Gripped by fear or dwelling in His house?

As my due date approaches, I’ve found myself in a constant battle of putting off sin.  I’ve allowed myself at times to be gripped by fear, and it hasn’t been pretty.  The months following Lillian’s birth were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced.  My body felt as if it was shutting down and it was really scary.  My emotions were all over the place and I found myself often feeling a sense of despair.  Here I was with this precious gift from God, my little girl, and in a sense felt like the early weeks/months were a whirlwind of pure survival.  I realize every mom experiences “survival mode” and emotions that don’t make sense, but this was so intense that I often have to run to the Lord with the thoughts and feelings that accompanied this time of great trial.

As I approach another delivery, the battle has begun.  Will I trust the Lord and His plan for me?  Will I trust that even the most difficult of days are for my good?  In a sense I feel badly that I even have this battle.  After losing a precious child to a miscarriage last summer it seems almost ridiculous to be approaching this season with anything but joy and thanksgiving – yet, the reality that my body may not respond well is so real and feels so near.

I’ve been trying to prep my heart and mind for this season.  Listing out verses of truth to fight the lies that will try to creep in and arming myself with songs to make my meditation.  One thing that’s come out of these efforts, as of late, is the realization that the answer to fear and anxiety is immediately turning to God in prayer.  It seems so simple, yet I so often dwell on my fears first, not bow in prayer.  Phil. 4:6 has been ringing in my heart, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Will you pray for me that I will trust my loving, faithful God and quickly turn to Him in everything?  Over the next few weeks/months I’d love to hear (through comments or personal emails) verses/songs of comfort, courage, truth, peace that will help draw my heart and mind to where they are called to be, humbly bowing before my Savior in complete trust.

Psalm 27

“1 The Lord is my light and my salvation —
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked advance against me
    to devourme,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Hear my voice when I call, Lord;
    be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ”
    Your face, Lord, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
    do not turn your servant away in anger;
    you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
    God my Savior.
10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
    the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
    lead me in a straight path
    because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
    for false witnesses rise up against me,
    spouting malicious accusations.

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

 

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No valley is too deep

No valley is too deep for Christ’s light to illumine.  Keith and I’s summer speaks to this.  In early July, I miscarried our 2nd child.  Nothing can prepare you for the pain that comes along with a loss of a child.  I felt so paralyzed and confused.  So many hopes crushed.  So much joy that turns into pain, and yet, the Lord has taken our hands and walked slowly.  He’s counted our tears (Psalm 56:7) and replaced them with joy and peace.  He’s sustained my life, even when my body seemed like it was shutting down.

The following months have been some of the most difficult of my life.  The emotional healing is coming slowly as I have had very little physical energy to spend processing and healing.  When I feel weak and overwhelmed, it’s good to think about how far I’ve come.  At my worst I couldn’t even lift my head without blacking out.  My body went into shock and I needed a blood transfusion.  It’s been many many weeks of slowly building back and sometimes feeling like I was sitting on the “sidelines” of life.  The reality though is that these weren’t the sidelines.  This was God’s calling for me this summer.  He has a plan for my life, a good plan, and this was part of it.  He is showing me, once again, that living in a place of complete dependence on Him, is a blessed place to be.  His word has sustained my soul and granted light and peace when things felt out of control.  Through blackouts, sorrow, weakness, confusion, anxiety attacks, daily migraines, insomnia, grief, shortness of breath, and fear, the Lord has showed me His faithfulness and given me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 91 has been my daily, some times hourly, meditation.  This verse in particular has comforted me continuously in my battle.  Psalm 91:4  “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge”  Every night, I laid down with the vision of His feathers covering me.  What comfort in such a time of need!

As I slowly begin the ascent out of this valley I’ve been able to more clearly reflect.  To more clearly see how and where His light was illuminating the path and giving glimmers of hope in the darkness.  Here is my song, Psalm 40:1-3

  I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
  He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
  he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
  He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.”

“the incomparable riches of his grace”

As my due date approaches I’m having to daily (more like hourly) lay my anxieties at the feet of my Savior.  Along with the joy and excitement that pregnancy has brought, I am constantly tempted to lose perspective and let fear and anxiety take over.  This battle has been humbling and has left me feeling weary at times.  I’m finding comfort in my Savior as I remember that the same God who is patiently bearing with me as I sin and lose perspective is the same God that patiently endured the sins of the world on the cross.  His mercy and patience are unfathomable and I praise Him for this!

“When Satan tempts me to despair

And tells me of the guilt within

Upward I look and see Him there

Who made an end of all my sin

Because the sinless Savior died

My sinful soul is counted free

For God the Just is satisfied

To look on Him and pardon me”

(From: Before the Throne of God above – Charity L. Bancroft – 1863)

Ephesians 2:4-7  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”