Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hope Floats

Today I took Park to story time at the library, followed by some time at the adjacent playground.

I was struck by how grown up he has become as he sat on his little square of rug, intently listening to the librarian. He excitedly sang about the monkeys jumping on the bed and stomped his feet to "If You're Happy and You Know It", glancing back at me every so often to flash a big grin.

In that moment, I thanked God for giving me some extra, unexpected time of having Park as my only child. My heart swelled with love as I showered him with my undivided attention. Despite my longing for another baby, God is revealing to me the joy in trusting Him with my current circumstances and fully appreciating the blessing of where He has me in this moment.

To be completely honest, some days I am much better at this than others.

Oftentimes I feel more like Peter, as he took his gaze off of Jesus after being summoned out of the boat. That calm tranquility of locking eyes with His Saviour quickly turned into a sinking panic as he changed his focus to the high waves that enveloped him.

Today, as we made our way to the playground I began to push Park on a swing that put us in close proximity to a conversation taking place between two other mothers. Both women had 3 small children of their own and they were discussing if they would have more children.

One mother said, "If we do, I will not wait long. I don't understand why anyone would have their children spread out. Don't they realize how hard they are making it on themselves? Their children will never entertain each other and they surely won't have close relationships down the road."

The other mother nodded her head in agreement and went on to tell a story about one of her friends who had a two year old and "wasn't even thinking of trying for another anytime soon." The two shook their heads in disgust as one of the women summed up the situation with, "If you have your kids further than three years apart, it almost seems like it wouldn't even be worth it to have another child."

Suddenly, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, as the peace and joy I'd experienced in the library trickled away. I broke my gaze with Jesus and the high waves enveloped me in a big way.

Being that they were clearly oblivious to my presence, there is no doubt that they meant no harm by their conversation. But, in addition to being hurt by their careless words, I began to feel a righteous indignation boiling in my blood.

How could they be so ignorant? What gives them the right to belittle God's timing in other people's lives? How insensitive to speak so negatively of things they haven't experienced!

But in that angry moment, God reminded me that I, too, have been guilty of speaking with authority on things I know nothing about. Guilty of unintentionally making incorrect assumptions or insensitive statements when I wasn't the least bit aware of what that person's private life entailed.

Just the other day in Bible study I was looking at a beautifully put together, well groomed woman. I marveled at her cute hair cut and designer clothing, secretly thinking that she must be either materialistic or vain to put that much effort into her appearance.

Green eyed monster, anyone?

Imagine my shame when I mentioned how cute her haircut was and she responded that this was the first day she felt well in so long that she had decided to go all out in getting ready that morning.

She was in the throws of battling stage four breast cancer. Oh, and that cute haircut?... A wig, covering her precious bald head.

As women, why are we often so quick to go negative about other women? We are so full of opinions and overflowing with such an abundance of words, that we sometimes forget to use them to build others up; to encourage a sister in need; or simply to discern when NOT to speak.

My righteous indignation at the playground melted into a broken hearted repentance and a new realization.

It's high tide, friends.

Women all around us are facing unimaginable waves and being asked to get out of the boat and walk in faith. (Jesus did not say IF trouble comes, but rather WHEN!) The Bible makes it crystal clear that the key to weathering storms is to keep our eyes on Jesus. But perhaps just as important, I'm realizing that I don't want my careless words to be the stumbling block that causes someone else to break their gaze with Him.

Ladies, let's speak words of life to sinking sisters in need!

May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14


Kelly said...

Oh - this is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO true. I know that having infertility changed me. It made me so much more sensitive to others in all kinds of areas. I was quick to judge before (and I'm sure I still am) but I try to put myself in people's shoes a little more.
I'm praying for you!

Jeff and Lindsey said...

Brit- THank you so much for a beautiful reminder to watch our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts!

2 Things-
1. Your gift is to write girl! You are a natural born writer, and I think you need to look into doing it on a professional level. Your style is down to earth but always provokes deeper thought and self-examination. I am dead serious. God gave you that gift girl...find a way to use it. You have so much to say that women could benefit from hearing! Maybe a devotional of some sort??

2. I have two sisters and they are 6 and 7 years younger than me. We speak at least once a week, and with one sister I talk to her almost daily. In fact she recently moved back from Nashville in large part so that she could be near Anderson and don't assume that years apart equals non-close sibling relationships. It couldn't be further from the truth in our case. We are extremely close. I think that has more to do with how you raise them to appreciate each other than it does how close in years you have them!

As always- I am praying for you and just confident that God has special plans in store for a woman that seeks after him so honestly.

Mandi said...

These are such convicting words...thanks for sharing. We all need to be reminded to speak with sensitivity. Struggling with infertility made me so mindful of people's hurts and now I hope to always be sensitive to the feelings of others.

Ann said...

Ya know, only God knows what is best for each of us!! I had my life (ie kids) planned all out. Exactly 5 years apart!! Well God had other plans -- try 13 1/12 years apart!! And I wanted boy then girl!! God said, no, how bout 2 boys, so different from each other, you'd never know they came from the same parents!! How's that for PERFECT plans??!! But they are sooooo good with each other and you can tell they love each other like any other sibling would!!!
I know what you mean about those words....they can be sooooo hurtful! Just know that God is the ultimate planner!!

raenette said...

britt,thank you!!!!! love you and still praying for you to concieve every time I think of myself with seeing the No sign I pray for you too.

David said...

I love you dear friend. You are precious.

Heather said...

I love this post and love your heart! I actually have tears streaming down my face because I feel exactly what you have felt. People can be so insensitive without even meaning to, and I have been in your place, listening to the condemnation of others, so many times. It hurts. You know what I relate to almost as much as that, though? The beginning of your post where you were talking about treasuring time with your son. I am feeling that more and more lately. It is a GIFT, friend, to get to focus all on him. And He will be the best big brother when God's timing is right for your next baby. He is faithful. Keep seeking Him and trusting Him. And keep writing....whoa....this blessed me!

Deidre said...

I LOVE, LOVE this post, Brittani!!! I know without a doubt going through infertility with both my children were life lessons for me. I am super-sensitive when I hear women planning every detail of their pregnancies, but rarely stop to realize my own words towards others. Thanks for posting this - it certainly speaks to me today :)