I feel like I’ve been in denial a little bit about the fact that we’re adding another person to our family. Yes, I’m pregnant and there’s no denying that. In fact, my favorite interaction was on my way home from taking the girls to school one morning. This little boy, who I had never seen before, walked up to me and said, “Hey there Ms….what was your name? Oh, Ms Washer.” He then put one hand on my stomach and his other around my back and said, “I see what you got goin’ on there.”
Yes, there’s quite a bit goin’ on there and I realized about two weeks ago that I need to get ready. So, I pulled out the baby things the other day, washed and folded them and put them away. I made a stack of baby blankets and took inventory of burp cloths. Jennavieve is helping me to finish all of my nesting projects around the house. Why is it that baseboards being clean suddenly become top priority right before a baby is born?
There’s a lot that I want to get in order before this little one arrives, but there’s also a lot that I want to take care of in my heart.
I’ve realized in the past two months that welcoming another baby, while wonderful and exciting, also stirs up a lot of fear in my heart. I’ve experienced a miscarriage, had a child born with special needs, and another baby who was in the NICU for 10 days. So, as I anticipate these last weeks and what the initial days with a newborn might look like, I struggle with a lot of fear.
People ask me if I’m ready. My answer is usually: Yes, I’m ready to not be pregnant, but I’m not quite ready to take care of another person.
Even when we want the gifts that God is giving, it doesn’t mean that they will be given without challenges.
How am I going to manage the logistics of everyone? What if this baby is sick and needs to be in the NICU like Jennavieve? What is going to look like nursing a baby and having to discipline Jennavieve every five minutes? Is therapy four mornings a week going to completely throw off my routine-loving newborn stage? Oh my goodness we are going to have three children in diapers!!
The thoughts that run through my mind can quickly stir up a lot of fear and anxiety in my heart. And I find myself fighting fear on a daily basis.
I don’t want to be characterized by fear. We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, and of power and of sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Sound mind. I love that. A sound mind is one that is fixed, focused, and faithful in its pursuits.
Fixed on what? The truth. God is good. God is sovereign. God helps us in our weakness. God gives the grace we need when we need it. I need to be pouring over the truths that I find in God’s Word so that I can fight my fears with what I know is true.
Focused on who? Jesus. Fixing my eyes on Him and setting my mind on things above, where He is seated, will keep my perspective in the right place. It’s easy to begin looking to things that are shifting and even to focus on what is causing my fear. But these things only cause more fear and anxiety. So, I have to keep turning my mind and heart to Jesus. He is the only sure thing. He is a true anchor that holds in the midst of change and unsettled times.
Faithful, but how? In my pursuit of living a life of obedience to Christ. Today. Right now in this moment. I could just sit around and do nothing, waiting for the next thing to happen. But what I would miss in the process? Opportunities, yes, but I would also miss the joy that comes from walking in fellowship with the Lord, listening for His voice, and faithfully living as He has called me to live.
Obedience for me right now is loving my children, controlling my tongue when I’m tired and uncomfortable and wanting everyone to leave me alone. It’s serving those around me, looking for ways to be a friend.
Obedience is dying to myself.
Over and over again.
I’ll end with an excerpt of a prayer from the Valley of Vision:
“O Lord, there is much ill about me – crucify it, much flesh within me – mortify it.
Purge me from selfishness, the fear of man, the love of approbation, the shame of being thought old-fashioned, the desire to be cultivated or modern.
Let me reckon my old life dead because of crucifixion, and never feed it as a living thing.
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead.
Give me courage for all the trials, and grace for all the joys.
Help me to be a holy, happy person, free from every wrong desire,from everything contrary to thy mind.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life:
may it rule me, may I walk in its power, and be strengthened through its influence.”