Faith Over Fear

My oldest child turned 21 in this past month. Each year in the days around his birthday we, members of our family and a few close friends, reminisce about the event of his birth. What an event it was! I had a rough pregnancy, in general, to say the least. “Morning” sickness every day, all day, for most of the time I carried him. I was MISERABLE! In fact, there were times I said, out loud to people, “Please pray this baby comes early.” Little did I know, that at 31 weeks he would have to be born in order to save my life and subsequently his.
It was the day after Super Bowl Sunday, 1998. I was so sick that I ended up in the ER completely dehydrated. Upon admittance I was immediately prepped for emergency surgery. And my son was going to be born that day, exactly 2 months to the day before his actual due date. In fact, it was so urgent that the physician couldn’t wait for the epidural anesthesia to take effect before making her incision into my abdomen (if you are wondering if I could feel all of that, the answer is YES, and it was extremely painful! However, fortunately, the medicine did work halfway through and to the end of the procedure).
My son was a whopping 3lbs and spent 5 weeks in the NICU, developing his lung capacity, ability to eat and to gain weight. I did not “turn the corner” as they expected upon his delivery and ended up in the ICU fighting for my life for another 5 days. It was a joyous day when I was able to come home and then especially celebratory when he did too eventually.
As I/we reflect on that traumatic experience we remember the fear we felt. (well really it was more everyone else feeling scared, I was too out of it to realize how dire things were). We were afraid to lose our firstborn (& my own life). We were worried about any/all of the possible health complications or development challenges he may experience. There were so many unknowns. Yet there really wasn’t anything we could do but watch and wait. (The “W” in S.L.O.W.) And now here we are 21 years later, amazed and grateful for all he is and will be in his life.
As I’ve shared in a previous blog, this last year was a difficult one for me personally, with plenty of opportunities to be fearful. Often, I was unsure of what would unfold and how, but again looking back I now see clearly how things fell into place exactly the way they were meant to. Facing those fears with faith, believing good will come even from difficulty, and remembering times when that’s proven to be true already. Those memories can provide the motivation we need to face the next obstacle that comes our way. Because they will come.
Maybe you are going through a time right now that feels uncertain. It can be tempting to try to take matters into your own hands to control and manipulate the outcome, at least that’s my default mode. But what I’m learning as I reflect and practice being patient and trusting the universe is often times things work out the way it was intended. This helps my fears subside and I hope it does the same for you.
Experiment the next time things seem to be coming apart at the seams. Perhaps you have a difficult deadline or assignment looming. Or maybe your class schedule seems unmanageable. Or it could be a personal crisis you are facing. See what happens if you take a breath and let it all unfold in time. I suspect you will feel less stressed, anxious, afraid and more at peace, knowing that it can all work out in the end just the way it should.
I am grateful for that life-threatening event 21 years ago and even all the hard times since then (not that I’ve liked them) BUT they have served a purpose and I’m stronger today because of them. My hope is that is the case for you as well. Facing our fears with faith, believing in a better tomorrow, allows us to be our best when we get there.