The following is an excerpt from a novel I have been wrestling with. . . . . . .
With the aroma of coffee still on his clothes, Eugene runs into the hospital and asks the receptionist where Samuel was.
“Samuel who, sir?”
“Samuel Goodway! He was brought in recently from a car accident.”
The receptionist types into the computer for what feels like fifteen minutes to Eugene then finally says, “He’s in ICU right now, sir, but you may go to the Family Waiting Area on the 3rd floor.”
Eugene faintly says thank you as he rushes towards the elevator.
Arriving on the 3rd floor, the elevator door opens and he immediately sees Jennie slowly walking down the hall with her head up in the air as though she was inspecting each ceiling tile very carefully. When Eugene walked up behind his daughter-in-law and touched his hand to her shoulder, she was startled out of deep thought and made a squeal while she jumped a little.
“Have you heard anything? How is he doing?” Eugene asked Jennie.
“I haven’t gotten any new news since they took him back. The doctor just said they have to get an idea of the extent of the damage. It appeared to be pretty bad,” Jennie explained.
Samuel Noah was born during the blizzard of ’78.
Eugene and Cathy always considered Samuel their miracle baby. Cathy was pregnant three times prior but lost each pregnancy before the second trimester. After the third miscarriage, years went by filled with unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy. With such a limited budget, they can’t afford to go to all the specialist the kind members of first Baptist Fellowship continue to suggest. Every time a well-meaning member would hand her a business card while walking out of church, Cathy would go home and cry for an hour locked in her room before she could collect herself enough to make her and Eugene Sunday dinner.
The last miscarriage left scar tissue on her fallopian tubes so the doctors warned the chances of pregnancy were slim. Finally, after coming to the realization that giving birth to a child would never happen, Cathy decided to look into adoption. She started the process of investigating different agencies. After a couple weeks of uneasiness and hesitation, her mood shifted to eagerness and excitement. She began to see this opportunity as her newfound calling in life. The Lord had to take away the only thing she desired more than anything before she was able to discover her calling.
After several months of paperwork and meetings, Eugene and Cathy were ready to start being introduced to several domestic and international babies that needed a good home. One night while her and Eugene were reading through baby profiles it dawned on her that in all the excitement leading up to the adoption she neglected to notice she was three weeks late for her period. She mentioned it to Eugene and laughed at God’s mysterious ways. She couldn’t believe how the Lord was blessing her by taking her period away during this busy time.
Eugene had other thoughts, however. Even after they both agreed to give up hope for their own child and agreed to stop praying for a child, Eugene had still been secretly praying for a miracle. Even though Cathy had given up hope in giving birth to their own child didn’t mean that he had to. Besides, every Sunday he stood before the congregation and claimed the goodness of God and the pleasure that God takes in granting us the desires of our hearts. Eugene had a calm sense that God would provide in His time.
Another week passed and Eugene felt led by the Holy Spirit to buy Cathy flowers on his way home. That night they were supposed to book the flight to California to meet three babies. While walking through the pharmacy on his way to the flowers he was stopped dead in his tracks. Right in front of him was a large stand advertising a new home pregnancy test. The top of a cardboard sign said, “Don’t you want to know for sure?” Without even a second thought he grabbed a box and headed towards the flowers.
When Eugene arrived home with flowers and pregnancy test in hand he heard something from Cathy that he hadn’t heard in a long time. She was singing old Beach Boys songs in the kitchen while she was putting the finishing touches on dinner. He walked into the kitchen and startled her. She let out the cutest little scream in midsentence while singing Be true to your school.
“You startled me! And what’s with the flowers?”
Eugene held the flowers up with one hand and then slowly held the pregnancy test with the other.
“I want you to try this.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a new form of pregnancy test. Now, before you object, I need to tell you I haven’t given up hope and I haven’t stopped praying.”
“But Eugene,” she said while she wiped a tear that cascaded down her cheek, “you heard the doctors. It’s been so long. And what about my scar tissue?”
“The doctors are only men. We serve a God that can move mountains. I just want you to try this new test before we book our trip to California.”
“Well, okay, but dinner’s ready. Let’s at least eat while it’s hot.”
While they were both full of emotions and picking at their food, Eugene set his fork down and said, “I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat until you take that test.”
“I know, me neither. Let’s go try this thing.”
They both read the directions together and both of them curled their noses when they read she had to pee on the stick. Eugene tore it open and said, “There’s no time like the present.”
Cathy peed on the stick and then set it on the sink to wait the mandatory five minutes. Eugene took her hand and led her back into the bedroom to pray for the five minutes they had to wait. They knelt beside the bed and Eugene began to pray, “Lord, we give the results of this test to you. We both readily admit the thought of a fourth miscarriage is more than we could bear so if that’s an option we ask for the test to come back negative. We have given our hearts to you and have served you with all that we do so we ask that whatever the results are it will be your will. In Jesus name, amen.”
At that very moment they were both experiencing a flood of different emotions considering what the outcome of the test could be. They sat in silence for a couple more minutes then Eugene broke the ice, “There’s no time like the present, sweetheart. I’ll go get it.”
Eugene walked into the bathroom, grabbed the test and the box then walked back into the bedroom. He was carrying the test in his left hand while reading the box in his right. “The directions say after five minutes there should be two very distinct pink lines running parallel with the stick if you’re pregnant. There will only be one line if you’re not pregnant. The darker the two pink lines are, the surer you can be you are pregnant. Do you want to look first or together?”
“I know the Lord is preparing me to take this trip to California, so I just want you to look at it, tell me it says no, then let’s book this flight.”
Eugene looked at the stick and while two pink lines slowly began to appear his hands started to shake and tears began to well up in his eyes. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was answering his prayers for a healthy baby. As tears flowed down his cheeks he handed the stick to Cathy.
“What does two pink lines mean again?” She asked.
“You are pregnant!” He said. “God has answered my prayers!”
With a deep breath, horror fell over Cathy’s face. Another miscarriage would devastate her and she didn’t think her body could take it either. “I cannot take another miscarriage, Eugene!”
“You won’t have one!” He said. “The Lord will give us a healthy baby, I just know it.”
“What about our trip to California?”
“That’s up to you. If you want to go and look for our second child, we will go. Or, if you want to postpone the trip until you are more certain that’s fine too. I will do whatever you want. But, just know, you will give birth to a healthy baby.”
“I wish I had your certainty. After three miscarriages I would be lying if I didn’t admit I have my doubts.”
“No matter what happens, honey, we still have each other and we still have the Lord.”