I think of you often, you know. As my baby grows within me and I feel his movement, kicks, punches, I desire you to feel the same joy and anticipation of meeting your little one. I pray for you, I grieve with you, even though I don’t really know how you feel. I pray silently because I don’t know what to say that would comfort you without coming across as that mom who pretends to know what you’re experiencing, when she really doesn’t.
When we’re talking and having conversations, I want to share my joy with you and draw you into my experiences as a pregnant momma, make you a welcome part of the process so you’re not looking in from the outside, but instead brought into our circle. But there are times I just don’t know how much to say and share, because I don’t want to remind you of the ache and longing for your own child.
I do see, you know… the tears or sadness as you’re having a particularly rough day, the hope and desire lingering behind your smile during conversations. I pray for you during the service when there is a baptism, a baby announcement. I want to give you a hug and let you know that I’m thinking of you but I just don’t feel bold enough… to step out and risk a misunderstanding, or look as if I’m pretending to understand when I know I really don’t.
Many of my facebook posts are thought through with you in mind. We want to share our joy over our son, but I never want to be “that” mom who can’t talk about anything but herself, her experiences, her baby. I always think of you when posting pregnancy updates and photos for friends, hoping that one day soon you too can announce your happy news to the world. I hope you know how genuinely I want that for you.
I also hope you know that I want to be friends. I hope I’ve never given the impression that my new and only hangout is with the moms. You have so much to offer in your friendship, your experiences, your talents, your conversations… and sometimes in refreshingly different ways. Sure, the moms can talk kid stuff, but it doesn’t mean your relationship isn’t just as meaningful, relevant, and necessary within the body. If I ever seem awkward in conversation, it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you, it’s because I’m trying to figure out how to be genuine and sensitive at the same time when it’s my turn to share what I’ve been up to.
And please don’t let Satan trick you into thinking that you and your husband have less to offer because you don’t have children yet. I know it may be hard, especially in family-integrated communities, to remember how vital you are in the kingdom. But your marriage does not mean less, and you as a member are not any less important before you have kids. In fact, you have so much to give as a couple with time and energy, and the areas of impact you could have even before establishing a family are limitless. I know sermons and conversations and events are often focused on families, but you are a family even now, and we truly value and love you for the unique gifts you bring to the body of Christ, with or without children.
I hope that you know that you are not forgotten, and you are not alone. When one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers… and there are many of us who are praying for you and eagerly looking forward to the day when we can rejoice with you as you add to your family. We who have not experienced infertility may not always know how to say it, or when, but we love you and earnestly desire that your prayers would be answered and your heart’s cry attended to.
I think of you often, you know…