On Friday night, my church had a Women’s Christmas dinner. My mom and I were “table hosts” which just meant that we decorated our table, got there a little early to fill the coffee carafe and water pitcher, and facilitated a conversation with those who sat with us. As people were arriving, I noticed a lady who substitute teaches at my school approaching. She does not have a good reputation at school. In fact, I was told by the school secretary that she would not be allowed to sub at our school beyond the current month due to complaints. She also weirds me out because she always seeks out my dad, which I’m not used to strange women doing. She hugs him and tells him her problems. Even though I am frequently with him when they speak, she doesn’t know who I am. I tried to say “Hi! You go to my church!” once when I ran into her at school, but she ignored me. So, as she came toward our table, I thought, “Oh no! Please don’t let her sit at our table.” Then I immediately felt a check in my spirit and was reminded that we are supposed to love others, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. She chose our table to sit at. I attempted to be friendly.
As we were introducing people who did not know each other, I told her that I thought she sometimes worked at my school and had even sub’ed for me when I was out. She looked confused and asked me my name. She peered skeptically at my name tag. Then she asked, “Do you know that teacher who lost her baby?”. I said, “That’s me”. She seemed unphased and continued on asking questions about which class I taught and who my aides are. Then she said again, “So, did you hear about that teacher who lost her baby? I sub for her alot”. Again I said, “That’s me”. This time she heard me. She gasped and apologized awkwardly. I wondered what the ladies sitting between us were thinking or if they even heard. It was awful.
I hate being “that person”, the one everyone feels sorry for, “that teacher who lost her baby”. It makes me feel embarrassed, although it shouldn’t. I wish it wasn’t me this happened to. It’s very disconcerting to learn that strangers know about our loss. I hate thinking of people talking about it and what they might say. I don’t want that to be my identity. But on the other hand, I almost do. Maybe that would put some little buffers around me that could be helpful. I’m sure in future years, this will become more like one piece of my puzzle and less of a flashing neon sign. I guess I’m not sure if that makes me happy or sad. I don’t want my Luke to be forgotten or to be less important, but I don’t want to be the freak forever either.
At least I know God doesn’t view me that way. His opinion counts the most. He says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. He knows every moment of our lives before they occur. He knows if Josh and I will get a rainbow baby for Christmas as I am praying or if we will get another baby at all. And whatever it will be, it WILL be what is best. It may not feel like the best at the moment or even in this lifetime, but it will be in the big picture that we will finally get to see when we get to heaven ourselves.