Hedgehogs and Hope

5:18 AM

     Today was a first. While wandering happily through the mall, noticing all the Fall clothing now coming out, (where did my summer go, COVID?!) I found myself in the baby clothing section. For the past three years, since I had a miscarriage, baby clothes have been my one consistent trigger. 
    I've never been someone who daydreamed constantly about being a mom, (well, maybe a pug mom) I wasn't a little girl who enjoyed playing with dolls. I remember my friends showing me a doll that could actually urinate when squished. In their rapture, they didn't notice the horrified look on my face. Why would I willingly want something to pee on me? Isn't this something we all try to avoid? Stuffed animals and the veritable zoo my indulging parents allowed to fill our backyard, were instead my constant delight. 

   People often told me that the baby bug would hit when I turned 30 or when I saw my friends having babies, but I was truly content. Often I wondered if motherhood just wasn't meant for me.  And then we lost one; a baby that was so very wanted from our first idea it was there, a lifetime of love poured out in a matter of hours. I grieved that little one. I don't think you ever stop grieving a loss like that. A friend of ours said that even though his three children are well and grown, he never stops feeling as if someone was missing at the family table. 

     Most days, however, you enjoy what God is doing "in the now." Thanks to His mercy and some very helpful counselling, that loss isn't an open wound. And yet, whenever I'd walk down an aisle filled with baby clothes, my heart would grip as I would think of the little one that should be here, adored and coddled, dressed in onesies just like these.... As much as possible, I learned to veer away from the children's section, until today.

    Now four months pregnant, I was on the hunt for some "non-frumpy" maternity clothes.(those skinny jeans are getting a wee bit snug.) Venturing into the forbidden zone, a woman lunged at me, using her stroller as a weapon, forcing me further into enemy territory. Then I saw it, the newborn section. 

"What could hurt in looking?" I thought to myself nervously,
    "The baby will need something to wear, after all." 

    As I walked around, looking at all the Winnie the Pooh and Disney onesies, I stumbled on an adorable, tiny pajama set covered in baby hedgehogs. I found myself tearing up and for the first time, it wasn't in sorrow, but in hope.

     I know some stories are not so easy. Things don't always seem to end up in redemption. But in that moment, I felt God's overwhelming grace upon my story, His hand upon my life. Undeserved though it may be, the side of His nature He most often shows me is His glorious kindness. This new little one, given to a woman who wasn't even sure if she could have children, is further proof of that.

   I suspect that more than one person reading this is in the middle of their story. Perhaps you're longing for children, longing for marriage, even just longing for hope. How often in our lives are we brought to the point of praying Hannah, crying out to God for that which she could not have? He does hear our cries, even the ones so deep they remain unspoken. He does hear our longings. My prayer for you reading this is that no matter which part of your story you are in- whether it's tearing up over a hedgehog pajama, or lying on the floor of your room in utter brokenness, that the kindness of God will reach you, will see you through, and will be your beacon in the darkest of nights. 

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promises is faithful." 

                                                               Hebrews 10:23 


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  1. I love this Rachel. Thank you for holding grief and hope together so well. I am so excited for you and Nathan and for this little one!


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