A few weeks ago, our pastor announced our pregnancy at church. At first, I had mixed feelings. I was glad he wanted to share our news but at the same time, I felt badly because I know knew that are individuals in our congregation continue to struggle with infertility. I can almost guarantee there are other couples who are secretly navigating infertility too.
The pastor asked me, prior to the service, if he could announce it. I smiled and told him it was fine, but I just felt conflicted. What he said next really amazed me (and I'm not sure why).
"I want to tell the church you're expecting because I am excited for you. Foremost though, I want to tell them you're pregnant because there have been many people praying for you over the past few years, people you didn't even know about. Those people deserve to see how God responded."
I do have some close prayer-warrior friends who have been walking this journey with me. But strangers? Who even knows about our infertility? It's not like I walked around with a banner that read, "I can't get pregnant." Or maybe I did?
After the service, a woman came up to me whom I slightly know, but not well. I know her name. I know who her husband is. I know that she sits on the lefthand side of the sanctuary, in the back. That's about it.
"I wanted to let you know I've been praying for you for over a year. I just can't explain it. Your name has been on my heart, and I have been praying that God would give you the desires of your heart. I didn't know that meant a baby while I was praying, but now, I do! I will continue to pray for you and for the baby."
She hugged me, and walked away.
As we were leaving the church, an older man approached Chris. He is the greeter every week. He has seen us walk in and out of the church since we first stepped foot inside a few years ago.
"Chris! I have to tell you this! You won't believe it. Each Sunday morning, I pray for the mothers of our church. I go through the directory and pray for guidance and wisdom for them. Today, I prayed for Rachel, and then I thought, Oh wait, no she's not pregnant. She's not a mother. But today, Pastor Tim announced that she is!"
It's humbling to know that strangers have been lifting us up, without us even knowing it. Humbling and heart-warming.