There I was in Wal-Mart dashing in between the aisles of shampoo and body wash, trying to avoid anyone I knew as I raced to “the aisle.” Once I arrived, I made one glance to the left and then to the right, ensuring that the coast was clear. With no one in sight, I grabbed the box of First Response Early Responder pregnancy tests, stashed them underneath the loaf of bread (which I was only using as a cover-up), and bolted to the nearest self-checkout lane. After grabbing a water bottle out of the cooler of drinks, I scanned my items and made a quick exit out of the door and into my car. Whew! I had gone unnoticed!
I rushed home and scurried to the bathroom. My hands were shaking, and I could barely rip open the box. I was nervous yet excited because, at that moment in time, I still had hoped the sore breasts, constant peeing, sleepless nights, random moments of crying while folding socks and crazy cravings meant I was pregnant.
I had a million dreams of what the next nine months would look like and in three minutes, they could be a million losses.
I wanted to know, yet I didn’t want to know because, in just three minutes, my excitement would either escalate with lots of squeals and jumping up and down or come crashing down with alligator tears and questions of “why!”. I loved the feeling of possibly being pregnant, and I didn’t want it to end. I had a million dreams of what the next nine months would look like, and in three short minutes, they could be a million losses. I was nervous. I was excited. I was hopeful. I was scared.
So as I stood there with the test in hand and imagining my whole world-changing in either direction, I made one last plea to God—“Please! Please, God! Let this be the cycle I am pregnant!” Feeling confident in my plea, I took one last deep breath, and with hands still shaking, I took the test, and I waited with both eyes sealed shut. Sweating and not being able to take another minute of not knowing, I peeked open one eye and then slowly I opened the other eye and saw…
(drum roll, please)
One line. That’s it. I kept staring at it thinking, “This can’t be right! I cried while folding socks; therefore, I have to be pregnant! ” Not willing to settle for my fate of another big fat negative, I frantically took it to every room in the house trying to see something–anything. I didn’t care if it wasn’t pink, as long as I could see two. Through my tears, I squinted, held it at every angle, took it to every light, and even shook it as if it were a thermometer just trying to see if the faintest line would magically appear. However, no matter how many rooms I took it to or how many times I held it up to different light, it had the same result–negative. For over an hour (okay all day), I cried, pounded my fist on the carpet, and doubted God’s plans, His timing, and His love. I.Was.A.Mess.
That was me ten months ago.
Today the scene in my bathroom looked much different. As I stood with the unused pregnancy test in my right hand, I noticed it didn’t shake. I wasn’t anxious, worried, or fearful of the outcome, and I didn’t make any last-minute pleas or bargains with God. Instead, I calmly unwrapped the pink foiled wrapper and said, “I choose to trust you, God, no matter what this test says today.”
I choose to trust in your timing.
I choose to trust in your perfect plans.
I choose to trust in you, the One who has promised, “I am the Lord God who heals you.” Exodus 15:26
I choose to trust in you, the only One who “settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 113:9
I choose to trust in you, the One who defies all logic and says, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
While choosing to trust in the One who has plans to prosper me, not to harm me and give me hope and a future (Jer. 29:11), I waited patiently with both eyes closed. Once I knew enough time had passed, I slowly peaked open one eye before opening the other, and as I glanced down at the pearly white stick resting on my bathroom counter, I saw it…
One line. Negative. I looked at myself in the mirror, then back again at the one-liner, and I realized I had to make a choice again. Choose to worry or trust? Choose to be frustrated or trust? Choose to cry and have a meltdown or rest in the arms of Jesus and trust? I wanted to choose the ‘easier route of burying my face in the pillow and crying for hours, all while thinking about why I won’t ever conceive, but what good could come of it?
So while tossing the ugly “one-liner” in the trash, I said with a shaky voice, “I may not understand, but I continue to trust you, God,” before turning the light off and walking out of the door. No tears. No fist pounding. No hiding under the covers. Don’t get me wrong, my flesh wanted me to crawl in bed and pound the pillows, but what would it change? What good would it do to my spirit and soul? How could hiding underneath the covers defeat the devil and the thoughts he was placing in my head? How could moping around with a sour face magically make two lines appear or bring my baby bird into my arms any sooner? It won’t. I had chosen that route before and only ended up more miserable, so I chose another path today.
Through God’s strength, I choose to trust and have hope that at the right time, my season of barrenness will end just like it did for Sarah (Genesis 11-23), Elizabeth (Luke 1:6-7), Rachel (Genesis 29-31; 33; 35; 46; 48), Rebekah (Genesis 25), The Shunammite Woman (2 Kings 4:8-37; 8:1-6), Manoah’s wife–Samson’s mother (Judges 13), and Hannah (1 Samuel 1), because God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11).
I also choose to believe that just like each of the children conceived from these barren women, my baby bird will hold a special place in history and do great and might work for the Lord. I choose to believe that he will be the most intentional child placed on this earth…but that’s just proud Mama bird talkin.
So what happened in those ten months that brought me to this crazy place of taking a test, seeing a big fat negative, and then simply walking to the kitchen to get my coffee? I have no idea other than I studied. No, I didn’t study for the pregnancy test (I had those instructions memorized). I studied God. I needed to know that He cared about barren women. I needed to know I wasn’t being punished. I needed to know that He would be faithful to His promises and that He wasn’t sitting in heaven blessing others while forgetting about me. I needed to know if I were to let go of my dream completely and give it to Him, He would protect it. I needed to know I could trust Him. So that’s what I’ve been doing for ten months…learning to trust.
I have looked forward to the day in which I could take a pregnancy test and, no matter the outcome, still be joyful, confident and hopeful, as I continued to trust in God and His promises of healing and fruitfulness. I looked forward to finding myself in a place of freedom and peace, far away from worry and fear. Today, I found myself in that place because of God’s strength, and I hope to find myself in the same place next month.
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