Lily was a girl who knew how to laugh. She knew how to make friends, she knew how to have fun, and she knew how to love. With knowledge like that, she didn’t see a reason to learn anything more.
Then there were those moments, the moments she tried to ignore. In those moments Lily found herself feeling empty and sad. She would sit when it was quiet and feel a loneliness in her heart that scared her. Memories and thoughts danced dangerously in the recesses of her mind. In those moments, Lily would pick up the phone, call the first person she thought of, and see if they would like to go out. She would get dressed in an outfit that made her feel sexy and apply her makeup perfectly. Lily would slip on her high heels, hop into her car, and drive to a distraction. These distractions came in the form of clubs, parties, and road trips to unknown places. She liked to escape the town she lived in, get as far away as time would allow.
Much like the empty sadness she felt during the quiet moments when a distraction of laughter, friends, or love, was not available, she felt a stirring inside her that she should be doing something she was not doing. Lily couldn’t figure out what that thing she needed to do was. So, she would drink the thought away, make love to strangers, and do dangerous things with a smile on her face.
One night, at one of those parties she used as a distraction from her thoughts, she found a substance that made her feel exhilarated. When she took it, all was right in the world. No more lonely feeling, no more insecurity, no more fear. She wanted more of it. She quit her job so she could spend more time doing it. She found friends who liked it too and wanted to be around them as mush as possible. She introduced this substance as a wonderful medicine for unfulfilled people to her friends. And because she was a leader, they tried it too.
But one day she felt her body say, “No more.”
Lily stopped taking her special medicine. An odd, seemingly divine, stillness deep inside Lily, told her it was no longer safe to take it.
Lily laid in bed one night, feeling alone and hopeless. She asked God, “Please God! Why am I here? What do you want with me? I’m ready for my purpose; please tell me what I’m supposed to do with this life you’ve given me!”
Two days later, God answered.
Lily paced up and down the narrow hallway of her small home; her glances were frequently in the direction of the bathroom. The directions said ten minutes.
Lily looked at her watch. It had only been five. She took a deep breath and returned to the bathroom, anyway. She walked to the counter top and looked at herself in the mirror. She saw a young woman’s face looking back at her and watched as her pretty eyes filled with tears. She closed those eyes and let the tears trickle down her cheeks, without wiping them away. She knew her answer was on the counter and all she had to do was open her eyes and look down.
Ready. One. Two. Three. Lily opened her eyes and looked down. Her breath caught in her throat and she felt as if someone’s strong fist grabbed hold of her heart. “Oh, no. But, but, he said he couldn’t…”
Her thoughts trailed off as she picked up the test and stared, as if a strong enough gaze would change the verdict. But it wouldn’t. Lily set it back down and placed both hands flat on the counter top, bracing herself. She slowly raised her eyes to where she had just seen the reflection of a young girl, but there was someone different looking back at her now.
The face staring back at her was that of a scared young mother.