Pregnancies, baby showers, births, newborns... IT'S BABY MANIA OUT HERE! When you're TTC, babies seem to be everywhere, don't they? Those round, full bellies can follow you like your shadow. Facebook might as well be renamed Pregobook. When the one thing your longing is constantly in.your.face. it can be difficult (understatement!) to deal in a healthful way. When I say healthful, I mean FULL of health. Not merely healthy, or lacking disease, but healthFUL, meaning filling you full of health. So... how can you face Baby Mania in a way that fills you with health? FYI, this is a not a, "PULL YOURSELF UP AND GET YOURSELF TOGETHER" message. No, we all know that approach is temporary at best.
The thing is, you very rightfully have real feelings and emotions when you encounter pregnancies and babies. Real feelings and emotions that God cares deeply about. Instead of pushing through on your own, let's go to God together. Let's hear His heart on baby mania in a TTC season.
1. Assess your thoughts
Everything that settles in our hearts starts with a thought. The enemy wants to put all kinds of discouraging thoughts in our minds. If you don't take those thoughts captive, your mind becomes a ripe battleground for jealously, bitterness, anger. The GREAT news is this, you CAN overcome! Yes, you can.
Renewing your mind is an ongoing work for the Christian, but your dedication will yield a precious harvest: becoming one with the mind of Christ. See: 2 Corinthians 10:5, Romans 12:2, James 4:7, Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:8
Don't allow your season of waiting to taint your view of those who aren't walking in your shoes. They probably don't understand. They may seem (or actually be) insensitive to the very real struggle of waiting month after month after month. Things may be said or done that are off color and offensive to you. Remember this: no one has control over your thoughts besides you. It is in your hands to choose the thoughts of God.
Okay it's action time! Take a mental inventory. What's going on in that mind of yours in regards to Baby Mania? Ask God to identify one area that He desires to renew right now. Is renewing your mind an area that you struggle in? I would highly recommend the book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer.
2. Address your feelings
Once you assess your thoughts, you might notice that there some key areas with which you struggle. DO NOT ignore them! I repeat: do not ignore!!! Don't try to power through, push it down, or be better. Don't ignore what you feel, but don't allow Satan to use it either. Instead, be vulnerable with God, with your spouse, and with trusted friends. Don't live in the hurt/anger/jealousy/doubt/fear/etc. alone. God is not afraid of your blunt honesty. In fact, He desires it! Reading through the Psalms is a great reminder for me that it is not a sin to feel. Run to God with your raw, unrefined, unfiltered emotion.
Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane (Mathew 26:36-46) and His loud cry from the cross (Matthew 27:46) are painful examples of the vulnerability that God desires from us. He does not want us to hide our feelings and attempt to haphazardly manage them on our own. Our God is a kind and loving Father. His desire is to take your hand and draw you closer.
What raw feelings do you need to take to God? Take a few minutes to write down 3 feelings that you have when you encounter Baby Mania. Have you taken those to the Father? It's never too late to start.
3. Assemble a plan
Do you know that God cares about every baby shower you face? Every pregnant belly that takes you by surprise? He really does! Get vision from God for what this season looks like for you. Ask God for wisdom on how to respond to these situations. What does celebrating new life look like for you? The answer will be different for everyone. For some, it might mean not agreeing to host yet another baby shower at this time. For others, God might be leading you to host the shower, even though it will be hard. Is God asking you to serve in the church nursery? Deliver a prophetic word to a new mom instead of avoiding her? Whatever it is, get wisdom from the Father.
It's peculiar to read through the Jewish laws (example Leviticus 11), instructions on building a tabernacle (Exodus 26), or the detailed genealogies (Numbers). Why is this SO incredibly specific? How does this apply to today? Here's my take away: while God's covenant with us has changed, His character has not. He cares deeply, even about the smallest details of our lives.
Take a moment to ask God this question, "what is one word to describe how you desire for me to embrace Baby Mania?" Ask and listen and ask some more. Ask about specific upcoming Baby Mania scenarios.
4. Act accordingly
HA, easier said than done! If you've gone through all four of these steps, you've equipped yourself with the tools and foundation to healthfully embrace Baby Mania. It's okay if it's hard. It might be hard, but it's not impossible. Pray through it! You aren't doing this on your own. Jesus is with you, always. Holy Spirit is by your side. Remember that you have a divine helper.
Rebuke the enemy when he comes around. My favorite mental trick to rebuking the enemy? Brace yourself. This is very technically and theologically advanced. Okay, I'm exaggerating... a lot. Here it is, my handy, dandy, devil whoopin tool... "not today, Satan." That's it. Sometimes I add in a "not tomorrow, or ever," sometimes it's aloud, sometimes in my heart, but really that one tiny sentence is my sword. Not. Today. #NOPE. Speak life, dear sister, and declare, "Today, I will seek the mind Christ. Today, I will be vulnerable with God. Today, I will submit to God's vision for this season. Today, I can do this."
- Article written by Hailee Seiwert
A huge thanks to Hailee Seiwert for contributing this amazing article! Hailee is our Project Coordinator here at I Am Fruitful, and she is SUCH a valuable part of our team!!
Her heart for the Lord and maturity in the Word are so clear in her writing! We know her article will encourage and bless you as you continue to pursue the Lord while growing your family!