Saturday, November 22, 2014
Hope is coming for me
Hope is a fragile thing. One small crack in the veneer can bring it down.
Before those two beautiful pink lines appeared, we had tried to get pregnant for over a year. I charted my cycles and was beginning to be concerned about some of my hormone levels because of some abnormalities in my cycles. So when those little lines appeared, the very next day I called the doctor to get some labs done to be sure that my numbers were good.
They were... okay. They wanted me to come back in to get more labs done.
I did and that afternoon I got a call from my doctor's nurse. My progesterone level had dropped.
"Is the baby in danger?"
"Well, low progesterone can result in a miscarriage," she answered honestly. "That's why we are putting you on a prescription supplement to try to improve your levels."
"Ok. Thank you."
I hung up the phone and burst into tears. All my fears came bubbling to the surface. Fears that my body was broken and incapable of sustaining life. Fears that what I had hoped for for so long was about to be snatched away before I even got used to saying the words "I'm pregnant" out loud. Fears that I would have to mourn this life inside me and then gather my resolve to try again. Fears that I wouldn't I have the courage to do that.
I clicked a link to a Youtube video of a couple telling their family and friends they were expecting. I smiled through the whole video, but when the last second flicked by I was overcome with sobs. I sat in my bed and my body shook with tears and grief. I could no longer relate to that couple's celebrating. My rejoicing had been poisoned by worry.
And just like that, my joy vanished and it was replaced by anxiety and anticipation of loss. A loss that hung in the future as a big fat possibly. And yet I was living as though it was a reality. I fought it hour by hour. I would realize that my mind had wandered down the rabbit trail of loss - imagining how I would tell people. Imagining how I would explain it to Lila. Anticipating the physical and emotional pain of miscarriage. I would realize, and try to snap myself out of it. Remind myself of the symptoms I was having, remind myself that there was no real reason to expect to lose the baby.
One day I was so overcome with worry that I took another pregnancy test, hoping relief would rush over me when the positive result appeared. It was positive, but the relief was fleeting. "I took another test," I tearily confessed to the Husband that night. "I just needed to see it again."
He nodded his understanding. (Oh that all the wives could have a Husband like him.)
Despite his understanding, I couldn't offer myself the same grace. You've learned this lesson already! I would scold myself, thinking of our waiting for Faith. You know by now how to choose faith over fear. Do it! Quit wallowing in what you're manufacturing as a future reality when your actual reality suggests that things will be just fine.
But I couldn't believe myself. Waiting for Faith felt like trusting God's leading and direction and this felt more like something I had pleaded and begged for. I felt like I wanted it too much and anything you want too much will be taken from you.
I hope you hear the lies in there. I hope you can see what I've been blind to.
With one small seed of worry - my low progesterone - the Thief had managed to steal the joy of this pregnancy, kill my hope and destroy my faith in who God had shown himself to be. The smallest hidden anxiety was amped up and massaged (and no doubt magnified by some pretty gnarly hormones raging through my body) until I burst into full blown panic.
I knew it. A part of me knew that I was believing lies - allowing what-ifs to hold more weight than they should. I knew, but I didn't know what to do about it. I couldn't snap myself out of it.
So I prayed.
Help. I whispered in my heart's tiniest voice. Help. Rescue me. I'm lost. Shepherd, come find me. Bring me back into your fold.
It's funny because for the last few weeks I've had the words from the bridge of a Brooke Fraser song running through my head, "Hope is coming for me." I've been singing them to myself without really paying attention to the words. Hope is coming for me. Hope. Is coming for me.
It was as though Jesus planted that answer to my prayer in my subconscious before I had the presence of mind to pray it. Hope is coming for you, Kelsey. I know you feel lost and like you're drowning, but I'm coming. I won't leave you alone.
And that truth sparked a different story - one in which I am the sheep and Jesus is the Shepherd and he leaves the other 99 sheep to come and find me at the bottom of the pit of anxiety I've dug for myself. I started telling myself that story and reminded myself that if he is my Shepherd, then I will recognize his voice when he calls for me. So I started listening for his voice calling for me, coming for me, rescuing me. And when he finds me, he puts me on his shoulders and carries me home. He does all the work. Because I am a silly little sheep and I can't do the rescuing for myself. And in his arms I - along with all my hopes and dreams and small little babies growing in my belly - I am safe in his arms.
The thing is, the wolf still lurks just outside the pen. Some nights, I am huddled in the middle of the pen, shaking and trying desperately to remind myself that I'm safe from that prowling beast that paces back and forth whispering fears and worries as though they are truth. But I am learning to look around and remind myself where I am. That I am safe. That the Shepherd will protect me when the wolf attacks.
And just like with Faith, I don't know the outcome. I might lose this baby. I might. But I think God is asking me to trust him that he will care for me no matter what. I think he is asking me to put my hope in him - not in my body's ability to carry a baby or in the baby itself. I'm going to choose to put my hope in the One who is unshakably faithful. He is the only one who does not change or waver. He is trustworthy. I will hope in him.
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.
I will say to the , “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”