Losing little ones has vastly changed the way I pray.
When I became pregnant* (that is, pregnant again after experiencing a miscarriage), I feared that I would lose my next baby too. I begged for God to help my unbelief.
We did lose our second little one. Six months after the first. On the due date of our second baby, we went past the maternity wing to have a D&C to officially mark the end of my third pregnancy.
I said I trusted God. I feel like I did. However through the experience, I learned that trusting God wasn’t about trusting Him to FIX IT. It was trusting that He is in control; He is good, He knows best and He is still God – no matter what the outcome of my circumstance.
When I trusted God to fix it, and He didn’t do it in the way I envisioned, it was my trust that was misplaced, not His outcome that was incorrect.
When trust is dependent on the outcome instead of on the person of God, a person will turn away whenever his or her own expectation isn’t met.
But when things go wrong, it’s not the time to start doubting God; it’s the time when true trust truly begins.
I wanted another child. I didn’t feel as if our family was complete. So again I turned to prayer. “Will you please complete our family, God?”
As time went on, my prayer changed. I was challenged by the Israelites, who continued to ask God for a king. God knew it was not the best thing for His people. He was already in the future, knowing that a king would begin the downfall of the nation. But the people persisted. And God gave them their desire.
I finally realized that my perspective wasn’t high enough – it never will be. I didn’t want to be the foolish one, thinking I know best, asking for a king.
Instead, I found another example of prayer to emulate. “Thy will be done.” The phrase Jesus used in the Garden when facing impending death. The words He spoke accompanied by sweat-drops like blood. My God understands our pain and desire; He set the example in, “Thy will be done.”
I’d still ask specifically for requests. But my overall prayer (and attitude with it) has changed. Now, I am able to talk with God about the desires of my heart, always pleading, “God – Thy will be done.”
When I became pregnant*, I struggled with fear. Even prayer would lead me to the spiral of worry and fear.
“Dear God, please let your will be done. Please let this baby live. And if not, please hold us together. And please help the fact that I’m getting headaches mean the hormones are high enough. And please let the numbers from our labs stay at the right levels. And please help my morning sickness inconsistencies not be a sign of something terrible. But if it is, please let us get through.”
So. Many. Ifs. All based in fear, not trust.
I was speculating. Not getting to the heart of it.
I needed to get the focus off me, my circumstance and my wondering that led to worrying.
I had to intentionally change my prayers to, “If there is something that needs a doctor’s care, God give me wisdom to call the doctor. If this latest ‘symptom’ is simply an result of my oversensitive inclinations to worry, God help me to rest in You.”
I needed to instead pray to God in adoration about what is true.
What is lovely.
What is praiseworthy.
What is far beyond any circumstance.
My prayers needed to change to:
God you are strong. You uphold me.
God you are the creator. You give life.
God you are the healer. You are greater than any physician.
God you know the future. You are there already.
My original prayer requests may not have been wrong in themselves, but they were harmful because they focused on uncertain speculations and on myself and on my fears. Instead of dwelling on my fears and giving opportunity to my flesh to worry, I needed to focus on the truth of who God is. And He is good. He is intimately involved in every detail of my life and thoughts. He is powerful beyond understanding. He is my loving Father.
If you have been pregnant*, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what most helped you. I may use your input for the last post in this series. Please comment below or contact me. Anonymity respected.