One, primary lesson in dealing with pregnant women, as a man, is to never tell them, “I know what you’re going through.”
You can’t compare the experience of having a child grow inside you to having a kidney stone, having surgery, or even having ate too much. A pregnant woman won’t have anything of the sorts.
If you attempt such comparisons, you’re likely to suffer the wrath of a woman unlike you have ever suffered before. And for good reasons. What we experience as men, even in ‘similar’ conditions, is nothing like the experience pregnancy provides.
With that risk in play, I would like to share one thing I learned from my wife during her pregnancies:
Growth is uncomfortable.
From my perspective, I’ve never seen my wife happier than when she found out she was pregnant. Those two moments were packed with love and joy and faith and the satisfaction of a promise fulfilled.
But then the baby started to grow.
And as much as she was already in love with our children, the discomfort was evident.
There’s two places that I see this truth emerging right now:
1. In Our Personal Stories.
We all have one common desire: to be comfortable. We want to comfortable in our relationships, in our careers, and in our finances.
“Comfortable” rarely produces the kind of life that we find satisfying. Life requires tension, because all good stories have great conflict.
I’m pretty sure that most of us avoid responding to Jesus because it’s going to be uncomfortable. But… Growth is uncomfortable.
2. In Our Church
We’ve been here before, and by God’s grace we’re there again. Our church is growing, and as it grows it’s going to be challenging.
Growth produces change.
And let me be honest about this… we want to grow!
Here’s a few quick reasons why we want to grow:
God’s given us a message of faith, hope, and love that we want to share with as many people as possible.
As long as there is one more hurting family, one more lost family in our city, our church is not big enough.
We want to invite people that are far away from God to join us on a life-giving journey to be changed by this message.
But change is uncomfortable.
That means that over the next season, as our church continues to grow, you can expect things to become less comfortable.
The first way this will happen is what we call “overlap”. It’s where events happen at the same time, on the same day, or on the same weekend. If you’re the family that’s been attending every event, it’s going to require some adjustment. That change is going to be uncomfortable.
The second thing that will happen is our church is going to become less “personal”. As of October we’re averaging around 250 people in attendance each Sunday. That means no matter how involved you, we are all becoming a smaller percentage of the whole.
I had an incredible moment yesterday: I saw someone at the grocery store wearing one of our church’s T-Shirts and I had no idea who they were! That’s amazing! I love that our churches reach is getting that wide!
So… what do you do when it gets uncomfortable?
I think we could all take a lesson from my wife during her pregnancy: Don’t complain, allow the discomfort to point you to the promise, and trust Jesus with it all.
You can, even in the middle of discomfort, enjoy the journey!