Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nothing to Fear

In the past few weeks, several of my friends have had babies.  Each time I find myself so extraordinarily happy for them.  I also find myself longing for a baby of our own.  As another month has passed without a pregnancy, I am growing even more desirous of another little Apinis.  At the same time, I am fully confident that our future is in God's hands, and He will do what He knows is best, and I can trust Him in that.  I can trust His heart to be good, and I can trust His work to be good -- even if it's not the work I am begging Him for.

A few days ago we went to Northside Hospital to meet our friends' little son; it was the first time either of us had been back since Samuel was born there.  Walking in and walking to the room to meet baby Grayson was difficult -- mostly because what I remember about the last time we arrived was the excitement of Samuel's arrival, and going to our room after the delivery was the beginning of the unknown, of the waiting for news, of hoping that all would be well.  The night Samuel made his appearance, we didn't know he was fighting for his life in those five hours we sat and waited for a phone call from the NICU.  I was on the after-birth-adrenaline-high -- so proud, so happy, and relatively unafraid.  Bryan had more sense that something was seriously wrong.  It was hard to be back in that place that was so full of hope a year ago and to know how the story ends.  But once I got to our friends' room, it was easy to just be there with them, to rejoice in Grayson's healthy life, and to love holding their newborn son.

A couple of weeks ago we went to see our very dear friends' newborn daughter, Annabelle.  She is beautiful and so tiny, and I didn't want to put her down.  Joel was enamored as usual and kept putting her bare foot against his cheek to snuggle her.  We told him he could only touch her feet since she's so tiny, and he is a germy boy.  When we left he asked, "Is she a healthy baby?"  It's heartbreaking to hear my three year old ask that question -- that he should even know the answer could be "no" makes me sad.  Once we got in the car, Bryan immediately said, "I want one of those.  Oh, Lord, may it come to be."  Me, too.  I want one of those, too.

As time has continued to go by and we are still not pregnant, I regularly struggle with surrendering my hopes for a healthy baby to God.  I battle fear -- fear that I won't ever be able to get pregnant again, fear that I will have more miscarriages, fear that I will have another baby with a heart defect or with underdeveloped lungs.  In the last two plus years, I have fought and fought against fear.  A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in church, and something clicked.  I think it was a combination of a study I'm doing in my wives' group, a song we sang that morning, and something our pastor, Andy Stanley, said.  Suddenly it hit me that I have nothing to fear.

In our time with Samuel, God met our every need, and He positively carried us through the minutes, hours, and days.  We lacked for nothing because He was so palpably present, so gracious, so comforting, so peace-giving.  He gave us what we needed to face each new day, each delivery of discouraging news, each realization that we probably would not get to take Samuel home.  And in the months after Samuel's death, He carried us again.  He comforted us, He calmed us, He quieted us, He sheltered us.  He faithfully gave us what we needed to face the moment before us and to trust Him in the midst of our sorrow.  He was fully faithful, fully sufficient, fully good.  When I look ahead and fear what the future holds, I'm afraid of walking though another valley, afraid that I won't be able to do it again, afraid that I won't come out the other side.  But my experience has taught me something totally different.  God WILL be with me, God WILL carry me, God WILL give me peace and courage and hope and comfort.  Whatever comes our way, God will be faithful to provide what we need to face it and trust Him.  So there is nothing to fear.  I have my God and always will -- no matter what I do or say or feel.  I can trust Him to provide.  Just like our song of hope and comfort from last August says, "All that You ask, Your grace will provide."  Or in the words of the Beth Moore study I'm doing, "I found Him faithful yesterday.  He will not be unfaithful today."

So whatever is ahead -- continual infertility, miscarriage, an unhealthy baby, another baby who dies, or even a fully healthy baby who I fear losing -- I do not need to be afraid.  Even more, there is nothing to fear.  God IS sufficient.  God IS good.  God IS faithful and trustworthy and present and true and loving.  He will be with me, and I don't need anything more than Him.

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