Last week, a very shy 15 year old girl came to our office for a pregnancy test. Her 18 year old boyfriend was with her. Our nurse, Laverna, spent quite a lot of time with them – carefully and ever so gently asking the most personal questions this child has ever had to answer. I am going to call this patient “Jenny”.
As it was a very busy time in our office, and because of the absolute confidentiality and respect we have for everyone that comes to Next Step, I kept my distance ~ simply smiling at them through the window in my office as they passed by. I knew they were in good hands ~ God’s. I said a prayer that the Holy Spirit would speak through Laverna and that His love would be evident to this young couple.
About 45 minutes later, I heard Laverna check with our nurse manager, Mary, about the availability of our ultrasound room. Jenny’s test was positive ~ a baby was growing and had been for at least eight weeks, I gathered, because that is the beginning stage that our nurses will do an ultrasound on a positive pregnancy test patient.
After the ultrasound exam and some additional time in the counseling room, the threesome walked down the hall and Laverna and Jenny stopped to look at maternity clothes. I noticed her boyfriend standing right outside my office holding a string of ultrasound photos looking a bit overwhelmed. Our eyes met and I walked over to him. I simply asked him how he was doing and he replied, quietly, that this was a lot to take in. We engaged in a very short, but to the point, conversation. He is 18 years old, he is very scared to tell the families about the baby, he doesn’t have any other children, he can’t afford a baby, and he loves Jenny. I asked him about his relationship with Jenny’s family and he said it was good. Not knowing anything else, I did my best to reassure him that everything would be ok, I confirmed with him that his is now a father, and I told him that he has the strength to do the right thing for his family. I told him that we have a wonderful group of supporters that are very kind, caring and eager to help. Then I gently touched his shoulder and told him that we would be praying and that God will guide him.
That is when I witnessed the first hug.
Jenny, with tears in her eyes, walked towards Laverna and gave her a really sweet hug ~ a touching and emotional hug. The kind of hug that is given when there are no words to fully explain your gratitude. The kind of hug that says “I needed you and you were there for me.” The kind of hug that says “I now have hope.” Before the couple left the office, there was a second hug even more beautiful than the first. Honestly, it was amazing ~ God was there, and it was amazing.
I thought about how differently this could have turned out if Jenny had gone to a planned parenthood type clinic. I thought about how it was providential that she came to Next Step. I thought about how blessed we are to have Laverna Sebranke as one of our volunteer nurses. I thought about you, our partners and champions, for your constant prayers and support. I thought about how young Mary was when she gave birth to her baby. I thought about love, true love, true honest pure love. I thought about how we are surrounded by God’s love.