I stared at the electric blue stripe on the home pregnancy test.
Positive. Definitely positive. Tears welled up in my eyes.
What happened? We were careful. How could I be pregnant now?
We had just finished four years of my husband’s seminary training and planned to enter a one-year residency program. Our bank account was dangerously low, we struggled to find even a tiny apartment we could afford in the next city, and we didn’t have health insurance.
On top of that, our two boys were already more than I felt like I could handle. My oldest lives with chronic medical issues; how could we add a baby? I felt like a pottery jar shattered on the ground. Unfixable.
I can’t do this. I wept and wept.
People offered words of congrats. Believers said, “God will help you. Children are a blessing.” But those words felt pithy and dishonest. Were they the ones that would carry the baby in my already stretched body? Would they suffer the pain of another c-section and months of hazy sleeplessness?
Yes, I know God will help me, but it doesn’t mean the journey is easy.
I didn’t need candlelight sentiment. I needed illuminating compassion.
As I called out to the Lord, he led me to the story of Mary.
She too was met with an unexpected pregnancy in the hands of a perfect-timing God. She wasn’t married. The villagers would assume the worst. Under the law of Moses, Joseph, her husband-to-be, could have her stoned to death at the gates of their town (Deut. 22:23–24).
She also came with little means. Not powerful, not political. Humble. Hard-working. Poor. Joseph brought her to a town not her own, since Rome called for a census. I imagine she much rather stay close to her family and friends back in Nazareth.
If the God of the universe provided for the Savior in a dusty town in the boondocks outside of Jerusalem, I thought maybe I could trust him to provide for us as well.
I began to pray for faith like hers. Faith that says, “I am your maidservant,” while submitting with trust to his plan (Luke 1:38).
The flicker of faith slowly dissipated the bitterness and fear. Over time, God showed his provision. He led us to the right doctor in the right hospital and provided financially, too. He gave me more strength than I thought possible in healing and parenting three kids in a tiny apartment in a new city. It wasn’t easy, but he indeed upheld me.
Four months later after my healthy baby girl joined our family, my mom died unexpectedly. I spent hours holding my baby girl, praising God for his timing. He knew Karis (which means “grace” in Greek) would provide joy in the midst of my grief. I cherish the moments with my daughter as I imagine my mother cherished hers with me.
Are you facing unplanned circumstances? Job loss? Scary diagnosis? A broken relationship?
Whenever you find yourself feeling like a shattered jar, remember that God, the master potter, holds every broken piece in his hands. I pray that you too can practice faith like Mary. God is not done with you. He is weaving our stories together for His glory and your good.
About The Author
Seana Scott writes and speaks to equip women to know the Bible, walk closely with God, and live with purpose. She is working toward a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary while raising three kids with her husband in Pittsburgh. You can find her writing at SeanaScott.org and elsewhere.