One of the major battles from the last two years has been my struggle at fully enjoying any other woman’s pregnancy. It is an agony to be jealous and to know that it’s a natural human reaction even when you want to open yourself up and rip the offending feeling out of your own body. I have listened to sermons by amazing female leaders who struggled with infertility but can extol the virtues of blessing other women in their time of pregnancy and birth, of sowing in other couples’ lives what they looked forward to reaping in their own. I have listened to these talks and chastised myself for being a weak and feeble human being – a loveless creature that is too selfish to put someone else’s joy before my own desires. I have spent a lot of time asking God why I am so horrid and to bring me to a place where I could joyfully hold a baby shower for a friend without a hint of the green eye. And yet there is a whisper in me that says if the boot was on the other foot, would I want a grieving friend who longs for a child to find the inner strength to hold me a party?! Or would I say “Sod the baby shower – let’s go get cake and head to the cinema for a giggle?!” I seek counsel from other women and they all agree the latter is acceptable – but is it what God would want? Is it what I really want to say of myself?
This pondering drives me a little crazy and I see my husband watching the weight of this failure to find peace in it eating away at me. Then one day I see a flyer and in an instant I realise that God has given me the opportunity I was wrestling over – my personal answer to the baby shower conundrum. The flyer outlines ways that I can bless women in desperate need, those on the verge of labour and motherhood, in practical ways that will make a difference at the start of their child’s life through a local organisation called Early Essentials. Hoping to be in their position one day, I can give to them in the meantime, knowing that at this time they can be given treats and necessities that will bless them. They’ll never know me and I’ll never meet them but I am honoured to contribute to their lives and excited that I can fulfil that desire to sow into circumstances that I hope to experience myself in a purely one-sided, positive way. It’s a gift of an investment of my time and energy, and even as I feel apprehension at putting items in my shopping basket that I thought I’d be buying for my own new family, I am excited by the opportunity to bless in a way that was made for me. I look outwards and it feels good.
(To find out more about Early Essentials Manchester and how you can give to this amazing cause click here.)