Thursday, July 27, 2017

On the Other Side of the Baby Shower

There were many pink and blue days in the last several years during which I prayed for strength, smiled through pain, and wept in the car on the way home. The Baby Shower: method of feminine torture, or one of God's roads to humility?

Existing in a state of life that looks differently to what I desire is the Looking-Glass problem: you feel you're called to a certain vocation, avocation, stage of life or whatever you please, though you're not living in that reality yet. You can see it through the looking-glass, but it's not within your grasp. The Looking-Glass problem has challenged me throughout my life and I'm comforted to know I'm not alone.

Single? Longed for a guy to love.
Dating? Wanted to be able to tell everyone I was going to marry the best man on Earth.
Engaged? Ready to be married. Yesterday.
Married, but waiting for God to bestow His blessings the way I wanted.... impatient.

Then we started facing the reality that few discuss: God needs to be involve in every aspect of our marriage, including the potential for long term infertility. Yes, we've always invited Him into our bedroom, naturally avoiding zah baybee-producing days when we discerned He wasn't calling us to parenthood yet. However, when we deemed ourselves ready and the POOF, YOU'RE PREGNANT IMMEDIATELY fantasy bubble popped, we knew patience was in order. It wasn't going to be so easy for us.

All this time, while looking ahead rather than living in the happy portions of my present, I attended what feels like dozens of baby showers. Each one was a battle between my two trains of thought: joy at another life for my friend to love and sorry that I might never see motherhood in that way.

Last weekend I celebrated my own little person at my baby shower, awash with gratitude. All the party long, I remained acutely aware of those present who were suffering from the Looking-Glass problem. I offered up the pain I felt in my past to ask God for their peace.

Getting pregnant, praise God, is not the event that introduced peace back into my life. God worked hard on my heart through my sadness, during every negative pregnancy test, and every doctor's appointment. He healed me before he healed my body, and then gave me the precious gift that keeps bouncing and punching from within.

I yell my prayers from the top of my lungs for those struggling with the Looking-Glass problem. These words of my experience may only frustrate or sound like platitudes, but they are as True as I've known:

There is a reason He's making you stronger through this trial. Run to Him and ask Him to do the work to heal you. Your burden is heavy, His is light, and He can carry it along side you as you strengthen.

@StartlingtheDay Elizabeth's post signature
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