My Biggest Fear

What is your biggest fear? Losing a family member? Never conceiving? Dying? Divorce?  What if you were told there was a 50% chance that your biggest fear would come true sometime in the next two months?

My biggest fear has always been losing a child. It happened before and now there is a 50/50 chance of it happening again in the next few months. Besides losing Lucy, this pregnancy has been the toughest test of my faith ever. It is a constant battle to stay sane, to be able to get through the day and think about anything besides this baby living or dying. Do I truly believe that God can save this baby? Absolutely. I have never doubted His power. I know He is completely in control and He has the power to give this baby life. That was the hard part about losing Lucy- I knew He could have saved her, but He chose not to. Of course He had the power to keep her heart beating, but He didn’t. He is strong enough to keep this baby’s heart beating, but I don’t know if He is going to. I believe all of my fears boil down to these questions- How can He let my baby die and still be good? How can He love me and still say “NO” when I ask Him to spare my baby’s life? Is He truly trustworthy?

This is where my fears about this baby spring from. I know that God has the right to allow my baby to die and I will still have to trust that He is good. I have to believe that He loves me and my child, whether this baby is born breathing or born still. Most of the time, there is a scenario playing in my mind of us losing the baby or getting the news we fear most or telling the boys that once again, their baby is going to live in heaven and not with us. Every one of these scenarios comes from my fear that God is not actually good and that He doesn’t love me (at least not as much as the women who get to keep their babies.)

Deep down, I know that the truth is, God is the ultimate source of love and goodness. He is true and sovereign and He loves me unconditionally. I struggle to match those truths with my tremendous losses over the past two years, though. All the heartache and the fear of another loss make me doubt His love for me. Sometimes I want proof, NOW, that God is good and that He does love me and my family. When I feel that way I am always reminded that He DID give me proof of His love and goodness. It has already been done. He made the ultimate sacrifice, sending His baby boy to die instead of us. I wonder if that was His greatest fear too, losing a child? It brings tears to my eyes as I type, thinking of all He lost for me, to prove to me that He does love me and He is 100% good. I’m sure it hurts His heart when I doubt His love, especially after what He has sacrificed for me. If Liam and Asher ever doubted my love for them, it would tear right into me. It would be so painful because my love for them is so complete and so consuming that for anyone to doubt it is an absolute insult. That’s how He loves me and that’s how He loves you.

I am learning that I constantly need reassurance of the truth when I am scared and anxious. When I read Bible verses during a panicky moment, it feels like medicine for my heart.

Psalm 32:7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 30:10-12  Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Psalm 136:4 Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 25:3 Indeed none who wait for you shall be put to shame.

Psalm25:10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 18:28-30 For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God  lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God- His way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in HIm.

I could go on and on, there are so many good verses that are true and reassuring and empowering. Sometimes I am so discouraged and fearful that all I can pray is “Please, Jesus.” In these instances I am realizing that it is helpful to read short prayers written by other people, or to copy them down in my journal. They give me words to express my deep pain and panic and they are comforting. Here are a few that I’ve been using lately:

“Loving Jesus, you know all the worries that flood my thoughts. I feel helpless to stem their tide. All I can do is ask you for help.”

“Lord, I’m imagining that you are a mother hen, and I’m a chick (Psalm 91:4) I’ve crawled under your wing. Your feathers are all around me. I have nothing to worry about.”

“My Father, I will say- no matter what shadows of circumstance blow across my way- you are my Father of Lights. Coming down from heaven are good and perfect gifts to me… All the promises of your love and goodness are still…Yes! and Amen!” -Amy Carmichael

“My Father, All that has gone cold and lifeless in me…is it just your planned stillness before new life flows? Are the hands I’ve clenched in troubled prayer, like tight leaf-buds, about to spread into open-handed praise because your Spirit comes again? I believe, Father, that the joy of a new season in you is warming me right now.” -Amy Carmichael

“The challenge that lies ahead, Lord, is too big for me. My self-confidence fails. I can’t help but compare how big the challenge is to my meager abilities for confronting it. My faith wavers. But I know that when I admit how weak I truly am, then you have the chance to reveal Your strength. The challenge that lies ahead shrinks when I compare it to the immensity of You. And I finally realize that my perception of the challenges that lie ahead all depends on my perspective. Keep me focused on You and Your power.”

The truth about God remains the same whether we believe it or not, whether our circumstances are ideal or disastrous. He never changes and His love for us is all consuming. My advice for anyone facing their biggest fear (or any fear for that matter) is to bring it to God and release it to Him. Read His truth, over and over again until you’re saturated with it. When you are at a loss for words, try reading through prayers already written. Remember that God has already proven His love for you by sending His Son to die in your place. If you still feel doubtful after all of this, take a leap of faith and trust Him anyway. Your other option is to live in fear and to try to carry all the weight by yourself, and it’s just too much. He is trustworthy and He is good and He loves you with an everlasting love.

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6 thoughts on “My Biggest Fear

  1. Oh Bethany! I haven’t checked your blog in a couple months. Please know I am praying for you and your sweet baby!! Also, thank you for sharing those verses and prayers. I’ve clung to many of those same ones over the past 2.5 years. Blessings! Hannah

  2. You understand truth, and that is so amazing! I hope that you can cling to truth through all of the fear. Pregnancy after loss is like having the dr hand you a diagnosis for anxiety disorder, and pregnancy with anti Kell multiplies that disorder exponentially. I know you can do this though. With God’s help you can get through this. I hope and pray that His answer is yes this time. I hope this baby gets to live and you get to experience the love and joy of new life.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and how you have leaned into truth. We lost our first baby in miscarriage 1/2/15 and in this, the deepest grief I’ve known, God is showing me His goodness. By the way, I work at UAB (primarily in the Heart and Vascular Center in the EP lab where they do various cardiac procedures, but also in all of the adult ICU’s), so if I can do anything to support you guys during your pregnancy, treatments, etc. please let me know. Our home is always open too, we have plenty of space for guests here and love to extend hospitality to others.

    • Thank you so much for your kindness, it brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you lost your sweet baby and so recently too. It is the biggest shock and more devastating than anyone could ever imagine. I will be praying that God comforts you in the months to come. How amazing that you work at UAB! When I had the surgery to have my permacath put in it was done in the Heart and Vascular Center. All the nurses and doctors there were so kind and encouraging to me. I have no idea if I ran into you or not. Hopefully I’ll meet you one day 🙂

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