My sweet husband posted this picture from a recent date night we had to a Hillsong United concert. It was a much-needed night out, and in true social media fashion the picture got numerous likes and comments.
When I look at this picture though, my thoughts go straight to my eyes, and I might start singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Behind These Hazel Eyes” (even though my eyes are brown, but you get the point). 😉
There was so much going on in our life leading up to this picture, and what I am sure most people missed on Instagram and Facebook was that my eyes were swollen from all the tears.
When I started blogging at the beginning of last year, I thought I would write spiritual and devotional-type posts over motherhood, marriage, life—the things related to our lives but not actual life events. I wasn’t going to post about our daily life, but sometimes God changes that.
You see, I think the picture and that night portray the struggle I had been dealing with—fear was threatening to consume me.
The fear started creeping in last year with my current pregnancy. This baby took the longest of our three to come about. With the uncertainty of things not going as planned, the seed of fear was planted.
We felt like God wanted us to have another child, so why wasn’t it happening?
What if child number three wasn’t promised to us like we thought?
We went for an ultrasound at 12 weeks, right when we were ready to start telling friends, and there was a potential complication with my placenta. It was nothing pressing but more of a “wait and see” situation, so we had to patiently pray that it moved to avoid some complications. So we waited for the next 10 weeks to see. I didn’t post to Facebook that I was pregnant yet. The seed of fear that was planted about this baby not being guaranteed sprouted.
She is still not yours. Don’t count on it yet.
Thankfully, at the end of January we had another ultrasound, my placenta was in a different location, and all was good. I had let that worry and fear eat away at my heart for no reason.
But just as one reason for fear leaves another enters.
The month of February was filled with our first ER visits for each of our other two children.
One of our children fell from a playground that we have played on countless times. The fall included profuse bleeding, a busted forehead, and our first serious injury in close to four years of parenting. Thankfully Daddy made it to the emergency room before the gluing because somehow the doctor could see right through my “strong mom” façade and asked if I was going to pass out.
We made it though, and it was probably a more traumatic experience for me than for our child, but my fear started growing again.
How could I have let this happen? I was watching them play.
Should we not go to the park anymore?
What if something worse had happened?
Just two weeks after our first ER visit, we had our second incident with our other child for a severe food allergy. It included hives, throwing up, and trouble breathing. As my husband put it, “it was one of the scariest nights of our lives, right up there with child birth.”
After an IV, meds, a breathing treatment, and a prescription for an epi pen, we were able to go home, but everything seemed to change. There were lots of tears. There were follow-up appointments and testing that needed to be done, and we were looking at about a month-long wait for more specific answers.
The day after this last ER visit is when the fear that had planted and sprouted began to grow and consume me.
You have no control.
The food stuff is too overwhelming. Just stay home.
This is just too much to handle.
That was the night the Hillsong picture was taken. The day after our last ER visit. The day I didn’t want to leave the house, eat out, or leave my precious babies with anyone no matter how loved and cared for they were. The day I would have rather let fear keep consuming me, but thankfully God had other plans.
Now I see that leaving them was exactly what I needed. Although Jerad and I had planned this date night since November as a Christmas gift to each other, only God knew the events that would surround the actual day.
The Hillsong Concert that night was more worshipful than a concert. Two of my favorite things were that all the screens included the words so that everyone could sing along and that the band never mentioned their names. It wasn’t about them or their music. Not a night to focus on all our concerns but a night to focus on Christ and His truth.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 1 Timothy 1:7
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
I really did turn a corner with my fear that weekend, but that doesn’t mean things have been perfect since.
The pregnancy is going well, and we are getting so close to meeting our 3rd little one. The busted forehead is healed with only a scar to show. We are two months into managing the food allergies and taking it in strides. We completed the allergy testing, and it honestly didn’t come back the way I had hoped and prayed. It includes one food I really didn’t want included. We are checking all the food labels, making sure we always have the necessary meds on hand, and still battling some fears.
I share all of these not for sympathy or comparison, but as a way of saying everyone has fear. We all have things happen that could take us to the same place of consuming fear if we let it, but that would mean we are led by fear and not by our faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
When this fear or something negative creeps in we tend to focus all our prayer and energy on that. So much so that it becomes an idol that can distract us from all that’s still good, all the ways God is still working, the fact that He is still with us, and that he is in control —even in our fear and doubt.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33