness of a dimly lit elevator, He sends His light. 

Contact Information

Please feel free to contact me via email or mail

Deb Shirley

12467 McMath Trail

McCalla, AL  35111