Never in my life have I been so inextricably yoked to the life of another. To the very being and growth of another. In this place of newness, surrender, and fear, I am noticing a pattern, a die-hard habit, an old but not so welcome friend.
I learned a long time ago, perhaps as a kid in the competitive world of ballet, a way of coping with fear and the unknown.
I would imagine the very worst outcome of a given situation and then I would swallow it whole.
I would accept it and make it mine. Then, if that outcome did, in fact, come to pass, it couldn’t hurt me. I was prepared for it. If I had a big ballet audition, I would do just this…imagine the worst outcome and then accept it. This freed me in a way to take the chance and go for things while ensuring that I couldn’t be hurt by them.
This little oh-s0-healthy coping mechanism weaved itself into other areas of life too. There were times when I had to exercise my faith for a job, finances, or a life partner in marriage. In all these areas, if I’m honest, I know that I had a strategy deep in my heart for possible failure. I would distance myself, at least in some small way from whatever I needed faith for by giving myself a “back-up plan”. A “fall back” in case everything fell through. The back-up plan was simply preparing my heart for the worst, living with the reality of what could be.
Because I truly hate and run from disappointment.
There may be some benefits to this strategy but in this season of life, growing a baby boy inside me, I am realizing that with him, there is no distancing myself. It’s completely impossible. There is no back-up plan.
My heart and my life are so tightly bound to him that I am already all in. He is a part of me now and forever. There’s not even an option of distancing myself-either physically or emotionally. This is beautiful and infuriating all at once! As my belly grows and grows, I am forced to face these fears of mine and there is no coping mechanism that will help me now.
There is only me and the Father. The Father showing me grace and reminding me of his whole character.
When I would put into practice this little coping strategy of mine, I would reduce God to a cold, distant entity who had no relationship or response to my fears and feelings. Just a force that I reckoned with and was determined to not be hurt by. This is not who He is. This is not His character. Yes, He is powerful and sovereign, but He is also completely loving and tenderly close. He responds to His people’s cries. He knows their hearts inside and out. I am learning to know and trust the WHOLE character of God.
I easily forget that there is an enemy who hates this new life growing inside me. This baby represents life, hope, and love. Of course this will be met with lies upon lies in my head if I do not fight back. So, this is also what I am learning in this season: not to sit down in the lies but to stand up and instead of swallowing the worst-case-scenario, I am swallowing His truth. That He takes our burdens and sustains us. That He is with us. That He is the Good Shepherd who knows each one, calls His children by name, and laid down his life for them.