Isn’t it amazing when we think from looking at the past, that we may have conquered a fear…but God shows us how MUCH we continually need Him to keep taking our fears away?
Perhaps you’ve heard this story before, but I’m going to tell it again, because it was an amazing story of how God gave me mountain moving faith during a particular season of our lives. After my son was born spontaneously, 7 weeks early with my first pregnancy and through most of that time, I was quite alone, I was gripped with fear at the start of my second pregnancy with my little girl, when the first words at my first appointment with our Korean doctor were…”pregnancy no good.” My draw dropped. Really? I have a bit of a feisty temperament when running into roadblocks that I don’t consider there…I wanted to walk right out of his office right then. My calm husband put his hand firmly on my leg…I stayed. Two more appointments of hearing the same thing…I asked my husband to switch doctors…he agreed. He is much more perseverant than I am…and I thank the Lord for that…but this time, my heart couldn’t bear the pain of the doctor’s apparent lack of faith anymore. Perhaps we should have stayed…but my heart was too weak. I needed to HEAR and SEE Faith in my support group to help build my faith too. The Lord gave me a doctor with great faith, and a similar pregnancy history to mine. My heart was in a safe place now and I could go forward. God spoke and spoke so clearly to my heart. I have rarely experienced this kind of clear promise, particularly to me before. It was new territory with the Lord. I was scared, wondering if I heard Him clearly. I stepped out in Faith, claiming His promise to me, and walking in obedience to lead a women’s study until Hannah’s birth. She came after the study, after the baby shower at 38 1/2 weeks. She was a term baby, just like He said…and came on the exact day my doctor predicted!
You would think I would no longer struggle with fear in pregnancy with that kind of history with the Lord. But, sadly, I am. There are those moments of “just one more week Lord, get …me through one more week…we’ll just go week by week in this walk of faith.” I have reminders of friends who have had huge struggles in their pregnancies…what makes me special that my baby could come to term again? Is this something God is promising me again this time? I don’t hear His firm, clear voice, His promise like I did with Hannah. Does that mean this baby is coming early? Or does that mean, I need to have deeper, steady faith? I am struggling…with moments of fear…and moments of great faith.
My last appointment took 3 whole hours! I’ve had two appointments that have lasted this long…due to a back log in patients. I have seen these times, with a sweet gift of an awesome babysitter from the Lord (thank-you Elaine!!!), as times of prayer…in asking the Lord to relieve my anxiety and fear…and giving me a vision of great faith in Him…the feelings might not be there, but I am seeking for a great faith that is present with or without the feelings to go along with it. Faith from obedience….faith in darkness…faith in continued exhaustion, sickness, and weakness. “Give me this great faith, O Lord,” I cried out. It is a gift.
The Lord gave me this devotion from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling:
“I want you to be all Mine. I am weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in Me alone–not in other people, not in circumstances. Depending on Me may feel like walking on a tightrope, but there is a safety net underneath: the everlasting arms. So don’t be afraid of falling. Instead, look ahead to Me. I am always before you, beckoning you on–one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate you from My loving Presence. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Romans 8:39)”
Beautifully, intertwined with this picture the Lord gave me, I was reading to my kids a book about a little girl and the great Bellini. The great Bellini, who did incredibly, inhuman things on his tightrope…like walk over Niagra falls, doing all sorts of tricks…with no fear…was all of a sudden, later on his life…gripped with fear. He said that once fear comes on the tightrope…you can never walk again. This little girl thought he was the greatest and practiced on his tightrope in the hotel he was staying at…when no one was watching. She got really good at it and showed him one day. He was cross and told her she could not perform with him. But, as he saw her confidence and determination grow and grow…he decided to have another try at performing for an audience to show her he was going to overcome his fear. He set everything up, tightrope, tricks, everything…and began to walk high over the hotel. He froze, though, and was gripped with fear once again. The little girl was watching and ran up the staircase up to where he was. She stepped out onto the rope…he looked at her…she looked at him…she walked toward him, with her eyes only thinking about the tightrope…and his eyes watching the tightrope and her….they walked toward each other. He let go of his fear….and they became a wonderful act together 🙂
The Lord spoke to my heart. “You may feel like you are walking on a tightrope right now…but I am there with you, reassuring you, walking with you, holding your hand and heart, and beckoning you forward. And I shall catch you if you fall…in my SAFE, EVERLASTING ARMS.”
Yesterday, I walked for an hour, and after I walked, I came home and Hannah and I played outside in our yard. It was full of leaves, dog poopie, and trash (we share a yard). It has been weighing on my heart to clean it up…and it was a beautiful day outside. Should I do more work? Will it be too much after my walk? Lewis came early, as my water broke spontaneously after a slow swim, so I try to really listen to my body. I looked around and thought, “I’ll just pick up the trash.” Then, after I cleaned up the trash, I saw a rake (lying in our yard, but not ours–we don’t have a rake yet, as we’ve never had a proper yard). I looked up at the sky…and fearfully, said, “should I do this Lord?” I felt peace. I went forward and raked the yard. I was so excited to have a clean yard for the kids to play in. Brian came home later that day, cleaned up the pile of leaves, and wanted to go for a long walk. I felt that fear pop back up. “Will that be too much for me, Lord?” I felt peace. We walked and had one of the loveliest times talking…our kids sang songs to each other in the stroller and fell asleep (this isn’t their usual 🙂 ), and we talked about what God was doing in our hearts and it was incredible. It was just the time I needed to talk with my husband with all these nights he spends working so diligently studying, writing papers, and attending classes. We miss our time with each other…and the Lord is providing in so many ways. But, this time, FEAR was not to come in the way! I am praising God for continually reassuring this weary, fearful heart. For giving me the gift of faith over and over again.