There’s nothing quite like the minutes you have to wait after taking a pregnancy test. Time stands still. I remember, more than fifteen years ago now, awkwardly trying to figure out how to interpret the results. Was that really a blue line or should it be darker? Was it one line for pregnant or two?

I was grateful when the Clear Blue pregnancy test came out because the results were made simple. The answer was obvious. Pregnant or not pregnant.

The company’s latest commercial demonstrated just how easy it is to use the test. It shows three women waiting for their results. A young woman in her dorm room, a businesswoman at her desk, and a thirty-something woman in her home each express their secret thoughts as they wait for their results. 

The last woman, whose thoughts tell us they’ve been trying for so long, is pregnant. She’s overjoyed. But, for the first two women, the results are negative. Their relief is visible — maybe even as joyful as the first. As someone who knows the ins and outs of motherhood, it feels a little icky.

Now don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing inherently wrong with feeling relief that you aren’t pregnant. After having four babies in less than five years, I understand that sometimes the timing of pregnancy may feel difficult or burdensome. But, what I think we’ve gotten wrong as a culture is the idea that pregnancy is somehow in the same category as other life decisions. Like getting a new job, buying a new house, or getting accepted into the college of your choice””pregnancy is about you choosing when and how. We’ve turned the gift of life into an opt-in or opt-out program. 

God has given us all the resources we need to engage in family planning. There are multitudes of ways to choose when or if you get pregnant. But culture doesn’t promote this type of prevention or planning.  Instead, we want sex without cost or consequences. 

God gives us so much grace for our human failures, and I wonder if one of those types of grace comes in the form of a baby. Care Net CEO Roland Warren shares his story of God’s grace through unplanned pregnancy. While still a college student, he and his girlfriend (now wife) Yvette found out they were pregnant. Roland had to stop playing football, Yvette’s timeline for pursuing her dreams of medical school changed, and their financial support from family diminished. It was difficult, but it didn’t destroy them. The pregnancy was a gift.

What if we were able to remind women that babies aren’t burdens, they’re blessings? What if we could help change the narrative that pregnancy isn’t punishment, but a pathway to a world of unexpected joy that comes with having and raising a child? 

Like the ad shows, for some a negative pregnancy test symbolizes the chance at fulfilling a dream. In other words, babies are dream destroyers. What if we could change the narrative and help even those who were not planning for pregnancies recognize the tremendous gift that new life brings? 

This is what Care Net does in pregnancy centers across the country every day. We offer women and men the opportunity to see the possibilities new life could bring. But we also support them””physically, emotionally, and spiritually””through the challenges that come with the unexpected blessing. You can play a role in helping us do this here.