Written July 27, 2011…
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” – Romans 8:15
Almost exactly one year ago, we excitedly announced to the Facebook world that Isaiah was going to be a big brother. We had no idea then what October and the months following would hold for us or how our lives would be forever changed by that pregnancy.
Last week I anxiously took a pregnancy test and found that God has graciously given us a positive result. Adam was thrilled. I was terrified.
Though we’ve been begging God for another child (or that He’d change our desires to realign with His own), when faced with the reality of another pregnancy, I was gripped with fear. My heart raced. My mind went crazy. The tears flowed. Tears of sheer gratitude mixed with painful grief. It all felt too familiar. My due date would be within a week of my last one. Memories came flooding back and my heart missed the baby that I lost. As we received words of congratulations and encouragement from our parents and siblings, my mind was immediately taken back to the looks on their faces when they walked into the hospital room to be with me as I labored to deliver my dead baby. I never wanted to see those looks of sadness and helplessness on their faces again.
Though I’ve had several tests run and exams done during these months of healing, my mind reeled with the possibility that there may be something going on that the doctors didn’t find…and that the coming months would only bring more grief. Eight more months of anxiously awaiting this baby’s safe arrival felt like an excruciatingly long time. To be honest, I was afraid to hope. Afraid that my refining process wasn’t complete. That there was more that God wanted to teach me through this suffering.
Then I watched my soon-to-be three year old fearlessly jump into a pool with water way over his head.
With arm floaties in tact for the first time, my normally cautious, careful little boy put his trust fully into the floaties on his arms and his Daddy waiting in the pool. He didn’t wait to be caught. He jumped straight in, holding his breath under the water until he resurfaced. And he LOVED it.
I witnessed his lack of fear, his faith in the presence of his father and I wanted to be more like son. I wanted to be able to say that my son’s lack of timidity came from his mom…but that day I couldn’t. Adversely, God reminded me that my spirit of fear did NOT come from Him (Romans 8:15). My Father, rather, gave me a Spirit of sonship. Even when the water ends up way over my head, I have the privilege of crying out to Him. And the coolest part is that He hears me.
Yesterday we spent the day at the lake with Adam’s family. Isaiah showed off his fearlessness again in his determination to ride the tube behind the boat. We actually went pretty fast, but he really had nothing to be afraid of after all. Our arms were around each other and my hand held him tightly.
In that moment, God brought Isaiah 41:10 to mind.
“FEAR NOT, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Adam had clung to this verse in the hospital room after losing our last baby so it’s been pressed heavily on our hearts. David Nasser challenged us with this verse during a session at Momentum (which we both cried through) so it was fresh in our minds. To actually put flesh and bone to it and live it out is a little more difficult. Still, God’s command to me was (and is) very clear.
Not with naive or arrogant fearlessness that believes that nothing bad can happen, that I can control my circumstances, or that I am some how entitled to a successful, full term, healthy pregnancy. I don’t deserve this baby. Period. It is by God’s grace that He’s entrusted me with this child and it will be by His grace that I carry this child for the amount of time He chooses.
Am I desperately asking Him to give us another healthy child? Yes!
Do I trust that He’s good even if He doesn’t? Absolutely.
Whatever the outcome, He’s promised me His presence.
Hasn’t He already proven Himself to me?
If Isaiah trusts the imperfect love of his sinful parents, how much more should I trust the perfect love of my Heavenly Father? 1John 4:18 says that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” I’m praying that the more I know my Father’s love for me, the more I learn to love Him back, the less I will be controlled by my fear.
We covet your prayers for us and for the child that God is presently knitting together in my womb.
And pray that I can be more like Isaiah – embracing my circumstances full of joy, raising my hands in the air, and simply enjoying the ride.