Twenty-seven causes and awareness campaigns. That’s what I saw when I Googled this month and the awareness campaigns. I thought I would share a couple that are personal to me, and offer encouragement if those are your reality.
National Bullying Prevention Month—When I speak in public, I often introduce myself as a chubby girl who remembers being in gym class, swimming rotation, in the 5th grade when a boy raised his hand and asked the teacher while pointing at me, “Does fat float?” Comments like that dominated my middle school years and scars remain.
These days as a mom I’m vigilant against those comments and so much more. With two teens, one with slight special needs, there is a new enemy I narrow my eyes and spend my time monitoring with skepticism—the cell phone and social media.
If appliances can have genders I think the phone is female because we girls are so cruel to each other in our efforts to cloak our insecurity. Texting, Kik, Snapchat and apps to come in the future that parents need to know about are new vehicles to take bullying to a new level. There are ten year olds committing suicide because of bullying. Thing is, I’ve been in a room full of women, Christian women, and I watched them take each other down like I was back in high school. This isn’t the example we should be leading with. Our girls, our grandchildren are watching. We’ve got to improve on our own experiences and give this generation a building up. And honestly, we need to start at home.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness—Just like I remember where I was when kids made fun of me, I also remember fine details when it comes to my miscarriage. There were people who heard our expecting announcement but never heard that we suffered a loss. That made for crippling moments for me emotionally when I had to stuff my grief and comfort an apologetic friend who asked me how I was doing and meant the pregnancy. There were insensitive comments and actions from acquaintances about how my loss wasn’t like their current stress or the insistence I take the box of maternity clothes I’d loaned out because the new mom could already fit in her mom jeans. Miscarriage and infant loss is such a hard topic to talk about but I refuse to ignore it. It’s better to approach a hurting friend and confess you’re worried about saying something wrong than to walk by and say nothing at all. Ask how you can help, and when they isolate themselves and beg off your invitations, show up. Oh, they will act mad, but deep down, there will be relief. I know that was the case for me. I was so obsessed with the why behind my miscarriage and the judging of those who had kids and mistreated them that I lost focus on the many blessings I did have.
Like I said, 27 causes and awareness campaigns was what I saw on a quick Google search. Here is a list for October. What causes are meaningful to you?
By the way, if you or someone you know is grieving a pregnancy/infant loss, there are six of us who shared with complete transparency our journeys in the workbook devotional, A Walk in the Valley. I participated in this because I wanted a raw and hopeful book out there that didn’t exist when I needed it. I pray it blesses you.