Like Mary and Elizabeth, I have shared being pregnant at the same time as other women. I regret losing touch with the woman I got to share my first pregnancy with. She is a strong woman who I could count on to keep me grounded. She kept those first time mom-to-be feelings in check. Her son was born exactly six months before mine. She could share all of the "real-life experiences" about what I could expect.
With the second child, I was so blessed to share my time of pregnancy with two other amazing women. Our children were born 5 days or less apart. I cherish the time I could talk to someone who understood where I was at in that part of my life. I still do because my hope is that our children will grow up together. Even if they don't get to, I will still thank God for that experience in my life. Words can't begin to explain how grateful I am.
I have also been blessed to be able to be there for someone when they needed a shoulder to cry on. Between my two children now, I found out that I was pregnant. Unfortunately, that pregnancy was ectopic, so I had to undergo an emergency surgery to remove my tube. It was a life saving surgery. About two years after that, when I was working, an acquaintance had just lost a pregnancy of her own. As I was still trying to come to terms with God's plan for my life, I was able to listen to her. I was able to relate to her. We even found out that we had been seeing the same doctor. We were able to share a heartbreaking experience. It was therapeutic to be able to share my experience with her.
These are not the only times that I have been able to relate to someone. But these times are when the bonds of friendships form. We can use these situations as springboards if we choose to. Mary knew that Elizabeth was having a baby, the angel told her. She went to see Elizabeth because she chose to. She could have run home to tell her family, betrothed husband, or even to talk to a religious person, but she didn't.
As I sit here and think about it. She wanted to talk to Elizabeth first, I think, because she knew that she would be the most understanding. When ever we have a problem we run to the person who we think will understand us the most first. One who won't give us an opinion, but one who will tell us the truth because they know us. Especially when we are teenagers. I can remember so many times when I was growing up that I would be faced with a situation and my friends were the first to know. My mom would be the last. I knew that she would give me what I thought was the third degree, or that she wouldn't understand.
I am blessed that I can still call my mom when I get in a situation I don't know the answer to. I have learned over the years that she will not say things just to comfort me. She will tell me the truth.
The reaction of the baby in the womb amazes me! I just can't get over the fact that John, not even born yet, sensed the presence of Mary and the Lord Jesus, who had just been conceived in the room. It truly gives me goosebumps. I know that when my husband talked an while I was pregnant, the children would respond...sometimes! Babies in womb respond to soothing or familiar sounds, it has been proven. But Mary being around was not familiar to Elizabeth's child. Yet here we see God's miraculous work as Elizabeth's child leaped for joy! Wow!
The last Bible study I participated in led me to write about my younger years...before I knew God, before I knew much at all. In it I wrote about all the choices I made and where I am now. Unfortunately, the computer I saved that paper on crashed and it is gone. But I did send it to my pastor because I thought that I could help someone get through something similar to me. I hope that God will give me that opportunity someday.
I thank God for the friends I have made, the friends I will make, and all the friends I have had. Each one was/is in my life because God knows that I need them and they might need me. I want to be the kind of friend that Jesus would be. I try to remember that now. Now that time is scarce and a kindred heart could be right there. All I have to do is give that person a chance. I don't think that there is a person alive who hasn't been burned by a friend or family member. But we have to remember that we can't let those negative relationships or experiences define the ones we have now, or the ones we will have.
One of the pre-reading questions asked us to explain why receiving God's comfort isn't enough. Why do we need to share His Comfort. I will leave you with my thoughts on it. God gave us His son. He knew what Jesus would have to go through, it was His plan. God did that for me, you, and everyone else. It's an old saying about our possessions, but it is true. If it weren't for God, we would have nothing. Isn't the same true about God's comfort? We would share anything a friend asked for. If we are to be like Jesus and treat all like friends, wouldn't we want them to have the greatest thing of all?