“Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.”
And now for part two. Or technically part one. I previously posted about weeping with those who weep. Today let’s think about rejoicing with those who rejoice.
This is the hard one. Or maybe it’s just me?
Raise your hand if you have ever gotten on Facebook to discover the fifth pregnancy announcement of the week.
Raise your hand if your friend/relative announced a pregnancy the same day your period started.
Raise your hand if you were invited to a baby shower during a very emotional week.
Am I the only one with my hand up? No? Well if anyone else has a hand up, know you’re in good company.
Those moments are hard. And I’ll be honest and say that my first thought usually is not one of rejoicing.
Guess what? God doesn’t give us an out here. We are called to rejoice regardless of the personal pain we are going through. I have wrestled with this. Where does my personal pain end and jealousy begin? Where is the line between needing space and becoming a bitch about it (yes, I just said that)? How do you balance personal pain and rejoicing with others?
Let me just say that it is a hard question to answer. And the answer might look different for different people.
First I want to say that those feelings are normal. A person’s personal experience will always color their lives (and yes I will repeat the cliche…it’s up to us if we allow it to negatively or positively impact us).
It is ok if you need to decline a baby shower invitation (just rejoice by sending a gift anyway!).
It is ok if you can’t bring yourself to enthuse on Facebook when an acquaintance announces a pregnancy (but rejoice and hit “like” anyway!).
It is ok if you ask one of your close friends, “Hey if you hear that so-and-so is pregnant, can you try to let me know before she announces it so that I have time to prepare myself and truly have a happy response when she tells me?”
Sometimes rejoicing is a battle. It’s when you choose to put aside your pain and do something for someone else because it’s the right thing to do. And because deep down we are happy, very happy, for our friends and we want them to know it.
TTC cannot be an excuse for jealousy. Or for becoming a permanent hermit. It is a battle that must be fought but it is a hard, sometimes constant, battle.
How have you been able to rejoice with others when you don’t feel like it?