Thursday, June 7, 2012

A City Set on a Hill Cannot be Hidden


My apologies for having not posted in a while...I have been traveling a lot for work, but thankfully, the Lord continues to inspire me in every situation, even at work, about topics to blog about here.

Earlier this week I attended a conference with several of my co-workers, one of whom is currently expecting her first child. Just before leaving for the conference, I was fearful of getting into the car with her and another female co-worker (we were all three carpooling to the conference) because I was afraid I would be subjected to 3+ hours of nothing but baby-related talk.

To my surprise, this pregnant woman did not mention anything remotely close to her pregnancy, babies, children...nothing. Later that evening she was telling me how she used to be able to travel a lot without it affecting her, but now it's harder "Maybe because I'm married now..." She did NOT say "Because I'm pregnant" or anything close to that.

This really impressed me.


Because I've noticed a pattern in our culture, specific to females only. Obviously there are a lot of different personalities, backgrounds, strengths/weaknesses because we are all unique, but there is one thing that I've observed about women that can be classified into two groups, and only two groups: Prideful or Humble.

The pattern that I'm speaking of specifically relates, of course, to pregnancy or being a mother of children of any age. I have observed that women fall into one of the two groups above, either they are prideful or humble about how they view their role as a future or current mother.

Really and truly think about this pattern. I have observed that when women get pregnant, it seems like all of a sudden a switch is flipped, and they realize that they get to have 9-month's worth of doting on and full-blown attention from society. They get special parking spaces, strange women approaching them to comment about how great they look or ask them about their plans, the gender, the name, etc. They get to be the center of attention for at least one baby shower thrown for them by friends or family.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with recognizing the beauty and blessing of pregnancy. But where I have a problem, is how that pregnant woman's attitude and heart responds to all of this attention.

Does she remain humble, and just dwell in her gratitude and thankfulness for the blessing she's been given by the Lord? Or does she take this opportunity, where for 9-months she is placed in the spotlight on center stage, to keep the focus on herself?

Does she remain humble by expressing her thankfulness to God for the blessing she's been given, taking the opportunity to share her faith with complete strangers or unbelievers? Or does she post an unnecessary amount of ultrasound pictures, status updates about pregnancy, pictures of her growing belly, or a cartoon "Your Pregnancy, Week by Week" tracker on her blog or Facebook?

What should your heart focus on while the world is focusing on YOU?

Matthew 4:14-15
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."

It's inevitable -- when you become pregnant, the world will focus a lot of attention on you. I'm not saying this attention is a bad thing. But if you choose to keep that attention mostly focused on yourself, then I believe you are falling into that Prideful group instead of the Humble one.

What message will you choose to send? If you know you have infertile friends, yet you choose to update frequently on Facebook or blogs about your pregnancy, doesn't that send a message to others that you are insensitive and intentionally being a stumbling block to your infertile friends? (Assuming of course that you have not already personally contacted those friends to warn them you will be updating those types of things. I have had two friends message me on Facebook prior to their announcing pregnancy for all of Facebook, warning me that they will be doing so, and to unfriend or hide them so that I won't be hurt. That is true class if you ask me. Their sensitivity frees me up to be joyful for them, without struggling with bitterness towards them.) If you utter several complaints about how sick or tired you feel, doesn't that tell the world all about yourself instead of how faithful God is to give you a child? When you meet a stranger who asks you about your pregnancy, do you only talk about yourself and your plans, or do you bring the focus back to God -- the One who created the very topic of your conversation?

Psalm 127:3-5
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

If you are fortunate enough to receive the blessing of carrying a child, then please realize that you have been given an amazing opportunity from the Lord to share His glory and your testimony at a time when you will most certainly have a listening and watching audience.

I was so very impressed with this co-worker of mine that I flat out told her that I think she is so incredibly sensitive for not flaunting her pregnancy. I shared about how I struggle with infertility and thanked her profusely for making it easier for me to be around her -- so much easier that I joyfully asked her questions about her baby, the gender, the name, etc. because my heart was free of fear and full of joy and happiness for her.

Matthew 23:12
Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

If one day the Lord blesses me with a pregnancy, you will not see me flaunt it, nor will you hear me utter a complaint about it. I do not want to keep the focus on myself because I know for a fact that the pregnancy will not be a result of any effort I made, it will only be because God decided it was the right time to open my womb. I cannot wait for the opportunity to share my faith even more with strangers who approach me. This infertility journey has certainly given me a lot of practice at remaining faithful through difficulties. And since I never plan to use any form of contraceptive ever again, even after having a first child, Lord willing....second pregnancy right away? Bring it on. Ten children in my future? Bring it on. I say this will full confidence because I have complete faith in the Lord to carry me through any situation or struggle we may face. Easy? Certainly not...this is the most difficult struggle I've ever gone through, but I have such a greater testimony to share about the Lord and His Grace and Love because of it.

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