I Don't Belong at Walmart: Thoughts on the Baby Aisle

Nearly every week I make a trip to Walmart. While I’m usually there to buy food to feed my little family of two, as my husband can attest, I often find myself meandering about the store. Sure I only need some bread, but a detour through the home goods section never hurt anyone, right? Every once in a while I find myself wandering through a more painful section of Walmart. The baby aisle. Call it wishful thinking, but I sometimes feel drawn to all the little outfits, furniture, and products that are designed for that little bundle of joy. Sometimes it makes me hopeful. Hopeful that one day I will have a reason to step foot in the baby section of a store without someone else’s baby registry in hand. But sometimes it just makes me ache when I see the large bold letters “Baby” across the center aisle. “That’s not for me,” I think to myself. Bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom accessories? Yes. Baby section? Not me. I don’t belong there.

Maybe you can relate. Perhaps your only child is in heaven, too, and seeing all of the baby clothes at the store just brings to mind too many thoughts of what could have been. Or maybe you are struggling through infertility, and the baby section is another reminder of dashed hopes every month. I can relate.

So what’s a girl to do? I can’t avoid Walmart, Target, and every store that sells baby things. I have been particularly blessed by a post Molly Piper wrote last year about feeling like she didn’t belong in the little girl section of the store. In it she says,

“Grief is not just for grieving places, like the cemetery. It happens in other stranger places–you know, places like Kohl’s.”

For the most part I feel pretty good about my weekly trips to Walmart. But there are some days where it just hits me like a never-ending freight train, and I feel overwhelmed with sadness that I don’t belong in the baby section, even though every part of me hoped and thought I would this summer. I might not belong in the baby section, but as Molly says in her post, I do belong somewhere much more comforting—at the foot of the cross. She goes on to say:

“But Jesus doesn’t turn away the grievers. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I am called blessed. And I’m promised His comfort.

This is blessed assurance. It’s like a great big sign at the foot of the Cross that says:

“You Belong Here.”

The Bible doesn’t tell us that we won’t grieve, or even that our grief will end at a given point. But the Bible does promise us a refuge when the grief comes. His name is Jesus. So the next time I find myself longingly wandering through the baby section on my way to find a surge protector for our bedroom, I can trust that while I don’t “belong” in the baby section, I do belong with the Savior.