Wrestling Fear

"What if we were done having kids?" I abruptly asked my husband. He was standing on a chair hanging oversized leaves in the kids' play room. I was on my hands and knees picking up matchbox cars and baby dolls. “We could be done...you don't want to have any more?” He asked me. I looked up at him, “All my reasons to stop having children are based on fear,” I confessed. “I don’t think we should stop because of fear.”

I thought about the paralyzing fear that gripped my heart. I want control. I desperately want my children to be healthy. I don’t think I can handle another strong-willed child. What if we have another child with special needs? How could I possibly go through the dark hours of another miscarriage? I fear pain and loss. Three years ago I sat on the cold floor of my bathroom in the middle of the night and looked over a crimson filled toilet, and regretfully flushed the life that grew inside of me for nine weeks—there are some things I beg God to not let me go through again. 

I wrestle with fear and faith. I know what is true. I know that I will face hard things in my life, and I will watch my children experience pain. I think I will always struggle to faithfully walk the next step of the unknown. I never knew that becoming a mom would expose how little faith I have.

I hold Elias on my lap and think about all the ways God has been glorified through his precious life. We were told there was a fluke in his DNA, but we trusted that God was in control when the markings on his 21st chromosome were a little extra. There wasn’t any loss of control the day his life was woven together.

Almost six years into motherhood and my heart is not naive to the realities of pain and loss. It is the pain and loss that has drawn me closer to the heart of the one who gave life to my children. Fear grips me and pins me down. It robs me of joy—the very joy of a child. And I'm reminded that fear doesn't have to have a grip on me. The chains of fear have already been broken. There is rest.

It is a mystery how God can comfort and carry us through pain. And not only carry us, but give us strength and hope. Only he can rescue me from gripping fear. I am learning to step away from what I am comfortable with and walk in faith. How freeing to walk with the sustainer of life—life that cannot be taken away. Life that crushes fear.

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© 2014 Natalie Falls