With my first and second pregnancies, I wanted to share the news from the mountaintops.
With my second and third, I didn’t want to share happy news.
You see, my first was a healthy pregnancy.
Then, we lost our second little one in the womb.
With my third and fourth, I was pregnant* (translated to “pregnant after miscarriage), and the asterisk made the difference.
With the third and fourth pregnancies, I had to share with those close to me to avoid being fake in my interactions. I couldn’t simply go about my daily routine as normal while I thought I was going to lose this baby too.
I knew I had to tell a solid band of women, but instead of shouting it to them with a huge smile, I wanted to grab their hand, drag them to a remote corner of the room and whisper, “I’m pregnant.*”
And by seeing the asterisk, they would know that it meant, “I’m pregnant, and I’m terrified I’m going to lose this baby too.”
I envisioned they would have the same muted response and be sympathetic to my fears. They were caring. But they were also something I didn’t expect. Something I didn’t allow myself to be.
When one person even dared to smile and tell me “Congratulations,” my first response was inclined to be, “No, wait. Didn’t you see the asterisk? Don’t you understand I may be gearing up to go through another season of pain?”
Then, the reality struck me suddenly. I was so wrapped up in fear, so set on bracing myself for another storm and reminding myself how God is big enough to hold me up through hard things, I had forgotten the possibility that God may be simply blessing us with a child.
I had been so afraid of hurt resulting in another loss, I had put up a wall between me and the new little one… maybe so it wouldn’t hurt so much later when the little one was taken.
The fear got in the way of love.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.
Letting myself focus on this fear, letting myself expect the worst, was the exact opposite of power, love and a sound mind.
I see myself in Hagar.
The woman who was kicked out of Abraham’s home after she birthed Abraham’s son. (Recap here.) She left with bread and water to wander with her son in the wilderness. When the water ran out, she fearfully assumed she would die of thirst.
There was a well nearby, but she did not see it.
Maybe fear clouded her mind, until she was so sure of her demise, she didn’t allow herself to even look for life-giving water. It took the angel of God to open her eyes and show her that indeed God provided a well of water for her and her son, just steps away.
Ann Voskamp writes beautifully about Hagar’s story in 1,000 Gifts.
Yes, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God…you are precious in My sight.”
But also remember, He doesn’t always use the floods and fires to remind us of His character.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
I love this truth from Lamentations.
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
I needed the reminder. Don’t let fear get in the way of love.