Fear, Faith, and Hard Things


I had a glorious 10 minute read on our back porch last week.  The boys were occupied with shaking dirt and sand in plastic bottles and I found a moment free of  interruptions absent  of “Mom, Mama, Mommmmmmm!!!!”, dire emergencies, or refereeing. It was just me,  the warm sunshine, and a moment to take it in.

I love to sneak these little moments in my day – sometimes it’s successful, other times it is not. {And I’m slowly giving myself some grace without guilt to do so.} Sometimes I just need to think about something other than cleaning up breakfast or what’s for dinner. Breath deeper. Live fuller. Think clearer.

On this particular day, my memories traveled back to some of my darkest days of pregnancy.  Days that I feared how they would end.  Days that I was scheduled for an ultrasound to count heartbeats on the screen. Days that I could barely find my way from the bed to the couch to monitor contractions.  Days when there was no magic eight ball to foretell the outcome of undocumented situation.

I remembered how desperately I wanted to have immense faith to walk through the valley and face the unknowns, but I didn’t know where faith, acceptance, and reality met.

Do we go ahead and buy a mini-van or does that assume that we get to bring “healthy” babies home? Should we look into special needs accommodating vehicles?

Do we register for four car seats, collect four cribs, take clothing donations – or will that just break our hearts even more when we have to return them?

Can I make it through this baby shower “normally” without knowing if any of my babies will survive?

Do we really believe that God can GIVE and take away? 

The rubber had met the road, and this was where we found out what our faith was made of.

Can I tell you that some days our faith was not pretty? 

I felt like I couldn’t bloom without sunshine, and the darkness seemed too dark to grow.

We heard so many “God’s got a plan”, “have faith”, “stay strong” “everything’s going to be alright”, “believe in miracles”  “you’re only given what you can handle” but they weren’t always easy to believe.   I had no idea what my “okay” was going to look like.  What did four “healthy babies” even mean?  Was survival our only success measurement?

For me faith was a wrestle with fear. Some days I battled well, and some days I was left with the scars of defeat. 

Some days faith meant getting out of bed and doing everything in my power that I could do to make healthy choices for that day. Some days faith  meant praying prayers that I couldn’t speak or finish. Some days faith meant forcing a smile through discomfort and pain. Some days faith meant resting in the promises found in His Word, and then reminding myself of them just moments later when worry sprung its ugly head again.

My battle scars are proof of  God’s faithfulness, even when my faith was small. The hard things did bring growth, even when I couldn’t see it.  It wasn’t a perfect faith, but we walked through it, not alone, but with the Comforter on our side.  His strength was perfect, when ours was far from it.

“We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect”