She would have laughed incredulously if it had not been for the nurse who looked at her and cocked an eyebrow as to ask, “Lady, are you ok?”. The doctor had confirmed her suspicions. She was pregnant for the second time in her life.
In fact, Susan Riley wasn’t ok at all. The day began badly when she tripped down the stairs in the dark, the car wouldn’t start, late to work and then now- the news. It seemed to her that the day had been shot already with a quick bang before she realized what had happened. She shivered, rubbing her arms, as she sat in her green Ford Explorer in the parking lot of Ashford General Clinic. Her red-rimmed eyes noticed a patient walking out and she ducked, not wanting anyone to see her crying like a fool. There were twisted edges of Kleenex sticking out on the floor under the seat but she didn’t care about the mess. A quivery sigh escaped as she tried to compose herself before calling her husband at work.
She knew this would eventually happen when she would lose control of her life yet she didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Susan had deliberately planned her life down to the moment. All the milestones she wanted to accomplish: marriage, great career, children, beautiful house, a good life- she did until this aberration came and ruined everything. She had no time to deal with this new development. She already had a full-time career as a wedding consultant, Kevin his, and the twins were almost done with high school. As far as she was concerned, her schedule was on track. No breakdown, Susan, you’re too busy for this.
Pushing that out of her mind, she dialed her husband’s cell.
“Kevin Riley of Churchill and Associates speaking.”
Susan paused. Should she tell him? The sound of his voice jarred her from her musings.
“It’s me. Susan. It’s confirmed.”
She heard him grunt and she figured he must be looking over his papers and waiting for the phone call to end.
She waited for him to say, “We’ll get through this.”, “No way!”, “Another one? Suze- I guess we could…”- something … anything.
“Suze- I’m busy. We can talk about it when I get home.”
Busy? What about me? I’m busy too! Driving the twins to practice and dealing with frantic brides and demanding mothers, the commute to her job, and the bible study group on Tuesday nights.
“I suppose so…” She heard him sigh and hang up.
Susan frowned as she tossed the cell phone in her purse. She shook her head as she backed up the Explorer and drove away.
After she picked the twins, Jessica and Gerry from Crestview High- she drove in silence while her teenagers chattered and bickered in the backseat. She didn’t know how she could handle another child. Her stomach rumbled at the thought.
Abide in Me
Susan’s lips drew in a grim line. She couldn’t see how she could abide as long as the sinking feeling remained. She remember she had a client to meet tomorrow and she still had duties to complete. As they reached home and the twins ran in the house, Susan flung her purse on the kitchen counter and then pinched the top of her nose. The twins went upstairs to their bedrooms. The appointments in red on the calendar on the kitchen wall loomed large in her sight
My grace is sufficient for you.
The breath of Heaven spoke in her soul. Tender and mild like a skipping lamb in the fields.
She whispered, “I’m not ready for this. I‘m only forty-five years old. Look, my calendar is full. There‘s no time to raise another-” An urging prompted her heart and she finished- “baby”.
Take up my yoke, Susan.
After the lasagna was baked and set on the stove to cool, Susan heard Kevin’s briefcase fall with a thump to the floor. He entered the kitchen with his sleeves rolled up. She noticed new lines radiating from the corners of his eyes and dimpled brackets around his lips. Kevin’s brown eyes radiated fatigue and concern. He covered the distance in few steps and pulled her in an embrace. He whispered against her forehead. She felt the Holy Spirit pour a flood of peace into her body, filling up the crevices, until she felt the strength to face their uncertain future.
“Kevin, I think we should keep the baby.”
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