About two and a half years ago, I felt like God told me to start buying baby clothes. I honestly thought I had lost my mind. I had to be mishearing. We weren’t pregnant. As a matter of fact, I was having some health issues that made it hard to imagine I would ever be pregnant again.
I wrestled with the idea for a long time before I even mentioned the thought to Dan. Why would I buy baby clothes for a baby that didn’t exist? I had a hundred reasons why there was no reason to buy baby clothes. However, one morning I read “faith is doing things that look foolish” and it encouraged me to start preparing for a baby even though I had no idea when that baby would come.
That evening, I told Dan that I felt we should start buying baby items. I explained that I felt God was calling me out of my comfort zone and asking me to trust him. I felt silly when I was telling him. Thankfully, Dan didn’t laugh me out of the room. He listened to my heart and then he simply said “ok”.
A few days later, Dan and I were shopping at the mall. We walked into a store, on the hunt for some work pants for Dan, but we took a quick walk around the store and ventured into the baby section. Before then, I had walked into the baby section to buy gifts for friends, but I had only allowed myself to walk through a baby section and dream one time. It was the first time I was pregnant. After losing the baby so quickly, I hadn’t stepped foot in a baby section unless I had a “reason”.
For the first few minutes, I didn’t touch anything. I just felt so silly to be in the baby section. I had no reason to be looking at children’s clothing and I was sure everyone else knew I had no business being there. I may as well had a bright neon sign above my head flashing “No friends to buy gifts for, and no baby in my future!!” But then I saw it…
This shirt was on the clearance rack for $2. I picked it up, and Dan and I agreed we had to have it. As, we continued to walk around the store, I began to overthink my decision. This wasn’t a shirt for a newborn. The size is 12 months. What if we never had children? What if we have children, but they are all girls? So many what ifs! I have never thought so hard about a $2 purchase. The way that I went back and forth, the shirt might as well have been $2,000! I probably asked Dan 25 times if we should buy the shirt. I remember holding it carefully in my hands as we checked out, and then at the last minute giving it to the checker.
It wasn’t until we got in our car that I realized how special it will be when our baby wears that shirt. For the first time in our long wait, I really allowed myself to dream about bringing a baby home. Sure, I had had been pregnant before and I have dreamt of being a Mama, but it hit me at an all new level when I held that little shirt. Our baby is going to wear that shirt! Who cares what it looks like or how old our child will be, one day Baby Forster will wear that shirt!!
After buying the shirt, Dan and I made a few other purchases here and there. Each purchase was easier than the first for sure! After a few months, I had acquired a few different items, and I realized I needed a place to store them.
So, I called Dan’s parents and shared with them that I was looking for a baby hope chest. Something that could be used to store the items that we were gathering, but also something that could be used in our future nursery.
So they brought this to our house….
This chest has been in Dan’s parents house as long as Dan can remember. It has a lot of history, and has been several different colors. Someday it will be in our little ones room full of toys. Can’t you just see our future babies name painted on it? Or is that just me? Ha!
Anyway, the hope chest now sits at the end of our hallway and I see it everyday. Most days, I don’t really pause at the sight of the hope chest. However, there have been hard days where the sight of the hope chest encourages my heart and reminds me to keep holding on to the promises God has given me.
When we found out that we were pregnant earlier this year, a few sweet friends and my parents sent baby gifts. I excitedly put them into our hope chest. I dreamt a lot. I knew exactly how I’d set up the nursery, and I started to dream of unpacking that hope chest. Finally. Our time had come, and I finally had a baby. Our little “front page talent”.
Dan’s parents had been planning to visit us for Easter for several months. We had told them we were pregnant a few weeks before, so they had packed baby gifts. We had fun plans for the entire weekend, and I knew we would do lots of baby dreaming. However, as Dan’s parents drove to see us, my doctor confirmed our precious baby had stepped into heaven.
The day after we were told that we had lost the baby, my mother in law asked me if I wanted the gifts they had brought up for our baby. It would have been easy to tell her no. Just take it home. However, I told her yes. So, she gave me the items and told me the story behind each one. After sharing tears and hugs, I placed the items quickly into the hope chest that night and moved on.
Last weekend, I got a wild hair and decided that I should organize the hope chest. I knew that things had been thrown in there, and the type A girl in me decided that it needed to be organized. So, I opened the box, pulled everything out. organized everything and cried. Not a soul wrenching “ugly cry”… just a quiet “tired of the journey” cry.
Ever since that cry, hope has felt a little more impossible and faith has felt pretty foolish. We have been waiting for almost 7 years, and really have nothing to show for it.
This week, when I was feeling extra sorry for myself, I read one of my favorite verses again. Psalm 126:5-6 says:
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
As I read, I felt like God reminded me that when the planting is hard, the harvest is sweeter. My brother-in-law is a rancher. He works long hours, in all types of weather. He faces setbacks everyday. He has countless stories of torn down fences, broken machines, sick animals and lots of body aches. If my brother-in-law stopped every time the job was hard, he would not be a rancher anymore! BUT, each Spring, the ranch is full of new calves because of my brother-in-laws hard work. Our family gets to enjoy delicious beef, because of his hard work.
Every single item saved in my hope chest has a story. No matter how painful it is to purchase items in faith, I think the joy of seeing our precious miracle babies (yes! more than one) will be worth it. So, I will continue to prepare for our miracle, and one day, “Front Page Talent” will make the wait worth while.