Baby showers can be hard.
When we’re carrying our own pain, it can be difficult to be joyous for others.
Today Christia Colquitt from Faith Filled Parenting joins us to talk about how she came to terms with being happy for someone else. I know baby showers can be hard especially for people with infertility, and that wasn’t Christia’s problem. She already had children. But when we lose a dream it can be so easy to focus on ourselves. I think Christia’s point of learning to see outside of ourselves and rejoice with others is so apt! I hope this encourages you today.
I love babies. I love children. And this past year, I was told by my doctor that it would not be safe for my health to bear more children. My husband and I had always agreed that we would continue to have children until God gave us a clear answer.
Enter March 2015.
My health issues began with a serious depressive disorder. It came out of nowhere, was coupled with anxiety, and my world literally came crashing down. After six months of searching for answers, starting a prescription drug, a vitamin supplement routine, a Paleo diet, and two surgeries, the professionals came to the conclusion that the hormone imbalance of my pregnancies caused the crash. My gallbladder and liver were both struggling due to the inflammation that these imbalances had caused. The road to recovery has been long, covered in prayer, and supported by the love of my family.
Today was the first time that I attended a baby shower since my crash.
And I was nervous and to be quite honest jealous with envy. That used to be me with the round belly feeling the flutters. And now it would never be me again. Memories of holding my babies for the first time flooded my thoughts. And the fact that my oldest just turned nine was still fresh in my mind.
As I laid in bed beside my husband the night before the shower, I just started to sob. Hot, messy, ugly tears flowed. My husband just held me. He knew. He knew my pain. He knew my fear. He knew what this was all about. And when the tears were over, I felt cleansed. I was so thankful that my husband did not try to “fix” the problem right away. He knew that I needed to just let it go. I needed that moment to cry in the arms of my husband. It was not until after I had settled down that he prayed over me. He asked God to open up my eyes to all my blessings, to others hurts, and to use my pain as a light to others. Having an open conversation with my husband about the hurt in my heart allowed me to move on.
And from my tears the night before, two incredible revelations came to me as I prepared for this event.
This is not about me. It is about that beautiful life God created for my friend.
It is her experience, and God calls me to “rejoice with those who rejoice.” I needed to search deeper than just be happy for her so I decided to go to Scripture.
In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul writes
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through (Christ) who gives me strength.
This passage resonated with me. I had been in need as I struggled through depression, and I had known plenty as God blessed me with five healthy children. So now it was time for me to find my strength in Christ. As Andy Stanley says “There is no win in comparisons.” Comparing was not going to get me anywhere.
One practical step I took was to pray.
When a jealous or envious thought entered, I took that thought captive to Christ and prayed for my friend. I prayed for her baby, for her delivery, for her as a parent, for her marriage those first few months. I prayed for those around me. Baby showers can be difficult for lots of women. Infertility, miscarriages, unhealthy marriages affect so many that celebrating someone else’s pregnancy can be difficult. Since I was always the one pregnant, I never stopped to think about what others might be feeling or thinking. They needed my prayers too. Maybe they had envious thoughts that needed redirecting and made new like mine. God knew my heart was in the right place, and I truly believe His reward was a sense of peace.
Today was a success.
Spiritually I grew. In prayer, I felt more connected to God and my friends. I was overjoyed to celebrate my friend and her upcoming new arrival. And I as I continue to heal, I hugged my kids a little tighter tonight. There may not be more babies for me in my future, but the ones God has blessed me with are perfect. Today I choose to be thankful and filled with joy.
Christia Colquitt is passionate about intentional parenting. She uses Faith Filled Parenting as a ministry to share parenting, home management, and marriage tips and tricks. She has started a series called How to Survive Zero to Thrive. Christia’s main goal is to help parents not only survive, but thrive during those early parenting years. Her husband is the punter for the Kansas City Chiefs and together they are homeschooling their five children. She hopes to inspire and encourage others as she shares her struggles through depression, health issues, and her journey to a Paleo lifestyle.