So at the moment at church, we are working through the book of James. It's a great little book, full of useful, but quite hard hitting, advice for Christians. Today was about, broadly, not holding prejudices against certain people or groups, not to favor one person, or group of people, over another. We were given some time after the sermon to reflect on whether there are certain people, or groups in our life who we do fall short with, who we do avoid, or treat differently, or feel prejudice towards. What came to me was mothers and young children.
For 16 months, I have avoided, as much as possible, all pregnant women, mums with new babies, and even those with toddlers. For my own sanity and protection, I've had to. I didn't want to know, or see what I am missing, what I should have and don't.....what I am still desperate for, and am not getting. Why upset myself by exposing myself to it all? But, today, I really feel like this has to change. I am questionning why I feel I need to do this, still....is it for my own protection, or has it become a habit?
A colleague went on mat leave last week, and I have caught myself planning ahead to how I will react when she brings the baby in to meet us all...how I can politely slip away without causing a scene...well, actually, why can't I just meet the baby with everyone else? Whether or not I do, won't change my situation will it? This baby is not Bertie, nor is it my rainbow. What's so hard about saying "congratulations, isn't he/she so beautiful?" and just holding back my own feelings for a while? I think I could do it now. I think I need to do it now.
I'll start by reconnecting with some old friends who I have drifted away from becuase they have what I don't. I'm ashamed it has taken me so long to do it. I am worried that if I continue to avoid all people with young children, I will soon run out of friends! It can't be good for me to continue to try and pretend the world doesn't contain babies. Maybe this is what has been holding me back from my own? Maybe this is the point I needed to reach before I could be ready to carry another child? I don't know. But I do know, It's time to face my fears. It won't be easy, I can't just turn off my feelings of jealousy, sadness, hope and loss, but I will try to put them aside and embrace other peoples' happiness. God help me.