I trust if you're still reading, that means that you won't have anything judgemental to say, but even more so that if you catch yourself with judgemental thoughts about what I share, you will notice it, call it what it is and admit that you are human, too and that God's knowledge is above all other's.
This morning at church the topic was "Anxiety and Worry"... before the sermon we sang "Everlasting God" by Chris Tomlin, see lyrics Here. It's based on the verse I mentioned the other night in my "Waiting for Wings" post... And I cried hard...one of those deep belly cries...yet still praising Him.
So, when Pastor Willie started the sermon, my heart was ripe to hear. I was very convicted this morning and it really did sum up what's been happening this week, in the battlefield I call my mind and heart.
I have been very "concerned"...okay, totally worried, about my next baby. Before Rachel, after I lost our 3rd baby, God put it on our hearts that we should not be trying to control when He gives us children. He gave us a new outlook on babies, the gift they are, how they are not meant to be "convenient" and let us know that no matter how much we plan, we really have no say on what happens. I realized that, while I trusted Him with so many other things, I had not trusted Him with my children. I took the world's ideas of how children should be spaced, how many children I should have, even what I should own or have in order to "provide" for them (as if I'm the one who does that!) and I let fear and human "intelligence" make my decisions.
Now, before anyone gets defensive, please know that this is OUR conviction... I know that God leads everyone differently and I do not believe that everyone should just have tons of babies... and I know that some people will never have any at all. I believe that is a calling of it's own and God has purpose in all things.
So, we lost a baby and God let me know... I can plan it out "perfectly", but ultimately I don't decide. I had decided the month that we got pregnant with Rachel, that I didn't want to get pregnant that month because I wasn't interested in a Christmas baby. God had different plans, not only did I get pregnant, but she was due on Christmas day. I thought "well, that's funny, God" and rolled with it... When I found out Rachel would die, I was yet again reminded that I have no control... and that I really would LOVE a Christmas baby. :o( (read It's all perspective post)
After all I went through with Rachel, I thought that I would never struggle in this area again... but here I am. Worrying. I must admit, it stems from things that don't matter... statistics and people's opinions. I had a couple of people say something along the lines of "you wouldn't try again, would you? Don't you know that the chances are higher of it happening again?" hmmm.... while I can say that is a useless comment, and know that's true... I can't help but worry about people's opinions. I have also heard it said of other people who had more than one anencephalic baby that they really "asked for" a hard road. So, what it comes down to is that I don't want to ever have to go through this again, but what I really worry about is that if it did happen, people would blame me. As if I really decide what happens at all....as if having another baby like Rachel would be BAD....as if welcoming a child from God is ASKING for pain... Does anyone else see how crazy those things sound?
Even more crazy are the things that go on in my mind... Here is a list of things I have worried about this week:
That I will loose another baby to miscarriage
I'll have another anencephalic baby
our headstone will end up being needed for another baby and will have the wrong amount of name boxes on it.
Can me & Matt both be buried there if we have TWO babies there?
If not, would I get buried with them or with Matt?
What if Matt dies first?
my doctor won't support me
people will say I did it to myself and lack compassion
I'll get pregnant with twins, my body won't be able to take it and they will die
I won't be able to do everything I want to do for Rachel if I'm pregnant and sick.
that I'll have a boy
that I'll have a girl
What if I never have another baby at all?
Should we adopt?
How would we afford that?
I wonder if my criminal record would allow that.
Can I get my record cleared yet?
if my body is absorbing the TONS of folic acid I take now
what caused Rachel's condition??
what doctor's office I should use
what hospital I'd deliver at
would I have another c-section or try VBAC?
what if my uterus ruptures during birth and I die?
will I be due around Rachel's birthday?
How will I grieve and rejoice at the same time?
Would people forget about Rachel?
if my heart could handle any more pain
Would I be angry at God?
That just reminded me of the video they showed this morning telling us what not to do! And that's all just my thoughts on our next baby... which by the way, I have NO idea when God will give us. But early this week, we came to the conclusion that we were letting statistics and human knowledge keep us from trusting God and His knowledge. He does not call us to something and then not give us what we need to go through it.
I also realized that somewhere, deep down, I do still question if God cares for me. He proves Himself all the time, and yet I still have that little whisper in my ear every time I talk to God. I'll say "I trust You" and I hear "why do you trust him?" I'll say "thank you for loving me" and I'll hear "what makes you think he loves you?" I say "I'm not afraid" and I'll hear "look what happened last time". I'll say "You're in control" and I hear "really, well why didn't he do x,y,z...?" It's a battlefield... faith vs fear. Who will I let win? Will I take my thoughts captive and rely on God and His Truth or let the enemy's lies infest my mind? The reason the world is in the mess it is to begin with is because Eve bought into Satan's lie that God didn't have her best in mind.
I heard something on an interview that I shared with a dear friend last night and as all of this worry stuff came to light, I realized I was supposed to hear it the other day. The man being interviewed had a serious case of MS and was asked "how do you stay optimistic?" My ears perked up and I listened to hear his answer. He said something along the lines "well, I look at it this way... if I worry and nothing bad happens, I miss it once. If I worry and something bad happens, I miss it twice"
We don't want to miss it twice. Rachel's life was a perfect example of that. When we found out she had anencephaly, I had two choices. I could be mad at God, fall apart, run from Him and cry for 5 months...and then when she died, have missed her twice.... OR, I could stay close to God, pray for healing, have hope and trust in His plan and make the most out of my little girl's life. and then when she died, be thankful that I didn't miss my chance to love her and rejoice over her.
I've heard it said that courage isn't the absence of fear, but doing the right thing in spite of it. God does not give us a spirit of fear... or worry. (I said those same words in her diagnosis post where I finally shared that she had anencephaly...which I was afraid of doing because of statistics and other people's opinions!) He gives us a spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) right, Nancy? :o)
So here it is... we're choosing to not worry. We're choosing to trust God in His plan and believe that He cares for us. We're choosing to surrender to the fact that we are not in control. We're choosing to be courageous in Jesus Christ. We're choosing to love. We're choosing to not miss it twice.
We're asking you to pray for us as we do....to support us, to love us, rejoice with us and if need be...grieve with us. But please don't ever judge us or blame us if something goes "wrong"... in God's plan, it's always right. I am completely surrendered to His will for my life.... the good times, the hard times and everything in between. And I would gladly welcome another baby like Rachel into our family... she was AMAZING!!
So here we go......
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.