I hate to admit it--but this was me during my pregnancy. I had a lot of worries. My heart was consumed with fear. Trust and Rest were foreign. I told Steve at one point that I felt tortured by my constant fears and tragic imaginations. On Thanksgiving day, I was particularly worried and I prayed that morning that God would simply help me. That afternoon we went to my parents house. I offered to read a book to my four year old niece and she gladly accepted and ran off to pick a book. She came back with this one, "Very Worried Walrus". I thought to myself, "this should be interesting"! I nearly cried as I read it, knowing God was speaking to me. The story is about a Walrus who hesitates to ride a bike and he describes to his friend why....he would probably hit a tree and crash, and an ambulance will have to come and get him to take him to the hospital. But the ambulance will break down and so a helicopter will have to come and air lift him to the hospital and while he is suspended in mid-air the rope will break and he will fall into a river....and the story continues like this with one after another tragic imagination that keeps Walrus from enjoying a simple ride on his bicycle.
I knew this was what I was doing. In my mind I was picturing a variety of horrific events. And it was torturous. To think of and picture in my mind my baby dying. And how I would feel if that happened. I pictured the grieving process. I felt it. I mourned. I ached at the thought of not holding a baby in my arms. And I feared and dreaded the day of his birth. And I held back from any excitement. And that in and of itself is the tragedy that occurred.
God had given us a healthy baby, a healthy pregnancy, and no reason to anticipate the death of our baby during birth. He had given me reason to celebrate and look towards the birth with joy and excitement! But Satan came to steal, to kill and to destroy. His lies stole, destroyed and put to death the joyful anticipation I should have had. My sin did the same. One thing that I was challenged by was the verse that says we are to think on whatever is "true" (in Philippians). When I allowed my mind to wander into the unknown territory of Jacob's birth and come up with various scenarios for how it would go, I had wandered into thinking of things that were not true.
On a regular basis I struggle with wanting to know the future and trying to figure it out. A lot of my fearful imaginings in regards to Jacob's birth were based on different things that had happened. I would put one thing that had happened and couple it with another thing and then say that because of those things I thought "X" was going to happen. This is nothing more than superstition.
I would also think of all my sin, and how I didn't deserve another baby, and therefore I predicted the baby to die. This is nothing more than unbelief. For the reality is, I don't deserve any of God's blessings. I don't deserve any of the children that I have. I have always been a sinner. God knew my sin when he chose to send his Son to pay the penalty for my sin. He doesn't treat me as my sins deserve. His love isn't conditional. His gifts aren't conditional. They aren't based on my works. My works will always fail me. His love and faithfulness will never fail me.
As I wrestled with all these things I never asked God to tell me if the baby would live or not. I knew that wasn't a question that I should ask. The reality is I needed to learn to trust. And to let my heart be on the alter, completely exposed. I needed to love that baby in my womb deeply and completely without reserve, even though there was no guarantee that he would live. Even if I would never nurse him or hold him in my arms. It's that old saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." This is true. And I wish I hadn't held back in an effort to protect my heart from the potential pain of loss. I didn't win. I lost. God's ways are always the best ways.
Trust. I think that is what it all boils down to. Simply trusting. To trust is to let go. To trust is to not worry about protecting yourself, it's knowing He will. Trust is freedom. Trust is light---a light burden. Trust is total abandon. Trust is release. Trust is open hands. Trust is experiencing each moment for what it is. It's living in the moment. Living one day at a time without thought/worry for the future. Trust is heart on the alter, exposed but not afraid. Trust isn't recoiling---it's exposure. Oh God....teach me to trust you! Help me to trust you!
More on the actual birth experience soon!