Jessica waited five minutes just to be sure. The instructions on the box required only a three-minute wait, but Jess was taking no chances this time.
She held her coffee mug in both hands and watched the digital clock on the stove. At 6:47 exactly, she ran into the bathroom and grabbed the plastic stick on the vanity counter. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she tried to calm herself before glancing at the read-out.
It was negative.
Leaning against the wall, Jess slid to the floor. She looked again at the clear negative. There was no mistake. She was still not pregnant.
The bedroom door opened as Steve finally made his way to the bathroom. Pushing open the door, he stopped right in front of Jessica, who only sat there, dejectedly staring at his brown corduroy slippers.
Steve squatted in front of her. “Another no?”
Jess only nodded miserably. Without speaking, Steve took the test and leaned against the sink. She didn’t look up. Finally, he dropped it in the trash can and joined her on the floor, his back against the vanity doors and his long legs straddling his silent wife.
“No. I’m not.” She sighed heavily. “I don’t understand. We did everything right; our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Why didn’t it work?”
He didn’t respond. Jess finally looked up at him. He was watching her without expression.
“You know what.” He inclined his head toward her, eyebrows raised.
“I don’t want to. I have nothing to be thankful for, Steve.”
“You know what I mean!”
“Yes, I do. But we agreed the last time that we weren’t just going to sit and mope anymore. Twenty-two months is a long time to be trying –“
“Sorry, Twenty-three. Either way, it’s a long time. You know it, and so do I. But there’s more to life than this, and we have to keep the right perspective. So, let’s be thankful for what we do have this time, instead of devastated over what we don’t have yet.”
Jess didn’t respond. She looked away from Steve’s face, her eyes focusing on the blood pulsing in his neck. She counted twenty-three beats before giving in.
“Fine. You go first.”
“I’m thankful for you. I’m thankful that we have a place to live and enough money and resources to even be thinking about having kids. I am thankful that this bathroom rug is thick because I’d get tired of sitting here without it.”
Jessica chuckled in spite of herself. She smiled up at her husband.
Jess thought a second. “I’m thankful for how much you care for me and how patient you are with me on mornings like these.”
Steve grinned, “I’m thankful these mornings only come once a month!”
Jessica smacked his leg and shot him a playful frown. He scooted towards her until his brown eyes were only inches from her face.
She leaned up and kissed his chin. “I’m thankful for your sense of humor and that we are in this together. And I’m thankful that we haven’t grown apart because of the waiting.”
Steve leaned in to kiss her. “Nope! I’d say we’re just getting closer!”
Jessica laughed outright. “And I’m thankful that you don’t let me wallow in my misery. You’re right…God has given us far too much for me to be so ungrateful. Baby or no, we have a good life, full of His blessings.”
Steve stood up, pulling her up with him, but keeping her close. “That is exactly right, my lovely wife.” He kissed her nose. “Are you ready to start the day now?”
Jess took a deep breath, but nodded. “I think so.”
“Good.” He turned her towards the hallway and playfully scooted her through the door. “It’s about time I got my turn in the bathroom this morning!” Grinning broadly, he shut the door in her face.
Surprised, Jessica giggled. “Hey! It’s a good thing I’m so thankful for you this morning…or you’d be in trouble!”
They both laughed at her empty threat, as Jessica wandered back to the kitchen to reheat her coffee. She smiled to herself and breathed a prayer, I still want a baby, Lord Jesus, but I’m thankful for all you’ve given while we wait. Thank you for using this to make us more like you are. Help me to wait on you.
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