i learned that lesson from my friend Lisa.
After i lost Hope, i was terrified to tell the world i was expecting Gage.
One evening, Neil was out of town & it was 'bring your friend to gymnastics day', so my oldest 3 needed friends picked up & driven to gymnastics - Lisa's little girl was one of them. i had my Yukon loaded to the brim with little ones - & trying to ignore my nausea, drove them all to our destination. All through the evening, the nausea got worse, it came in waves & i prayed that i would just make it home. The time seemed to drag - & the noise seemed unbearable - i could smell everything - & i felt like crawling under my chair.
Finally, it was time to go & i loaded up the vehicle with excited chattering little ones & started back home. We got within blocks of the first little girls house when morning sickness prevailed & i had to pull over. i prayed none of the kids could see me as the traffic buzzed by - i was mortified. Suddenly i heard a quiet voice behind me, "Are you ok?"
It was Lisa - her & her husband were driving by & they saw us parked on the side of the road. Now, you have to understand there is an unwritten code among mothers... if you are sick, or your child is sick & you give that sickness to my child & i end up having to clean up puke... we are no longer friends. :) - Just kidding... almost.
"It's not the flu - it's not the flu -" i told her, "it's morning sickness."
i could hardly even get the words out of my mouth. My worry for this little one had been so great that it had overshadowed my joy. Her worried face immediately broke out in a huge smile & she deftly stepped around my puke & hugged me... "i'm so happy for you! Don't worry - this is me all through all my pregnancies too... it's nothing to be ashamed of!"
i don't know what i had expected... maybe raised eyebrows & an, "again?" Maybe i thought she would say, "oh... can i have my daughter now?" Maybe she would have pointed to my house that was only a block & a half away & said, "um, couldn't you make it that far?"
But no. She ignored my pukey self - my white face - & red rimmed worried eyes - she put her arms around me & comforted me & made me leave my shame right there on the side of the road.
i think Jesus wants us to be like that. i think Jesus wants us to help our friends escape the shame that would hold them down & keep them from the joy that is available to them.