Casting out Fear
Alternately titled: Why I almost cancelled my Facebook account
Life these days
is special and wonderful and scary.
Why do I often let myself fall into the trap of wondering whether my God truly cares about us, His children, His people, His creation?
Why is my faith so small?
Why do I cry and moan when my plans don't come to fruition?
Because I'm selfish?
Because I'm here, in this place, instead of over there, you know, where the grass is greener?
Because I'm human?
Because I'm hormonal?
Haha, that's a given.
Because Satan has been given authority over this world, and he gets his kicks by doing his best to push followers of Christ into feeling miserable, depressed, and separated from God?
I think the answer is yes.
Now, I don't want to give credit where it isn't due, but I do know that his desire is to keep us as far away from the throne of God for as long as possible. You see, if he can get us to doubt the love of Christ, to doubt the power of the cross, to doubt the abounding grace and mercy of our heavenly Father, to doubt that God is with us "even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20) for even just a moment, he's won a battle. He's kept us from spending time with the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Precious time. He's kept us from drawing near to the only one who can fully quiet our fears.
And my fears need quieting something fierce.
Something fierce, people!
I'm days away from reaching my twelfth week of pregnancy. The nausea has been bearable but unpleasant. The fatigue has been, well, exhausting. The hormones have been raging. None of those things have helped me keep on an even keel lately.
In an effort to work through these things, I'm going to list my worries and anxieties. Maybe I'll realize that they aren't worth worrying over. Maybe I'll have a panic attack as I sit here.
Here we go.
1. I'm pregnant...I'm pregnant...I'm pregnant! (I'm sure I don't need to list the fears I have over that subject...)
2. Days after we announced the pregnancy to our families, we found out my mom has cancer. A cancer that has been shown to be genetically passed on to other generations. Her surgery is imminent.
3. Weeks after that, we found out that the husband's mom needs to have a major surgery, as well. Soon.
4. The husband is working hard to prepare for an extremely difficult certification test. This test is very expensive, and therefore, he really needs to pass it on the first try. So, he continues to study.
5. Once he passes the test (because we're praying and praying and praying he will), he will then begin the search for a job. A full-time job. With benefits.
6. Have I mentioned that I'm pregnant? And that I'm a teacher by profession? And that I'm due at the end of August...you know, when school's about to start? I have felt called and led to be a stay-at-home mom for years, and then, because of recent events (you know, the pregnancy), I began to dream and imagine what it would be like to actually be a stay-at-home mom. If a job (with insurance) for the husband is not secured by the time the baby makes his/her arrival, I will have to keep working outside of the home. Which brings me to #7.
7. I do not want to have to teach after giving birth. I just don't want to. I want to be home with our baby and be focused on being the best wife and mother I can possibly be. I realize I will be sleep-deprived and more hormonal (is that possible!?) than I already am, but I want to try. I know it's possible to work outside the home all day and then be home in the evenings, and I know plenty of women do it successfully every day, but I desperately want to be the one--along with the husband, of course--to raise our child. I don't want to hand our baby over to someone else each morning (after getting minimal sleep the night before), work all day nurturing other people's children, come home exhausted, and then get to be a wife and a mother...giving them what's left of me.
Geez, I just reread #7, and, yes, I fully understand how selfish that all sounds.
I used the word want six times. :(
It's because of #7 that I almost cancelled my Facebook account. I started to feel jealous and moody every time I read about one of my IRL (in real life) friends or one of the many people I know from high school, college, work, and church fully enjoying the joys of stay-at-home motherhood while I worried and obsessed over the fact that I might not get to realize that dream of mine. That green-eyed monster began to rear its ugly head more and more often as I browsed comment after comment, and people,.....I about lost it.
Have you ever been that jealous?
It was horrible.
I'm still working through my anxieties, but I have a patient and kind husband who loves me beyond words. Who, on Friday, when the tears flowed and the ranting escalated, prayed with me, loved on me, hugged me through the worst of it. He's a good man, and I am finding myself loving him more and more as time goes by. What a blessing! And, I AM blessed. So very much.
1. We have a home.
2. We have transportation.
3. We have a wonderful church home.
4. I have a job that supports us.
5. We have insurance (with an incredibly high deductible and out-of-pocket cap, but insurance none-the-less).
6. We have amazing family members and friends who love, support, and encourage us.
7. We have a God who knows our needs even when we cannot speak them aloud. The Holy Spirit hears our groans and takes them before the throne of God. We have a Savior who died for us...jealous, greedy, impatient, doubtful, fearful us.
We are immeasurably blessed solely because we know Jesus Christ; nothing can separate us from His love and mercy.
Ok, I feel better. My fears are still there, but each day, I will hand them over to the One who, because He is Perfect Love, casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18)
Love to you all this week! I'll be back in a few days to do an actual pregnancy update with all the stats. Hold tight, those of you who are just dying to know what fruit the baby is comparable in size to. ;D