I love how God uses experiences and circumstances in our lives to reveal things hidden within our hearts that need to be refined or changed. He knows just what we need to experience, hear or see in order to uproot an unhealthy attitude or way of thinking and transform it into a quality that reflects more of His nature and character.
While I feel that He chips away at my heart daily--removing selfish tendencies, humbling me, realigning my perspective and grounding my identity in Him--He also works in seasons, addressing very specific issues that hinder my faith and ability to fully be the woman He made me.
I am currently in the midst of one of those seasons in which He has allowed minor pregnancy complications and the need to rest to show me that I have a tendency to worry and allow fears of the "what ifs" to dominate my thoughts and place unnecessary weights on my heart and mind.
Two weeks ago, I got put on bed rest for low amniotic fluid. That same morning, before my appointment, I was reading my Bible and the current study I am doing (Jesus, the One & Only
by Beth Moore). The passage for that day was Luke 12:1-34. Beth talked about 5 ways in which this portion of scripture communicates our "great value to God" but there was one in particular that stood out to me:
"Believing our great value to God frees us from much worry."
I'll be honest and say that while that stood out to me, it didn't fully sink in until later in the day, after the news of my low fluid levels. As I laid in bed that night, doing what no pregnant woman should be doing--googling symptoms and risks of my diagnosis (side note: if you're pregnant, don't get lost in the vortex of google and pregnancy forums in which women share their experiences with certain conditions, it's a recipe for disaster and a whole lot of unnecessary fears and worry-filled tears!)--the words I had read that morning came back to me:
"God wills that we overcome worry even when overwhelmed by reasons to worry."
I was certainly overwhelmed by reasons to worry at that moment. Worry about whether my fluids would drop more. Worry about the health of the baby. Worry if it was moving enough. Worry if it was crushing the umbilical chord (a potential concern with low amniotic fluid) and not getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Worry that if my fluids went too low I would have to have a cesarean. Worry about whether I was resting enough. Worry about whether I was drinking enough. Worry how Luis would fare having me out of commission for awhile. Worry what Eli would think and how he would react to me suddenly not being the mom that he knows me to be. Worry how things still left on my to-do list would get done. Worry how I would make it mentally, physically and emotionally through the final month of this pregnancy.
I was all sorts of worry, let me tell you. It hurts my head just typing all that worry out!
Luke 12:25 "We can't add a minute to our life by worrying."
I felt God whisper to me as I sat in my mess of worry "You can't add a single minute to this baby's life by worrying about it." Suddenly the light bulb went on and I felt the weight of my worries and fears lifted off of me. It never ceases to amaze me the freedom that comes in Jesus! I literally felt free at that moment as I realized all that worrying wasn't going to change anything. All it could do was distract me from my purpose and limit me from seeing the ways I can still prepare for this baby and especially the ways I am able to love and serve my husband and son even if it looks a little different than what we are all used to.
A few days later, just in case I didn't fully get what God was saying to me, He reminded me again of my need to free my mind of worry through the daily devotion on my devotion app (SheReadsTruth--just downloaded recently and love it so far) the passage was Matthew 6:25-34.
Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Each day really does have enough trouble of its own to worry about hypothetical trouble in the future. My trouble each day right now is knowing how far to push it, how to be a mom to Eli in this time and yet also remember that I am now the mama of 2 and this little babe inside needs me just as much.
My children's needs are in opposition to one another--one needs me up and doing things the other needs me off of my feet--and yet somehow the Lord is going to give me the discernment and strength to balance them both. I'm sure this is only the beginning of the many lessons I will have in learning how to be the mother that each of my children needs me to be simultaneously.
Most likely, if you are reading this, you aren't pregnant, and if you are, you most likely aren't on bed rest, but I would be willing to bet there are still stresses and worries that are weighing you down. If you feel "overwhelmed by reasons to worry" I encourage you to meditate on the verses above and experience the freedom that comes when you let it all go and just trust Him. Period.
Have a blessed and worry-free rest of the week!