Sunday, October 18, 2015

31 Days of Brave: - Day 18 my 1am fears

I don't know if you ever wake up in the middle of the night and simply have to place a hand on your child, just to make sure that they are still breathing. This happened to me last night.  I startled wide awake at 1 am needing to make sure that Grayson was okay. But I'm 38 weeks pregnant and these early morning hours are Grayson's still hours. He is usually wonderfully, blissfully quiet and still while my belly and hips have a few hours of respite. This time it was misery. I got up, walked around, drank some ice water and ate a protein bar, desperately wanting to do anything to get some kind of response from this baby, feeling nothing but fear, and because this is 1am I'm already planning when I'll call my doctor, who I might ask to watch Eli so I can go check on my baby. I can already see myself sobbing at my doctor's office - I'm hoping it's tears of relief.

My fear may be middle-of-the-night irrational but it's not unreasonable. Little ones are taken from us at every stage, born and unborn, for no apparent reason at all and for reasons that no one could have anticipated until the moment it happens.  I have a reason to fear. Grayson's movements have become less and less each day recently and daily I vacillate between anxiety and understanding that this is what happens as a baby grows to this size, looses room to move around and starts to drop into birth position. They still a bit. It's normal - and it's terrifying.

Fear has been something God has been opening my eyes to these last few months. Like a veil being lifted I have been seeing more and more lately how deep and wide fear sits in my heart. How it weighs me down, how it holds me back. The fear of being judged, misunderstood, rejected. The fear of messing up, of letting people down, of being un-liked. I fear going to new places, trying new things, I get anxious around lots of people and in unfamiliar places.

When summer started and my big girls joined me in my day to day, week to week normal they commented "mom, you go to like  five places and you go there over and over." the grocery store, the library, the mall (I guess Daniel de-sensitized me to the anxiety of going to the mall), Target, the park, church. That's about it. I asked Daniel "do you think I'm an anxious person?" he said he didn't think so. Lately I've kind of wondered about it as I've realized how much of my life revolves around "safe" choices. Fear... it is so deep. From low-level anxiety keeping me from stepping into someplace new to sobbing in the shower paralyzed by the fear that everything is one more "bad day" from all crashing down.

In the darkness of my 1am, I visualize the birth of my healthy baby. I think about the moment when he comes onto my chest and what a relief it will be. I feel him jump inside me and breathe a sigh of relief. I go back to bed, I lay down on my side next to my husband and feel Grayson wiggle a bit against me and slowly go back to sleep.

This morning, as I sit here, processing this particular moment of fear, in the context of these months of anxiety,  I realize that fear, this kind of fear anyway, is rooted in unbelief. The unbelief that good can come out of agony, that pain is part of the process, that when I fall God will be there to catch me. My fear of this moment may not be realized but pain and hurt are part of life and they will come in one form or another - maybe not today but eventually, inevitably - it comes. Fear is the unbelief that in that moment God will be enough for me. That he will be there for me, that He will turn deserts of pain into an oasis of praise. Fear is believing that maybe God will abandon me, maybe He will let me go, maybe He will get distracted and look away for a minute and something bad will sneak in, something He didn't allow, something not even He can redeem. That is a lie.

The truth is that I am loved. I am precious to God. That He uses the pain of my life, my failing and flailing to work beauty. He redeems my wastelands. He never once abandons me. He never deserts me. He never ever breaks His convent to me. He is always faithful.

You can read about Grayson's birth here - it turned out that his umbilical chord had a knot in it plus he had the chord wrapped around his neck three times. We were really blessed that his birth was not more dramatic.

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