The years that followed were lonely years for Sarai. Abram did not love her less. She could see his efforts to make her happy, how he attempted to make up for what he could not. He tried not to let her see how happy he was to have a son. But she knew, and she felt a deep sadness that she had not been able to give him that joy.
Sarai could not be near Abram without also seeing Ishmael, without being reminded that a son had finally been born, and she was not the mother. Abram and Ishmael, and then Hagar, by association, were the main actors on the stage. At least in her own mind, Sarai was a shadow, an after thought.
Her mind drifted to Ur, their former home. They had been happy then, and full of hope. They had expected they would have many children. Why had she ever come to this God forsaken place? Of course, she had had to go with her husband, and at the time, it had seemed a great adventure. Scary, yes, but also full of possibility, and best of all, the promise of children.
God had said he would make Abram a great nation, and that meant children and grandchildren. She had just always assumed they would be hers. She had never imagined the promise was only to her husband, or to her husband and a slave girl they would pick up on their travels.
Every day she regretted her stupid idea of having a child by Hagar, pushing her husband into another woman’s arms. She had been so desperate for a child, but at least then she had a husband. Now she had nothing. It had not been Abram’s fault she felt excluded from the circle that had naturally formed around Hagar, Abram, and their son. Abram’s regard for her had never changed, but it had been hard for her to receive anything from him.
She wished they had never left Haran. They should have stayed in Ur. Perhaps if she hadn’t married Abram? Where in her life had she made the Wrong Turn? What had she done to deserve a barren womb? And where was God in all of this? What was the good of a God who controlled all things, if at best, he forgot you, or at worst, botched everything up?
By the time Sarai heard the big news that would change all their lives (again!), she had had thirteen long years to ponder these things. God had remained silent through her fury. He said nothing as she screamed her accusations, and this had only fueled her resentment. Alone, past the outskirts of the camp, she had clenched her fists and yelled into the void:
God, why did you bring me here, far away from my family, only to abandon me? Why did you lead me on, cause me to believe in false promises, and then leave me high and dry? Why God? Are there no promises for my life? Are you even there?
What happened next:
What Sarah Did Not Know
What came before:
The Runaway and the God Who Sees
Note: Though I try to remain faithful to the events and characters as described in the Bible, I take some liberties where the Bible is silent, especially regarding what the characters might have thought or felt. I encourage you to read the original story to separate fact from fiction.