I am on the creative team at my church. I love it. We do some pretty fun, serious, wacky things during services, and generally it's just awesome. We started our church just about 5 years ago, and last Sunday we had over 1100 people come. It is so neat to see what God is doing with the small gifts He's given us.
I largely do the announcments each Sunday. And when we're running through each service, we talk about the flow, transitions, and if there are any special elements.
Que Mothers Day discussions.
We've been trying to think if we want to add a "drama", a video, or do a give away for moms for the past couple weeks. Coupled with having Louis Zamperini speak a few weeks ago, (if you haven't read 'Unbroken' by Laura Hillenbrand, you're missing out!), Mother's day kind of snuck up on us and we are going with a short video and giving away a candle to each mother.
But then we were discussing how to give the candles away. Our first plan was to do the normal, "if you're a mom, stand up and the ushers will give you your candle (hopefully said with more pizzaz than that...ha!)." And there is still part of me who remembers those days. The days when everyone would look at you, either because they wondered if you were pregnant and would stand up, essentially letting that be the moment you told everyone you're pregnant. Or when people would look at you and feel pity if they knew you'd been trying for 3 years to have a baby. But I do remember.
But you wouldn't know it based on the next discussion our creative team had. The Worship director said he had a thought, what about those women who were trying to become moms? What about the women who lost children. What about, what about, what about. All those women who for different reasons were hurting on mothers day.
My first reaction was not to side with the childless. And now, ever 3 days later, it still bothers me. My first reaction was to say that if there are women who are hurting, and are sitting in church being bitter, that they need to deal with that on their own, and we can't expect the Church to cater to that.
WHAT!?? Did I really say that?
Here is why I said that, and this is the part I wished I would've elaborated on in that meeting. My own personal journey (No one elses, even you lovely ladies who are still trying, or trying for a second or third...) was that I didn't understand why God wouldn't bless us with a child. And I found myself battling jealousy. I know jealousy to be a sin. So I know if I had allowed myself to be bitter and jealous (which let's face it, sometimes I was) that this would have been my own sin to deal with. Also, what I said in the meeting was that if there are women who are truely hurting over this (pain I know well) that they probably wouldn't even be coming to church that day as we have been advertising a child dedication on Mother's Day as well. So if a woman is going to be in the congregation and be jealous that she's not a mother, she needs to deal with that between her and God.
You guys, I said it wrong! I didn't mean that! I want so desperately to go back to that meeting and stick up for all of the people who aren't mothers and fathers who want to be! I want to say that it's awful that you can be watiting and going through procedures and having blood drawn and your womanhood called into question because there is no baby in your arms. I want to address that we've got a problem that a lot of women deal with and the church doesn't offer very many solutions and small groups for that.
But I didn't. I said that I think the women should deal with it themselves.
I think because I had to suffer through it, I thought others should too. And they should take the high road.
I think I was feeling smug. And it has bothered me ever since.
I don't need to apologize to that group. They don't care. It's 3 men and a 58 year old lady who's about to be a Grandmother. None of them are really going to emaphithize with this pain. It's you and me I need to apologize too.
It's the women who want a baby and just can't understand why this isn't what God has in store for them.
It's the me from 5 years ago who was gaining weight left and right because she kept thinking 'Maybe I'm pregnant', and then when I found I wasn't, I would eat to console myself.
I should have been the first to speak up about making women stand because of the stigma it puts on those who are sitting.
But I was silent.
And I'm sorry.
And next time I have the chance to honor the infertile or the childless, I will. And I will give my own girls extra squeezes tonight (and every night) because they are such a gift and I'm so blessed to be their momma (even when they are calling my name every 3 seconds...especially then).
Happy Mother's and Future Mother's Day.
P.S. If you're wondering, we decided to put the candles on a table outside and tell the moms that as they leave, be sure to stop by and pick up their gift. So we're not making anyone stand up in service.