Absolutely nothing can prepare you for that moment when you pee on that little stick and two lines appear.
Shock. Excitement. Fear. Doubt. Joy. Emotions just start flooding your brain and my first reaction was simple: grab another stick. I mean, you have to be REALLY sure when it comes to the prospect of life growing inside of you. Three sticks later (including a digital one….seeing “YES +” on a screen is so much harder to argue with than colored lines) I began to say it out loud…
I. Am. Pregnant.
But even after saying it out loud, I struggled to believe it was real. Even after walking into the kitchen and showing my husband the pee stick, to which he replies “what’s that?” Even after telling a few of my close friends (my best friend woke up that morning to 7 missed calls and 4 texts from me. By the time she called me back, she already knew). Even with a handful of positive pregnancy tests in my bathroom drawer (gross, yes, I kept them for a few days) and the morning sickness that followed, I struggled to believe that I was actually pregnant. And if I was, would I actually carry to full term?
I’ve never had a miscarriage or any reason to believe that I would, but that didn’t stop me from living in fear for weeks that the worst would happen. I missed out on the joy and celebration of the beginning of this tiny miracle while not embracing the reality of it. Maybe if I didn’t get too attached it wouldn’t hurt as bad if I lost this pregnancy?
I can struggle with disbelief, with wanting to believe God has good things for me, but bracing myself for–and even expecting–disappointment and heartache.
While this little life is still forming and wiggling around inside of me for the past 8 months, I’ve been challenged deeply on my relationship with who God is. I’ve been learning that God’s character does not hinge on the good things happening in my life, just as it doesn’t hinge on the hard things. He is someone who wants to bless me and fill my life with goodness, but He also wants to teach me, challenge me, grow me and walk with me through every season. His goal is not to keep my life cushy and full of sunshine, but to keep me close to Him.
Some of my greatest lessons about the goodness of God have been through moments of tragedy. Major parts of my story have included how God has sustained me throughout heartbreak and shattered dreams. I have said goodbye to people I love deeply and allowed life to move on from plans I held tightly to. I have learned and am learning that God is good, both in allowing suffering and in blessing me with joy.
And maybe because of the hard things I have walked through I have found it’s easier to be a skeptic, to hold my breath and “wait for the other shoe to drop”. But to be someone holding my arms out wide, anticipating and welcoming in wonderful things without fear or reservation of what could go wrong…that is hard. To know that not everything will be easy and fun, but to breathe deep and take it all in, being fully present in tears and in laughter…that is who I want to be.
I want to embrace this little girl fully, letting her into my heart completely for as long as the Lord allows. Not loving her from a distance, expecting to be hurt or broken or separated, but to love deeply with an open hand. I want to live like I know that God is in control, and that God is so so good.
And His goodness will look different in your life than it does in mine. Babies are not the definition of a God-blessed life. Maybe God plans for you to carry your own children and love them unconditionally. Maybe He is preparing your heart and home to love someone else’s children. And maybe the plans He has are different, yet more incredible than anything you could’ve imagined.
Whatever His plans are, I pray He leads you down a path where you can discover the depths of His goodness. I pray that your heart heals from the ways it’s been broken, and you can open your arms to living fully.
“[A woman of great character] is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” -Proverbs 31:25
So next time you “pee on a stick”, no matter the outcome, rejoice! And laugh. Because God has something fabulous planned for you, too!