I woke up the Saturday morning before Father’s Day, and unwrapped a little purple box.
My husband was at work, so it was the perfect time. I had wondered about how amazing it would be if our dream came true just in time to surprise my husband with a “Happy Father’s Day!”
For several months, at work I daydreamed about the possibility, but didn’t allow myself to go too far, to get carried away with hope. I knew it was important to stay grounded in reality.
Brushing my teeth, I let the test sit for a few moments and tried to remain calm.
“Whatever happens, Lord, help me to be in control of my emotions, to stay grounded in your goodness, and to trust you. I will love you no matter what.”
I took a peek and saw just one line.
I had been here before. I knew the feeling all too well, so I wasn’t going to sweat it.
Alright, no big deal. It’s just not the right time yet.
Maybe next month.
I walked into my bedroom to get dressed, and when I came back in to do my hair, I saw it.
Immediately, I grabbed the test and examined it thoroughly. Was I just seeing things?
No. It was clear there were two strong, pink lines.
I ran to the kitchen and chugged a bottle of water so I could test again. Was this really happening?
Shaking, I unwrapped another, different type of test, and in my haste and head-spinning, I did not take it correctly. Still, there was a very clear plus sign.
Must get to Walmart now!
I rushed through the store and quickly picked up two digital tests, the kind that say “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” and drove as fast as I could home, scanning for cops along the road.
Both tests read “Pregnant”
This is how it happened, and I will never forget that day. My husband was going to find out he was a father on Father’s Day. I had prayed for this, albeit full of anxiety and worry, not trust. I had dreamed of this and asked for this, not believing at all that it would happen, but asking anyway.
And now, it was real, and I was living the dream I had given to the Lord just a few months back.
The one who has yet to see two little lines.
The one who, month after month, keeps seeing Negative, Not Pregnant, No.
The one who hasn’t yet met a good man, and your dreams are delayed.
The one who has been longing for a baby for much longer than I have.
The one who has not yet been able to start trying for complicated reasons.
The one who’s suffered loss.
I want to sit down and talk with you. I want to give you a big, long hug, and cry with you. I want to buy you your favorite coffee or tea, and take a walk with you.
Because as your expectant friend, there are a few things I want you to know:
First, I see you.
I know you feel invisible, like your struggle is just something you have to deal with alone, and like the world just keeps going on around you while your heart is breaking and your anxiety rises, and they don’t see or care.
But friend, I see you all the time. Your struggle is not invisible to me. I am always thinking of you.
I see you at baby showers, smiling on the outside but crying on the inside, wondering if it will ever be your turn to be the one in that chair unwrapping those darling onesies.
I see you at the ob-gyn, your face written with a very real anxiety about what today’s prognosis will be.
I see you post on social media about holding on and trusting God’s timing because you haven’t seen the answer to the cries of your heart.
My heart aches with you.
My heart aches for you when I see another pregnancy announcement on Facebook, whether you know the person or not, because I know you see some every day too.
My heart aches for you when I visit friends in the hospital who have just had babies, because I know you gather yourself and your emotions and your heart, and step onto a hospital elevator to go visit too.
My heart aches for you when I see pregnant bellies out in public, knowing you go out in public every day, and see them too.
My heart aches for you when people are insensitive and don’t consider your struggle, who have absolutely no idea how this hurts.
And, friend? If I can be completely honest?
I am thinking of you as I peruse baby products on Amazon.
I am thinking of you as I hear of another surprise announcement.
I am thinking of you as I watch friends grow their families, some on to their 4th or 5th child.
I am thinking of you as I hear the pregnancy talk, see the moms groups, read the articles.
I know it feels like some elite club that only some can get into. I know it feels like you’re on the outside looking in. I know it seems like a cruel joke, how 15-year-olds get pregnant after one encounter and choose abortion, while you, who long to be a mother, have spent years waiting for just one positive test.
It’s not fair. I hate it for you.
Sweet friend, I know what it feels like to have hope for a positive. Maybe this really is the month! You allow yourself to get slightly excited at your symptoms, but immediately bring your heart back down. Don’t hold your breath.
And then, the negative test. And then, the all-too-cruel, monthly sign that you’re not pregnant arrives.
I know the intense roller coaster of emotions of a false positive.
I know how agonizing the two-week wait is.
I know the tension of being late, by a few days, or by a few weeks.
I have been there.
And while I have never been diagnosed with infertility, or told my chances of conceiving naturally were very slim, or felt the anxious worry of every birthday marking another year gone and that time is running out, my heart breaks for you.
I want you to know that I see you, and I deeply care about your pain.
In the midst of one of my greatest joys, knowing I have life growing inside of me, I ache for you, and I weep for the emptiness you feel.
I want you to know that you can talk to me. I want to hear about the difficulty. I want you to text me when you’re having a rough day. I want you to call me when you’re crying because the anxiety is too much. I want to share in your journey.
Please talk to me about it, if you want to, if you can. Please know that I’m not going to be burdened or weighed down by your struggle. I want to bear it with you. I want to walk with you. I understand the fear of not wanting to weigh someone down with negativity while they’re celebrating, but please know that there is no way I’m going to feel burdened by you.
I don’t want you to feel alone in this.
And though you and I are not currently on the same path, I want to hold your hand as you walk yours.
Please tell me how I can be most supportive. Teach me how to be a friend to you in this.
How do you feel loved? What are some ways I can ease your burden? What are the most helpful things you’ve experienced along the way? The most encouraging things you need to hear? Teach me. I want to do this. I want to do this right.
I know it’s so complicated and so complex, but I want more than anything to be there for you and with you. I don’t want the fact that we aren’t in the same season right now to tear us apart. I want to walk beside you through it all. And I know you want to walk beside me.
I know how hard and painful it must be for you. I know you want more than anything to fully celebrate this little life inside of me, without that sting of heartache that comes over you when you wonder when, if, it will finally be your turn.
I know how badly you wish to have a little life inside of you, for us to walk this journey of pregnancy together. Sweet friend, I so wish that were the case.
But since it isn’t right now, I want to do everything I can to come alongside you, to strengthen, encourage, and infuse you with hope. I want to do this well. Teach me how to lift you up.
And friend, don’t ever think for one second that you are forgotten by God. That you don’t deserve his blessing. That you’ve done something wrong and he is withholding from you because of it.
Don’t even go there. Because babies are not the stamp of God’s approval. God sends rain on the wicked and the just, and his favor on the sinner and the saint.
Friend, he is so near, so close to you. He is near to the brokenhearted. So much so that he came and wrapped himself up in your world to show you how much he deeply cared for you. He loves you so, so much. Your heart’s desires are seen, known and loved by him. And he will prove faithful in your circumstance, and in your life.
I am not letting go of hope for your womb to be filled. I am not letting go of hope for your dream of being a mother to become reality. I am not letting go of hope for you, friend.
When you find that you cannot hang on any more, let me hang on for you. When you find that you can’t stand any more, let me carry you. When you can’t hold back the tears, let me be your shoulder to cry on.
When you get another baby shower invitation, or see another pregnancy announcement, or get another negative, come to me and I will weep with you. I will mourn the emptiness you feel with you.
But I will also fight for you. I will fight for your heart. I will fight to infuse you with courage to keep going, to keep trusting. I will stand on God’s promises for your life, when you fall down. I will call the things that are not as though they are, for you. I will speak to what is barren and call forth life. I will declare his goodness and faithfulness over your life when you cannot see it.
As long as you are still here, there is still hope. And friend, I will never give up on your situation. Because He will never give up on your situation.
Nothing is impossible with God. And when you don’t have strength to believe that, let me believe it for you. Fall down on your bed and weep, and let me hold you, let me fight for you.
The barren ones are so dear to God’s heart. There is something about barrenness that God touches deeply. There is something about longing and crying out for something you don’t have, that moves His heart.
Friend, I believe for you that God is going to prove himself faithful beyond your wildest dreams.
I believe you are going to be a mother.
I believe you are going to see that positive test.
I believe you are going to get that phone call from the adoption agency.
I believe that you are going to find an amazing husband to start a family with.
I believe God places the lonely in families, and settles the barren woman as a happy mother of children.
I believe that your diagnosis is not final.
I believe that your situation is not hopeless.
I believe that your story is yet unwritten, and it is a very good story, with a wild and beautiful ending.
So friend, from your pregnant sister to you: Hold on tight – to him and to me. Run – to him and to me. Weep, and mourn your emptiness, but don’t stay there. Rise up and declare His goodness. You will see it in the land of the living.
I can’t wait to celebrate your little miracle.
You haven’t seen your promise yet, but hold on, because it’s coming.