It started out as a regular Wednesday night. I was teaching a women’s bible study at church. However, this particular night I was also sharing about my mission trip to Liberia Africa so I was dressed in my beautiful African dress that had been custom-made for me while we were there.
There was a “personal” item that my husband had impatiently reminded me of earlier that day that I needed to purchase from the local Wal-Mart after church. My 15-year-old son, Dawson, was with me and this was not something I felt comfortable discussing with him. Matter of fact, I tried to take him home (with the excuse of changing clothes) before I went to the store. Somehow he convinced me that there was nothing unusual about wearing African attire to the Travelers Rest, South Carolina Wal-Mart. I was trying to play this “cool” so I went with it.
As we were driving, I begin to develop my incognito plan of action. Basically, we would park at the lawn and garden section of the store. This entrance was near the health and beauty aids (you know the female stuff) and usually you can get in and out easily. I then informed Dawson that I would be purchasing a “female” item and he would not want to be in close proximity of me while in the store.
We parked and I made a mad dash through the lawn and garden section. Dawson made his way to the other side of the store as I had hoped. The plan was in full motion. All was clear for this almost forty-year old woman dressed in Africa’s finest fashion to move toward the pregnancy test section. Who would have thought? Not me. Not in a million years. I was one week from turning 40 and felt as if I was a 16-year-old girl hiding from my mother.
I quickly grabbed a test and went to the checkout in the lawn and garden section. The plan was unfolding perfectly. There was no one in sight. I approached the checkout anxiously with my “I am in a hurry and don’t ask any questions” type attitude. Unfortunately, he did not pick up on that. He was comfortable with this situation. He proceeded to ask me, “Did you find everything okay. Is there anything else I can get you?” I am thinking, “REALLY? You have got to be kidding me. They never ask that here. I am in the lawn and garden section buying a pregnancy test. Sir, don’t you know that I am 40 years old, hiding from my 15-year-old son, dressed in African clothing all while at the Travelers Rest, South Carolina Wal-Mart. Could you please hurry and get me out of here.” Despite the many smart-aleck remarks that came to my mind, I managed a nervous smile and politely responded with, “Thank you, I am good”.
Later after I arrived home, I begin to nervously open the box. I realized it had been so long since I had taken a pregnancy test, I should probably read the instructions. This is NOT something you want to mess up. Just in case you are wondering, nothing much has changed. Just a few seconds later, I would find out that I would be a “mommy” again. After the room stopped spinning, I laughed sarcastically in unbelief. I immediately spoke the words from Proverbs 16:9 “Lord, in my heart I have made plans but YOU direct my steps”.
While I still find comfort in that today, nothing could prepare me for the months to come. A year just passed since that day. As I celebrate the short five months of life we had with Baby Abe, it brings joy and healing to laugh at his crazy mama.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
Part 1 “Baby Abe”