In the beginning, it was the fear of man and his opinion of our choice to have another baby. I wasted the first few minutes after confirming our pregnancy, hidden in the bathroom, paralyzed by the thoughts of what others would say to us and about us. Fear of how man would think we were crazy or foolish or who knows what.
Worried by the fact that there was no going back...we really were having our fifth baby. How I questioned whether we could do this. Fear of not being able to handle five children. Fear of failure.
Then came the thoughts of miscarriage. I don't have a history of miscarriage, but I've feared it with every pregnancy. Each time I'd use the bathroom, I'd take a deep breath and sigh from relief when all was good. The closer we came to thirteen weeks, the less I worried, but the fear was still there.
In the doctor's office, waiting impatiently for the Dr. to come in, preparing myself not to hear our baby's heartbeat at twelve weeks.
Feeling those first flutters and pokes around fifteen weeks, then not feeling anything one day...fearing that for some reason our baby had died. Intentionally poking my tummy and drinking a sugary drink to stir up the baby just to feel something to no avail.
And now, as we approach our mid-pregnancy ultrasound, I find myself fearing what we will learn at that appointment. Part of me feels like "the jig is up" thinking how it's probably impossible for one person to have five healthy pregnancies with no complications.
A few nights ago, I found myself reading blogs of families who are facing difficulties in pregnancy, stillborn births, chromosomal defects, and the knowledge that their babies are not likely to survive outside the womb if they even survive to full term. The fear grows with every story I read or family that I personally know who has faced such circumstances.
Lying in bed that night I was unable to go to sleep, fearful. Crying out to the Lord to fill my mind with His peace as a verse to that effect kept floating through my mind. Knowing that even if any one of those scenarios comes true in our lives that we wouldn't change our decision to have this baby, to carry this baby to term. But, consumed with fear.
One blog post I read (with all the blog jumping I can't find the link now...) was speaking about their son whom they lost mid-pregnancy due to chromosomal issues. They wrote that even though they couldn't have known the length of their son's life during their pregnancy, his life was never truly in the balance. The Lord always had a plan for him. Their son's days were known to the Lord before he was even conceived. She made the point that for those of us who know the Lord, our lives are not hanging in the balance either. Anyone of us could lose our lives or one of our children at any point in their lives. Our days are numbered according to the Lord's plan. As hard as it is for me to imagine losing a child, it was one spark of hope in the midst of my fear.
A dear friend left these verses tucked in my purse today at church after sharing my fears with her...
"You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you."
"There is no fear in love, But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made in perfect love."
1 John 4:18
While I know there is nothing to gain in fearing what I can't control, my sin nature keeps me focused there. A thought came to my mind the other night, maybe something I've heard elsewhere, or maybe just from the Lord...
"Fearing the uncertainties of the future robs me of today's joy."
So what am I to do?
I need to keep my mind focused on the Lord and His peace. I need to be in Scripture. I need to be cautious of the reading I do...the internet is not always a good thing. I need to avoid personalizing other's stories and fears as my own. I need to live today trusting that the Lord's plan is perfect and good despite my lack of understanding.
I need to fight fear.