Ask Elizabeth, March 2021. Baby Showers, Grief and Hope!
As my friends become pregnant and have their baby showers I want to celebrate them and their children but this is becoming difficult. Others don't know that I am struggling with infertility and I don't feel ready to share. How can I joyfully plan baby showers without letting my own situation bring me down?
This is such a difficult task and surely God is smiling down on your beautiful desire to welcome His children into the world while you simultaneously carry your heavy cross.
One way to go about it, although this may seem unconventional, is to focus on the parts of the shower that you would enjoy at any social gathering! Who doesn't love getting together with friends, eating yummy snacks and playing silly games? Do you love to bake? Bake something that you've been meaning to try anyway. Do you love game nights? Choose hilarious games that will make you laugh. Focus your attention on these things instead of the baby for now. Your friends will appreciate your efforts even if you know your mind isn't so focused on the baby just yet. Changing your mindset to enjoying a social gathering with friends, rather than planning a baby shower, may help you through. Then after the shower, when you're ready, you can send that baby all of the love and prayers in your own time!
Another option is to contribute to the shower without attending or only attending for a brief time. Prayerfully discern what you're feeling called to contribute. Being honest about your needs takes courage and strength!
"Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
Jesus carried His cross out of love for us, so turn to Him to help you to do the same. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bless you with His grace and strength! You are strong because you are a beloved daughter of God!
With love and prayers,
How do I work on processing my grief about the possibility of never having children whilst also continuing to pray and hope that God might one day bless us with a child?
In infertility there’s a real struggle, a constant battle that each of us feel between grief and hope. As humans we want to know the answer, “Do I grieve or do I hope?”. I think we are called to do both. There is a season for both. When I read your question, my mind immediately went to the disciples. Can you imagine the grief (and confusion) that they must have felt right after the crucifixion? Their very tangible friend was hung on a cross, they watched him die, they saw the wounded body. They laid him in the tomb only to go a few days later and find out that the body had been taken. “For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. So the disciples went away again to their own homes”. (John 20: 9-10). Put yourself in their shoes. How mad would you be? How would you carry the weight of that grief? Why would you return home?
“But Mary [Magdalene] was standing outside the tomb, weeping. Then, while she was weeping, she bowed down and gazed into the tomb… she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her: ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you seeking?’” (John 20:11. 14-15)
Even then Mary did not recognize Jesus. It was not until the moment when he called out her name that she realized who she was talking to. At that moment in her deepest grief, Jesus appeared to give hope. He sent her with the mission:
“Go to my brothers and tell them: ‘I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.’ Mary Magdalene went, announcing to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord, and these are the things that he said to me.’” (John 20:17-18)
In the deepest moments of your own grief in this journey, think of Mary Magdalene. You are a daughter of the Most High and He loves you just as much. What are some things that Jesus has said to you? I don’t know if you will ever have a child but I do know that the life God has planned for you will fulfill and sustain you. His ways are so much greater than anything we could have imagined. Ask that His will be done and pray for peace in the process.
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