Pizza, Sunsets, and Christmas
My husband and I stared at the test results – negative again. “We’ve been trying for so many years to have a baby. It will never happen.”
Ron pulled me into his arms. “It doesn’t matter, Alice. We have each other.”
Ron and I longed for a family ever since we became Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Carroll. Now, twelve years later, we have only suffered heartache, four miscarriages, and another negative test.
“I have an appointment with Dr. Davidson next week. I wonder if I should just cancel it.”
“I think you should go. She might have some news.”
I sighed. “Even the fertility expert doesn’t give me much hope for ever becoming pregnant again. That last miscarriage really drained me and it was eight years ago. I think my chances of ever being a mother are nil.”
“God sometimes has other plans. We must hold on to our faith.”
“You are right, but it’s difficult to stay strong. All my siblings have children.”
“As do mine. At least we have lots of nieces and nephews to spoil.”
So life continued. I went to work Monday and listened to my coworkers talk about soccer games they attended over the weekend.
“You should have seen Carli’s face when she saw her gift,” Marni said excitedly. “She was so thrilled to get that new doll.” Impulsively, Marni said, “you should have children. You’d be a great parent.”
I was devastated. John, my boss, came up to me. “That was a harsh thing for her to say. She knows what you’ve been through. Alice, you look really upset. Why don’t you gather up your work and finish up at home.”
I tried to concentrate, really I did. But the images of children kept coming to mind. Finally, I put away my work and picked up my Bible. The burgundy leather cover comforted me. I let the Bible fall open and my eyes were drawn to Psalm 37. As I read the words, I realized that I must learn to delight myself in the Lord and let Him handle the rest.
I sat there for several hours, because I was startled when Ron arrived home.
“What are you doing? Are you okay?” He asked with an anxious voice.
“I’m fine now. I’ve just spent the afternoon with the Lord and I feel renewed. I am going to try very hard to follow Him and not wallow in my childlessness.”
Ron smiled. “I’m so glad. Let’s go out to dinner and celebrate, okay?”
We picked up a pizza and drove out to the lake. Ron and I talked for a few hours, a deep heartfelt talk like we haven’t had in a long time.
As peace came upon us, we watched the lake swallow up the sun amid a sky of red, pink, and blue. Wispy clouds floated around and seemed to disappear into the vortex left by the sun.
We finally headed for home and let the soft summer day quietly end.
The next weeks and months were normal, yet I found I was able to enjoy children in a way that I never had before. I was grateful for the wonderful two parent families, the single parents who were trying to make ends meet, and the grandparents raising their grandchildren. The sights and sounds of the upcoming Christmas season didn’t damper my spirits. I took two of my nieces to visit Santa and, for the first time in years, I was able to laugh at their enjoyment.
Tuesday afternoon, while working at home, the phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hi, Alice. This is Elizabeth. Do you have a few minutes?”
Thirty minutes later, I hung up the phone, tears streaming from my eyes. Two days later, Ron and I were called to the hospital to pick up our new daughter. She was born in Romania and just arrived in town for her final check-up before coming to us.
“What are you naming this beautiful baby?” asked the nurse.
No hesitation on our part – “Christmas. She will always be our Christmas Carroll.”
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