Tonight I went to a friend's baby shower. Over the past year I have generally avoided baby showers because it was just too hard. But this one I knew I needed to go to. This friend journeyed longer than I have on the long road of "trying to get pregnant", had the same surgery as me for endometriosis and wondered, like me, if she would ever get pregnant. And then miraculously- a baby!
She was one of the friends I'd commiserate with about this process and we'd pray for each other to have babies and just listen and encourage one another. When she found out she was pregnant she was so sensitive to me and wrote me an email saying she wanted to tell me the news first so that I didn't hear it through the grapevine somehow, and that she knew this meant we would now be on different paths, and if it was too hard for me to talk with her about her baby she would understand. That email spoke so much love to me and I couldn't hold back my true excitement for her after we had prayed and hoped for this day to come for her for so long. I found out I was pregnant only a few months later and we rejoiced together about the crazy miracles we were both experiencing, and the uniqueness of the pregnancy experience after you've waited so long and tried so hard. Obviously we lost our baby, but thankfully she has had a healthy pregnancy and expects a little girl in February.
But back to the baby shower- I was feeling apprehensive about going since these last couple weeks have been so rough and I just didn't know how it would be to have a whole evening focused on baby stuff. But I truly wanted to put my feelings aside and rejoice with my friend. So I talked with two dear friends who were also going to the shower and they agreed to hang with me and said if I needed to leave early or talk about something else they were fine with that. Seriously great friends!
Well the evening turned out so wonderful and I was really blessed in many ways and am so glad I went! It turned out to be a little reunion of the group of girls (well, almost all of them) who used to be my main girlfriends a few years ago. It had been years since we'd all hung out like that since life has taken us all in many directions, and especially since the gal who is pregnant and a couple others have been living overseas the past few years. We keep up with each other through Facebook and reading each others ministry newsletters and occasional phone calls, but of course nothing beats face to face conversation and getting to hear each others voices and see the smiles you miss so much. And best of all- laughing LOTS :)
I was thankful for sweet friends who are sensitive to our loss and asked me about it. I was thankful for friends who are at all different stages of life and motherhood and womanhood than me- who have had different journeys to parenthood and loss- and who each have their own story to tell. I was thankful that even though there have been many miles and big oceans between us, the sounds of their laughter and the twinkle of their eyes is still so familiar and comforting. I was thankful for the sisterhood that we have- married, single, mothers with children, mothers with children in heaven- still bonded and linked by a friendship that has lasted. And I was thankful for the unique personalities of each woman and what each one offers- the laughter and silliness, the tenderness and concern, the stories and sharing.
How blessed am I to know all of you and to have you all around me tonight?!?! I am rich with friends!
We bonded years back because of our common passion to follow God's call to the nations and to our neighbors, praying together constantly, being the church together, growing in trusting God in some very interesting situations, seeking God together about our futures, sharing lots of meals and doing some sorta crazy stuff in our neighborhood ;) Now look at all we've gone through and the women we've become and how we've supported each other through life's twists and turns!
And now for a little trip down memory lane with some old pictures. I know you're all gonna love me for this ;)
So all this reminds me that I miss you so and we all live too far apart! I don't have this sisterhood around me physically anymore. I have a couple of you here in town with me, but literally all the rest of my dear friends live out of the country and one is out of state. I miss just the fun and noise and laughter and conversation of a big group of girls all hanging out together. Things have been so sad and down around here lately that I certainly needed some life and laughter around me. So I will treasure tonight and take it as a real gift.
You are amazing women who are all following God's call on your lives, blessing others with the beauty and uniqueness God has put in you, and I am so very thankful to have you as my friends.
Thanks for loving me tonight and for making me laugh till my face hurt :)