“I am not supposed to tell you this, but I am 100 percent sure you’re having another boy.”
At those fateful words from the ultrasound technician, I burst into tears.
This was my third pregnancy, an unexpected one at that, and I just knew God was going to take this little surprise and wrap it up in a perfect pink bow. I was going to get my little girl.
And when I didn’t? Instead of rejoicing and praising God for a healthy child, I acted like a petulant one, angry that I wasn’t getting the gift I believed I deserved.
The day of my ultrasound also happened to be my best friend’s due date. Following a long struggle with secondary infertility, she and her husband were finally going to have another son. But my friend went into early labor after thirty days of hospitalized bed rest. And after thirty-six hours of life, little Hudson’s lungs proved too frail. He died in his mommy’s arms.
God has since blessed my best friend with two more healthy children. There is joy. But with it remains a dull and daily grief in her heart, in the back of her throat, at the sight of her c-section scar. There is some comfort in knowing that Hudson is in the arms of Jesus now, but truth be told, we want our children in our arms, don’t we?
I knew it was foolish of me to be mourning the loss of an imaginary daughter when my dear friend was mourning at an actual grave site. I knew how greedy and selfish I was acting. Here she was in the thick of her grief, and I was daring to be ungrateful for a heathy child.
So I did my best to hide from her, not wanting her to see my disappointment. But, as only a girlfriend can, she knew me. She knew I wanted that pink bow.
Instead of ending our friendship, or at the very least staying away from me for a while, she knocked on my front door the day after my ultrasound. In her hands, she carried a gift basket filled with blue-sprinkle sugar cookies, baby blue cupcakes, and a royal blue blanket.
She gave me a hug, and then stood on my front porch and said this: “Just so we’re clear, you are allowed to mourn the loss of your dream. In fact, today I will grieve with you. But tomorrow we will rejoice because God has given you a baby boy. And that, my precious friend, is a good gift.”
She was right. My third son is now three and a half years-old, a bundle of honey and goodness. This year also marks the fourth anniversary of Hudson’s birth and death. Together, we talk of his curly hair, the costume he might have worn this Halloween, which stuffed animal he would have slept with, which preschool he would have attended.
We wonder what he is doing now in the presence of Jesus. With lungs filled to the brim, he must be dancing and running and making the type of ruckus only a boy in heaven can make.
As other women in our community have given birth or have struggled to do so, my friend has continued to model beauty in the midst of brokenness. She is the first to say a prayer, write a handwritten card, or deliver other gift baskets.
She has shown me what it means to be a true friend—to love when the other doesn’t deserve love, to show mercy when the other is selfish, to celebrate and mourn with others, even when it’s difficult.
And after all is said and done, God has given me that gift — that surprise wrapped in pink. Not a daughter of my own, but a sister in Christ — my friend, the wounded healer.
Related: Invite a friend over and share a warm cup of cocoa or tea with these fun and cheerful friendship mugs.Leave a Comment
This post reasonated so deeply with me. In regards to children, here on Earth, my arms are empty, but in Heaven, they will be full.
My best friend from high school had her two kids later in life. Recently, we reconnected and I had the privilege of meeting her Littles.
It was pure joy being able to meet them because they were an extension of her and all the many wonderful memories we shared.
What most touched me about your friend’s actions is that she created an opening where you could mourn the loss of your dream, yet also celebrate the exciting news of your son. Grief and joy can co-mingle, and that is ok. When I see an expectant mom or a precious Little, it warms my heart because I see God’s blessing through it. We can celebrate a new life together, because when we do, we celebrate God. Your words were such a blessing to me this morning, thank you.
Veronica– “grief and joy can co-mingle.” That’s so true. Thanks for your comment– your brought me to tears and blessed me as well! –Aubrey
Sweet story, Aubrey. I, too, am the mother of three sons. I’m a girly-girl, so it’s a life that I’ve had to learn as I go, but — a blessed life. 🙂
Congrats on your upcoming book release! Blessings!
I know, Brenda!!! And thanks!
These are beautifully written, powerful words, Aubrey! Thank you for sharing.
What beauty in truth! Thank you for honestly sharing your momentary disappointment, we too often want to hide this side of us, especially to other Christians for fear of judgment or chastising. How blessed you are to have a friend that truly epitomizes Christlike behavior; and in turn by your honesty you are her blessing.
It’s so true how fear and shame cause us to hide. And indeed– I blessed!
Susan G. says
Only God can give us those very special ‘sister’ in Christ friends! A wonderful post!
Thanks for this.
What a beautifully kind woman. Great example of what women should be to each other.
Beth Williams says
My poor mother had 4 girls. Each time she hoped for a boy for my dad. When I turned out to be a girl-she said on no. But I was loved just the same and throughout her life she was glad she had me.
I want my life to mirror your friend’s. I want to be the sister-in Christ who runs in and says it’s ok to grieve the loss I’m here for you. The one who writes cards, gets gifts, makes food, etc. and let’s you know you’re not forgotten!