Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fear and Faith

You know those butterflies you get right before a big trip? The way you wake up in the middle of the night terrified that you put your passport in the wrong place or will somehow forget your toothbrush in the morning? The paranoia that you're going to oversleep your alarm and  miss your flight? That ridiculous urge to check and recheck your tickets just to make sure you haven't skipped over some miniscule but terribly important detail?

Yes, that's how I felt about yesterday's ultrasound.

I couldn't fall asleep until close to eleven, only to be woken up by a wet bed in need of changing (cutting out night time diapers is fun!), followed by a meowing cat (we forgot to put him in the guest room last night--of course), followed by a little buddy climbing in next to me after a nightmare. Then my alarm went off at 5.30.

Really. It did.

And I got out of bed without hitting snooze, because when you have an hour to shower, dress, put together breakfast and lunch, get the boys dressed, get the pets prepped for a day alone, and anything else you might've forgotten the night before, every minute counts. But we made it in time--and even stopped for coffee...and multiple pee breaks. Sue me, I'm pregnant. Two hours is a long time to be in a car.

All of this is really just extra to try to help you get in my head for a moment. The truth is, the absolute truth is, that as much as I've anticipated and counted the days until that ultrasound, I was also dreading it, dreading what we could find out.

These last weeks of pregnancy I have looked every fear of mine in the face.

What if something is wrong with one of the twins? What if they are going to need medical intervention? What if we have an extended NICU stay with both boys stuck at home? What if one of them has a club foot and we have to drive 3.5 hours every week to get it worked on? What if I get put on bed rest before my mom gets here to help out? What if? What if? What if? All of this was, of course, exacerbated by the fact that the Man will not be here.

There have been many days where I have found myself crying while I prayed, begging the Lord for healthy babies, but more than that, begging the Lord that no matter what happened, He would help me figure it out, help me deal with it. I told the Man that I kept finding myself panic praying when what I wanted to be doing was trust praying.

It was never a matter of loving the babies. From the moment we knew it was twins, I loved both. It was just fear, pure unadulterated fear on my part. Fear because I remembered, I remembered how hard it was to be in and out of the hospital with a newborn when my husband was far away and in a war zone. Fear because they tell you that the chances of something going wrong when you are pregnant with multiples are much higher...and we'd already had "something go wrong" with our otherwise very healthy singleton. Fear because medical care is a little harder to come by in this corner of Oklahoma than it was in the giant metropolis of DC.

It was fear because sometimes I'm scared that God will push me past what I can emotionally handle...even with His help.

So I talked to the Man and to friends who love me and, most of all, to God, and I waited. I asked that He would give me the faith to deal with whatever came, the trust to remember that He was in control, and the grace to live in His strength regardless. And yesterday, as I walked into that ultrasound, literally sweating from nervousness (yes, that's gross, I know), I heard these words in my heart:

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." (Job 13:15)

And I thought about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, facing death at the hands of a crazed king hungry for their capitulation, when they said, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Dan 3:17-18, italics added)

As I sat on the crinkly hospital paper, with the cold ultrasound gel spread across my stretch marks and my hand tucked tightly in the Man's, I thought, "I know that God is able to shape two perfectly healthy babies in me, and I pray that in His grace He will. But even if He doesn't, even if He doesn't, I will still worship Him as completely sovereign, completely good, completely reliable, knowing that He must know something I do not. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

I think that if I had gotten up and walked right out the door without seeing either baby or talking with a doctor, that God would've done what He wanted to do in my heart. Because in the long run, when it applies to my story (I am not talking here about any one else's story), I think it matters more to Him that my heart is in that position of surrender than that everything goes "right".

I say all this but you'd better believe I was still holding my breath and having to remind myself to let it out again almost the whole way through that almost two hour ultrasound.

You know the end of the story. Or at least what we think the end of the story is, for right now. The high-risk pregnancy doctor told me that both sets of feet look perfect, that the babies are healthy and strong and growing well, that I should be able to make it at least a full 38 weeks, and then he told me that I don't have to come back to see him again. I didn't realize what a big deal that was until I saw my own doctor this morning. She had to scrape her jaw off the floor. She said she's never had a twin pregnancy that hasn't had to go back for multiple screenings with yesterday's doctor. (She also double checked the feet, just to be sure, and they still look good.)

I know that many of you have been praying for us over the last few weeks. Thank you. Not just because God has blessed us with what looks like two beautifully healthy babies but because through your prayers and faith, God has done good work in my heart. And I hope that I would be saying that regardless of what we learned yesterday.


  1. Love this testimony of how God gets us through things. Congrats on twins! Will be praying for you.

  2. Thanks for sharing your heart and what you are going through!! Gives me encouragement to trust in all the transition we are going through!!