Do you remember the other day? I do. I couldn’t help but notice how you stopped and admired the display of “Baby’s First Christmas” outfits before picking one of them up to hold. It was so tiny and cute, wasn’t it? Especially the one with the reindeer footsies? At first glance I thought you would find the size you needed before tossing it in the cart and continuing on your way to finish your Christmas shopping, but you didn’t. Instead you just stood there holding it, almost in a daze. And it was at that moment when everything around you seemed to fade that I recognized myself in you.
Because I began to notice the way you gently touched it. It’s the same way I would have. I saw how your head tilted to one side and your shoulders slumped whenever you ran your hand down the sleeves. My hands would have naturally done the same. And I even realized the moment your breathing changed. Your chest began to rise and fall differently. Chances are you were just trying to hold back the tears. But you couldn’t. Instead, I quietly watched as each one of them began to fall lightly onto the outfit you were so carefully holding.
Friend, I know each one of those tears you were shedding carried a sense of loss and grief. Each one represented a dream that had been broken. A plan that had been shattered. A prayer that had gone unanswered. A soul that felt crushed. And I know that each one of them mixed together represented a womb…your womb…that is empty. And aching.
Because every year since the journey began to build your family you have had only one wish: A baby. But no matter how hard you have tried, no matter how many prayers you have prayed, or how much hope you have held on to, another year is passing you by where there still isn’t an extra stocking hung by the fireplace. There still isn’t a tiny person added to your Christmas card photo. And their still isn’t a reason to purchase the outfit…the one with the reindeer footsies.
But if I could have whispered into your ear that day, do you know what I would have told you? I would have told you to buy it. Because miracles are still happening. Dreams are constantly being fulfilled. And circumstances are always changing. So go ahead and get it. Carry it in your purse. Tuck it underneath your pillow when you sleep. Let your tears soak deep into the fibers. And your prayers fill it with faith. Let it be a tangible reminder to hold on to hope for the desire that has been planted in that soft fertile soil of your heart. A desire that isn’t impossible for our heavenly Father to fulfill.
Don’t worry if it fades, becomes stained, or ragged because this really isn’t for them; this is for you. Because there is something about stepping out in faith that ignites a spark of hope and anticipation. There is something special about it that will somehow and in some supernatural way light within you a spark of strength and perseverance. And it’s amazing how it can provoke a spark that refreshes your soul and sets an entire fire of encouragement within your heart.
I know it sounds crazy. And I know there will be days when you will feel foolish that you purchased it. There will be nights when your heart will ache while holding it. There will be moments when you will want to throw it in a drawer, hide it in a closet, or toss it in the trash can. But don’t. Keep holding on to it. And know that when you do, there is another woman…me…holding the same outfit, dreaming the same dream, feeling the same pains, and shedding the same tears.
You are not alone my sweet sister. And my hope for you today is that by next Christmas, your precious miracle, and my precious miracle, will be clothed in our tear soaked, prayer bathed, hope filled “Baby’s First Christmas” outfits.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~Hebrews 11:1
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