Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 4-7.
Today’s blog is personal. It’s about my oldest daughter Erin who is going through a very difficult time. Many of you reading this are mothers; thus you understand how a mom’s heart is drawn to her children, protectively and lovingly, especially when they are hurting, regardless of what age they are!
Erin is pregnant again. Although she is one of the rare women whose body reacts violently to being pregnant (HYPER-hyper emesis), Erin was thrilled (and surprised!) to discover that she was expecting their third child. The lab reports however have come back very troubling. The first set indicated the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy which instead turned out to be a bursting cyst in a fallopian tube. The latest reports however indicate that the baby is not developing as expected and that Erin will likely miscarry. Many of you (me included) have experienced a miscarriage as well and can relate to the emotional upheaval she is going through.
As I write this blog, a tiny, tiny heart beats within Erin’s womb. Since death is determined by when a heart stops beating, isn’t life also recognized in a beating heart? Recently a Veritas Academy family faced the death of their tiny unborn baby boy only days before his due date. He died before ever knowing anything about the world other than from the comfort of his mother’s womb. Carried nearly to term, he was born without a heartbeat. I cannot comprehend the purposes of God in difficult circumstances like these. Nor do I try. I wonder if God simply calls some of his children directly home because He has a greater calling for them in heaven right from the start.
At the moment of conception, life changes for the woman. The tiny, rapidly developing embryo causes tenderness and pain, elevates emotions and renders her utterly exhausted as well as nauseous for weeks. Carrying the life of another human is an exhilarating and invasive experience right from the start. I have never understood why women are encouraged to put off sharing the news of pregnancy until the major threat of miscarriage is past. Not only does the pregnant mommy have to silently endure the difficult first trimester, when tiredness and nausea are at a peak; then if a miscarriage does occur, she is left to grieve alone. And she does grieve, because regardless of how early the miscarriage occurs, an emotional attachment has already formed between mother and child.
Erin however joyfully shared the news of her pregnancy the day she found out. While it is now difficult for her to share the disconcerting news, she is blessed, as a result, with prayerful support from friends and family as she waits and wonders and ponders difficult questions: What does become of the life she carries if developmental issues cause a miscarriage? And why does God allow a life to be conceived only to have the unborn child fail to survive? And should the pregnancy continue, will the baby be OK? For now, every day of life for this tiny embryo is precious and still holds promise.
The fear of losing a child is a mother’s worst nightmare and it begins the moment we realize that a child is growing within us. When my children were younger, I was well practiced in the skill of “mommy worrying”. I mistakenly assumed it was not only my right to worry but also my responsibility – that somehow it displayed wisdom and love. After years of needless anxiety over their safety and well being, I finally realized that no amount of worry would ever add a single day, nor contribute positively to the lives of my children. Worry only clouded my perspective, diminished prayer and robbed me of joy. I loved the responsibility that came with being a mom but I had to let go enough to concede that God merely loaned us our three children and He loved them even more than we possibly could. I discovered that my worries really had little to do with any circumstances and more to do with my relationship to the life of Christ in me. We moms can easily find reason to worry about our children from the moment of conception, through their infancy, into their school and adolescent years, through college and beyond. And the “beyond” can include grandchildren to start worrying about all over again!
My favorite verses have long been Philippians 4: 4-7 but it took years to consistently establish these verses as a reality in my own life and it took becoming a mom to make the truth in these verses really stick!
- Rejoice always!
- Be anxious about NOTHING!
- Pray about everything!
- Be thankful in the process!
This is the unfailing recipe for a supernatural peace that carries one through whatever circumstances life brings. We can hurt for our kids and be lovingly concerned but we can do so peacefully. Amazing!
I write this blog on behalf of my beautiful daughter Erin, who is the first each week to read it. Erin, you carry a life within you and I am proud of how courageously and peacefully you face the disquieting medical reports. I sense the serenity in you and Cam as you rest in the Lord knowing He will not fail in His divine purposes. As your mother, I pray for you and I hurt for you. My comfort and peace lies in the fact that God loves you more than I do and the outcome is in His hands. May you deeply sense the comfort of the Holy Spirit and may God’s peace continue to reign in your heart. I love you!
I found the following poem, by Chris Marcum, on the internet….
A Mother’s Worry Never Ends
We worry from the time we conceive.
Will they make it to trimester three?
We worry about how much they eat
and even when they poop and pee.
We worry when they’re two and three,
all the scrapes, bumps and boo-boo’d knees.
We worry about them cutting hair
and how much of their sister’s they’re willing to spare.
We worry about all the teeth that must come free
and if they will need Orthodontistry.
We worry if they will pass the class,
from their first day of school until their last.
We worry about them going off to college
and if we gave them enough knowledge.
We worry for them when their heart does break
and the scar that they might never shake.
We worry for them on their wedding day,
that the love they share may never fade.
We worry for them when their baby comes
now their worrying has just begun.
A Mother’s worry never ends.
It just evolves and grows and starts again.