Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fear Has No Place Here

I know, it's been a while. I find when I'm pregnant I'm not the most social and/or interactive person. Add to that an intentional effort to focus more on my husband and our friendship (yes, friendship, that is the building block for marriage I believe, believe it or not yourself) and I just haven't had that much to say.

But some events of the past few weeks and then specifically Monday have brought out some words.

Fear has reared it's ugly head in my heart/life once again. Fear that although I've carried this baby 27 weeks, that she isn't meant for this earth and won't grow up with us. I've been struggling and fighting this, and then today, I'm reminded that it doesn't necessarily "matter". Because God IS sovereign no matter what. Even if she's perfectly healthy and is born to us alive and well, that doesn't mean she'll grow old on this earth.

We received 3+ inches of snow on Monday. Wet, heavy, sticky snow. Long story short it led to several car crashes and 6 deaths in the immediate area. One of those deaths was a 13-year old girl driving with her mom. So heartbreaking. I couldn't help but cry for her mom. To be driving and live and your daughter, flesh of your flesh, not live. I pray for her today.

We have no guarantee of tomorrow. James 4 makes that pretty clear:
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Just because I make it to 34 weeks pregnant, or even 36, doesn't mean this baby will be healthy. And if she is born healthy it doesn't mean she'll live to be 5, or 10, or 20. Only God knows the number of her days. Which is where I find peace. God knows. And has planned them. And they are perfect.

One of the other fatalities on Monday was that of a 26-year-old Newspaper gal in a town just less than 30 minutes south of us. I'm 26 years old. She was due with her and her husband's baby one week after my due date in May. She spun on the ice and her car was hit and she was killed. My heart aches to breaking for her husband.
I can only look at my husband and imagine if it was him. I sobbed this morning for this man named Paul. Will you please join me in praying for him? He's lost SO MUCH. His wife, His hope of a baby, just almost everything. Please pray if he doesn't know Jesus that this will send him running to our Savior. That's the only place he'll find true healing.

And so today, I don't know the future. I don't know if I'll wake up tomorrow to feel this baby kick, or if she'll live to be delivered. Or if either of us will live past any day in the future.

But I know this promise:

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 ESV

The context of this chapter points us even more to God.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

There is NO fear in loving God whole-heartedly. Only in Him is perfect love without fear. I can give myself and my family fully to Him knowing that NO MATTER WHAT, it is safe. Even if we all die, we are safe. God's love drives out the fear of the unknown. Because He knows, and it is perfect.

Let's all pray today for those who don't know or trust God's love and sovereignty perfectly. Because there, fear can exist. And fear is a horrible thing.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Soul Recharged

I'm sitting in Starbucks savoring the last few sips of my white mocha and also my weekend. I know, it's Monday. But to us, that's weekend. Andrew works Saturday mornings so our "days off" are Sunday and Monday. This "weekend"? We dropped Levi off with some dear friends and the dog also was displaced with some church friends and then we headed West. Literally. To another state. Well, like 2 miles into it. But hey, over 100 miles from home definitely counts. We had booked our stay at the best hotel available. Our friends' home. Seriously. MUCH BETTER than paying $70+ a night and WAY more relaxing. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. Seriously. A drawer in the bathroom labeled "if you forgot" (Ha, I think I stole your 2 bobby pins Nicole, my bangs thank you.) Cookies and snacks and water bottles in our room, and not cooking all weekend? Yep, delightful. I definitely wouldn't have been so relaxed nor laughed as much at a "real" hotel.

This weekend was our thrifty getaway plan for some time away as a couple before this baby comes or bedrest or whatever may happen. We've been feeling the strain lately of just being busy and frankly, lonely for each other. I get so focused on being Mommy so many days that my poor husband loses a wife. Or loses a patient, loving, serving wife. It's so good to take a break and remind ourselves that we are still best friends and still LOVE spending time with each other. And to spend some time with dear friends and just laugh together. And eat yummy food, and cuddle. Lots of cuddles. To remember we're US. Not just you and me. And to set some goals for the future and some plans for daily life to make reconnecting a daily or weekly thing.

Life will probably only get a little more chaotic as we get closer to and do have this baby. So we're determined to set some plans and goals in place and to make some choices to allow us to keep the intimacy between us alive. Not just the "Honey can you get the diaper?" Kind of stuff.

And I was so reminded and convicted of my heart toward my husband. I can't imagine life without him, ever, but sometimes I sure live like he's here to make my life easier. My helpmeet role needed some refreshing.

My soul needed some recharging as well. God's been beckoning me to be refreshed in Him alone, and as usual, I've been pushing that calling aside for all the busy stuff of life and daily needs of my family.

Short term goal? Get Levi to bed at the right time so that I go to bed at least a half hour earlier and therefore get up a little bit before him to start my day with the LORD. I need that. I crave that. More than my sleep. Choices. Other short term goal? Read 1 book a week. I used to read MULTIPLE books a week. So it made a book a week seem silly. But since my current path is not reading AT ALL, I needed a small goal. I'm on day 8, still have a few chapters left in this current book. But I'm conscious of the goal. And working towards it. Progress.

It's time to hit the road to pick up the dog and toddler. I'm ready. My soul is refreshed and ready to face the days ahead. With a daily conversation with the Lord and my husband in mind. ;)