This week is World Childless Week, which aims to raise awareness of the childless not by choice community and enable every childless person to tell their story with confidence. Margot Flowers shares her story.


Source: Rodrigo Feksa / Pexels

I am a writer and tutor. I found faith at five, learning about God’s unconditional love from my mother. Despite expecting marriage and parenthood, I’m now a single, childless Christian woman, navigating a difficult spiritual landscape after ending a thirteen-year relationship that nearly led to marriage three years ago.

I recently went on holiday alone to Greece, and the event triggered feelings about my childless state, from the moment I got to the check in. I was met with the following conversation:

- “Travelling alone today? Miss, Ms, Mrs?”

- “Yes, just me. Solo now and forever it seems. If you insist on a title, it’s Ms.” I snap back, as if being a “Ms” eclipses the evident fact I’m an Angry Miss, missing a non-existent family.

The unflappable check-in lady, flutters her fabulous lashes, smiles and inputs my information to generate my boarding pass. Admin not judgement. But you’re getting the picture aren’t you? Ugly. Far from the Christian ideal of spreading God’s love and compassion, I’m an angry (translate: afraid) 35-year-old single, childless woman trying to escape her pain by boarding a plane. Literally fleeing.

What or whom can these arms embrace if not a family?

How to let go of anger, give in to grief and ride through fear? Is God’s plan for me to live alone, never know the love of a husband and die childless? What or whom can these arms embrace if not a family? The Bible encourages procreation, children are our heritage, a reward from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). The command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) sounds daunting to a single person who hasn’t even found a partner.

I find solace in Hannah, who faced infertility before her eventual blessing. There’s comfort in knowing the grief and longing I carry are shared across generations. Like Hannah, I might be infertile, but I haven’t had the chance to find out. I identify with Hannah’s deep distress and tears. Her response was to pour out her heart to God through prayer and vows. She wept bitterly in the tabernacle and expressed her anguish and desire for a child.

If I want to break free from loneliness and fear, I need to let go of negative self-talk. God doesn’t think of me like this. Self-loathing is pure Devil chat. God is listening. He’ll meet you where you are. I do this in full Hannah-in-the-tabernacle mode and ask God for release and peace – sometimes I scream and shout. Prayer can be toddler-esque and messy. Remember God dwells in us, he knows everything. We can come to him in as we are – he’s waiting.

Over time, I’ve found the burdens are lifting. God is preparing me for something incredible. The experience is gradual, like unnecessary items slowly falling out of an overloaded bag. I don’t have a husband, but a childhood friend has re-emerged after twenty years and there’s a spark. I don’t have a child, but I cherish my beautiful body and the strength I’ve gained through running with my canine companion. I live alone but am financially free and have just bought my first flat.

Prayer can be toddler-esque and messy. Remember God dwells in us, he knows everything.

While the absence of a family may be challenging, God is always there to fill us with love to the point of overflow. A close friend had a child at the age of forty after years of trying and ultimately finding peace with childlessness. Her full life, loving husband and successful career were more than enough. Of course, she loves her daughter, what a gift, but reminds me never to waste a minute of being child-free.

Treasuring the present moment banishes the Devil chatter. Prayer, meditation, and reflection allow me to embrace God’s presence and the Holy Spirit within me. Special thanks to the check-in lady who surprised me with undeserved grace and patience: “I’m upgrading you to business class Ms Flowers. Seeing as it’s just you. Enjoy your holiday.” Blessings can come when we least expect them.