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I waited for about five seconds and then held the rectangular plastic receptacle closer to my eyes. Nothing, so far at least. I squinted. Wait, was that another line? As the changing litmus paper moved slowly, so slowly, across the viewing window, it became clearer with each passing moment—two pink lines.

Positive. Positively pregnant.

The sacred moment between a woman, God, and pregnancy test happens in bathrooms all around the world at various timesa thought which at that moment helped me to process. Perhaps at this exact same moment, I wasn’t the only one receiving the big news, but what I was also beginning to realize is that not all tears from a positive pregnancy test are necessarily tears of joy.

Let me explain. I am a mom of eight, Lord-willing, soon to be nine, but at that moment, I was deeply grieving the loss of our son who had only been three days old when he passed 18 months prior.

I like the adage that time heals all wounds.

However, time can also compound wounds if one lets anxiety creep in.

I lay curled up on the bathroom floor, tears trickling slowly down, feeling all the range of feelings, despair, fear, panic, and then the Lord’s comforting hand on my heart. I had been praying, asking Him to give me clarity on business decisions for the year, and this was a big defining moment. Every fleeting thought, and trust me, they were flying, was answered with the same scripture . . .

“Trust in the Lord, with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:4-5).

RELATED: Sometimes Pregnancy is An Act of Courage

This scripture was my daughter’s life verse that we had printed on her memorial cards after the Lord received her 10 years ago. I wanted to panicafter all, this particular scripture was bittersweet, it had been used in such a sorrowful time in my life, but that didn’t make it any less true. As the thoughts continued to fly, the answer was simple.

God, I am advanced maternal age . . . trust in the Lord.

God, I am anxious about delivery . . . trust in the Lord.

God, what if this baby is sick, what if this baby doesn’t make it, what if I miscarry . . .

Trust in the Lord.

I cried out to Him and felt His gentle leading . . . within moments, my perspective began to change. It was time to face the past and answer my fear with sound truth.

As with most people, seasons had gone wrong in our lives at various times. I am a NICU and PICU warrior mom, I am also an infant loss survivor times two. These chapters were hard and sorrowful, but they were only one piece of the story. In my life, and ours as a family, so much had also gone right!

Now it was time to give God my fears, to surrender this pain and anxiety, and trust what He said. This had to be more than lip service. This was going to take some action, a tremendous amount of prayer and support, and a choice to believe the truth over the fear and the lies.

So how can one turn past trauma, loss, and heartache into positivity?

I’m not here to preach any quick-fix methods or come up with feel-good sayings or trite quips, but I am here before you as living proof that several small steps do add up.

Practically speaking, my days are filled with several short but honest prayers. All throughout the day when I feel fear creeping in and I’m tempted to fixate on the past, I cry out to God to be my center and help me focus.

The next thing I do is refute lies with the ultimate truth, Scripture. Another difficult, yet important step is to find someone or some group who encourages and seeks to point you in the right direction. I have been blessed with solid friendships and I was also able to find several online groups after our son’s diagnosis. Truly, it has helped me not to feel alone in my journey.

RELATED: To the Loss Mom Questioning God

I believe God has a purpose for us. All that we have gone through is not for nothing, After contemplating these truths and staring at the positive sign on the pregnancy test, my heart began to fill with joy and excitement at that thought.

If every moment of my life has brought me to this point, this place in time where I was in the fetal position next to my toilet overwhelmed with life-changing news, then I knew it was for a good reason. I can look back at my past and see how God has carried me, and because of that, I can also look to my future with a stronger resolve.

I can trust Him no matter what.

I want to be positively pregnant with each step of this miraculous transformation.

The appointments, tests, and pregnancy woes can leave any woman longing for simplicity and tempted to go down the anxiety-ridden rabbit hole of what-ifs. At the root of it all, pressing into Jesus is such a blessed, sweet relief. It can be a true place of contentment where the weary can find rest.

Are you struggling, dear friend, with painful news, with a situation you never imagined yourself in or can’t see your way out of? Know that you are not alone. I encourage you to press into Jesus, hold fast to the One who can see you through it. Cry out to him, refute the lies with truth, and find people you can lean on and take one small step towards the next one.

No matter your circumstances, God is with you, and He can change the negative into a positive.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

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Crystal Kessler

I am a loving wife and mother of eight children. I love Jesus, my family, dogs, and a good story! I believe that every day is a gift, that each experience molds and shapes us for the next, and we were made to create!

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