Thursday, January 18, 2007
Let your Heart take Courage
It's taken me a long time to write this and even longer to decide to post it, so please take your time to read these first paragraphs before moving on to the rest.

If I'm honest, the only reason this will be published is that none of my family knows this blog exists. I don't write this dwelling in pity or looking for sympathy and I hope that your comments will reflect that. It was only through speaking to a Christian friend that I realised that others did feel this way even if nobody openly admits it. Instead I want to share part of my experience that I know others have faced, but I've never seen others write about it in the hope that it might help others in a similar position.

When I discovered that my little sister was pregnant, my very first reaction was not of joy or excitement but of pain. (There - I've said it. What do you think of me now?)

Why did I (and, as I was so thankful to discover, along with others) feel the pain of a burning skewer suddenly stabbing my heart? One part of it might be as the eldest daughter, I feel in some way that the first grandchild was my 'responsibility'. No-one in my family seems to realise that the little jokes that "She's beaten you to it" actually cause me pain.

Another aspect is my strong desire to be a wife and mother with no present opportunity to fulfill that. I have friends who are married who have struggled terribly with this as they try unsuccessfully to have children as everyone else around them seems to be having no difficulties. It makes me sad too that the birth of this child is not the completely joyous event that it should be. The emotions of our family have ranged from shock, anger, disappointment, concern and worry as much as joy, delight and excitement that a new baby will be born.

So how should we react to this? After discussion with girlfriends, it seems that the most helpful thing is to just sit quietly and pray without giving advice, rather like Job's friends did in the beginning (Job 2:11-13). Platitudes don't help and probably just serve to increase the guilt and shame of feeling like this. I don't know how to help women in this situation, so, remembering my thoughts in the second paragraph, I would appreciate your wisdom.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

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  posted at 13:47  
  12 comments



12 Comments:
At 18 January, 2007 15:50, Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I think your reaction is normal. And I know what you mean about the little jokes causing pain.

My thoughts:

How close are you to your sister?

You said there were feelings of "The emotions of our family have ranged from shock, anger, disappointment, concern and worry "... but was this just by you, or several members of the family. If several what are they angry about?

But I do like your response. To pray, and if you need healing due to being hurt Christ can fill that hole.

These are your feelings, don't feel guilty, there is no condemenation in Christ. He just asks that we take the hurts to him. Your feelings are valid.

I will pray for you in this area. You don't have my pity, you have my prayers.

 
At 18 January, 2007 15:56, Blogger Keziah said...

Thanks for your comments.

My sister and I are very close now - far much more so than when we were growing up!

I describe the emotions of several members of my family. Our littlest sister was furious with her for "being so careless" and they are not still talking to each other - made Christmas Day a little bit uncomfortable!

The feeling of pain I described was transient. I was delighted to get my own copy of the first ultrasound photo and am looking forward to the birth of my new neice or nephew.

I just wanted to share my experience because people don't talk about it and I wanted your advice and wisdom about how to deal with it in myself and others. Thank you for your prayers.

 
At 18 January, 2007 17:06, Blogger kel said...

Keziah,

My heart is with you. My sister has had two children (one is only a couple months old) at times when they should not be having children - they are not prepared at the moment to provide for a family at all. It's really irresponsible. My family was really upset, while my sister was fully excited - oblivious to why this may not be a good idea.

My wisdom is that you can't say anything. This isn't a bad choice she can take back - its permanent. I would just stay quiet and just pray for that little one. That's been my approach anyway; I've tried to focus the energy I would spend in negative thoughts and use that energy think about and pray for my nephew and niece.

As far as the comments go - you know I'm dealing with my share of comments too! Although, I know it must be painful with the marriage comments too. Again, an opportunity to bite your lip and pray. You can also let them know that since she is first, you have the opportunity to learn from her mistakes! =)

Praying for you,
kel

 
At 18 January, 2007 19:28, Blogger Duchess of Fife said...

Hi, Keziah! I just found your blog via Rocks in my Dryer. I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. I remember distinctly feeling the same way when friends or family would get married or announce a new baby. Then my life changed very quickly when I met and married my husband within five months time. You never know what can happen. May the Lord grant you the desires of your heart!

On a side note, what part of Scotland are you from? My husband is from Hamilton. We got married at a place called Chatelherault there. We now live in Texas but his family are still over there.

Nice to "meet" you!

Blessings, Emily Gunn

 
At 18 January, 2007 23:59, Anonymous Karen said...

Hi,
Thankyou for being so honest and open about the way you feel. Even to say it out loud / write it in a blog is not easy, because its like admitting it to yourself all over again, and it can be really ugly to see our own sinfulness so starkly. Praise God that he knows the full extent of our sin and depravity, and has loved us in sending Christ! I have been greatly encouraged by your blog. (As a person in a similar situation to you, I take great comfort in the fact that although sometimes I feel like I can't even see past how I am feeling, God is unchanging in his grace and mercy, and he is able to work in me in spite of my sinfulness, and he is not finished with me yet! "He will carry this good work to completion in Christ Jesus".) I'm praying for you!

 
At 19 January, 2007 08:45, Blogger Kathy said...

Hi Keziah, thank you for your honesty. All I can offer is this experience ...

Years ago when my daughter was in her final year at a Christian school, one of the girls in her class found she was pregnant. This was a first for this particular school and confusion reigned. Many 'problems' were raised and the board didn't know the best way to handle the situation.

A (not involved) friend said to us it was so sad that in the midst of all the angst of these situations people overlook the precious blessing of this new life that God has given. It really made me think and since then I have a new perspective on 'unplanned' pregnancies, and always give thanks with joy for these wonderful new lives - it shifts the focus!

 
At 19 January, 2007 10:24, Blogger Keziah said...

Thank you so much for all the comments! I have been so delighted to be part of blogland and to know such wonderful women who honestly share their experiences and wisdom. I really hope sharing this is a blessing to someone else along the line.

 
At 19 January, 2007 19:48, Blogger momrn2 said...

Would it shock you if I told you that I sensed pain when you first posted your sister was expecting? Somewhere, somehow, I knew there was a hurt tied to it... I just didn't know exactly what.

Praying that as God gives you this road to travel, you will be reminded you do NOT walk alone. May you sense His leading, guiding, comforting, and healing hand each step of the way!!

 
At 19 January, 2007 23:51, Blogger Keziah said...

Momrn2 - you've made me cry! It has warmed my heart so much to see the different outpourings of love and wisdom across blogs where we don't even know each other. I look forward to the day when we greet each other in heaven!

In the meantime, thank you again and again for all the prayers and love I have experienced since I started blogging. I thank God for you all every day.

 
At 20 January, 2007 02:36, Blogger Linda said...

To be very honest Keziah, I experienced similar feelings not too long ago. My husband's brother called to share some good news concerning some tests he had done. His results were great. My husband had had the same tests done a year or so earlier - with very frightening results. When I first heard that his brother was fine, instead of feeling joy for him - I felt rather hurt and angry and even a bit bitter. I wondered why us and not him. I felt so awful afterward - so selfish.
When I told my dear friend about my reaction, she said it was a natural reaction and that eventually I would feel happy for my brother-in-law. She was right. I do - but I cannot deny there is still that feeling of disappointment. I believe God knows our hearts and understands our weaknesses and our very natural feelings. He is more than willing to extend His grace and strength to help us. I must trust that He is doing what is best for us. And I do.
I don't know if that helps. I do understand how you feel. And I think praying for your sister and being there for her when she needs you is the best thing you can do.

 
At 20 January, 2007 10:17, Anonymous amanda said...

Keziah. . . I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU!!

 
At 22 January, 2007 17:22, Blogger Keziah said...

Thank you for all the comments and all the emails. I was so worried about posting this as I just didn't know what the reaction would be.

Instead, as the emails have trickled in, I have discovered there are many women (and, I am sure, men - it's just that they don't email me!) who have experienced this and generally experienced this alone.

I quote part of an email I was sent privately because it was so wise and I didn't want you all to miss out on it:

"I think it is so important for us to air these struggles and voice them out loud to close friends - friends who will pray and comfort and encourage and hold us accountable.

Trust who God is. Place your hope in him alone. Remember, he has given you what you need most - a Saviour. You can trust him."

 

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