Have you ever been anxious? Let me rephrase the question, have you ever eagerly awaited something that you knew was coming, but weren’t quite sure when, or what it would look like? Maybe you were dating someone for a long time, anticipating the question, “Will you marry me ?” and knew it could potentially happen any given day, but had no idea the exact moment. You had heard hundreds of other engagement stories and even though you knew what the process looked like to some extent, you were still filled with wonder and maybe a little anxiety about how you’re exact moment would be. Would you cry? laugh? Would it be the ring you wanted? Did he ask your Dad before he made the decision to get down on his knee? How long would you be engaged before a wedding were to take place? Will someone be hiding in the bushes capturing these moments? Will you be surprised or will you know it’s coming? These are all questions that may fill your mind as you ponder such a monumental event, but truth be told, you can wonder, anticipate and plan around what you believe will happen and in reality, it’s pretty much out of your control, you just have to sit back and wait, and I don’t know about you, but waiting is not my most favorite activity in the world.
I am, by nature, impatient, selfish and crave the desire to be in control-yup, I said it- I don’t like feeling like something is beyond my control and I would go out an a limb and say that the majority of people living in this world today are no different from me. Sure, there are times we don’t mind when things happening that are out of our control like when we look at our paycheck and an unexpected bonus has been added, when a flower delivery shows up at our door on our birthday, when someone in front of us at the grocery store pays for our basket of groceries and we don’t know about it until we go to pay and the cashier says, “the older gentleman in front of you actually paid for your stuff already”–Now THOSE surprises are good, they aren’t in our control, but they don’t threaten our grasp on things and they don’t interrupt us with thoughts of anxiety, wondering, waiting and fixating on the “what ifs” of an anticipated situation.
I have been pregnant for the past 9 months and 1 week AKA 37 weeks (not that I am counting). As my husband and I approach these last few weeks, I am filled with so many thoughts of wonder and excitement, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have some anxiety, much like the girl awaiting her engagement moment, I have been awake most hours of the night asking myself some of the following questions:
When is the exact moment I will go into labor? Will it be tonight? Is my water going to break in the middle of teaching a spin class? Will I know it’s coming? Will by labor be long? Will my labor be short? Will I look ugly while I am delivering our son? Will I act crazy and embarrass myself amidst the pain of labor? Will something go wrong and will I have to have an emergency C-section? Will the hospital smell make me nauseous? Will I be able to do it all naturally without any drugs? Will he be healthy? Will something be wrong with him when I deliver? Will he have a learning disability? Will I know how to calm him when he cries? Will I have the patience to go through months of sleepless nights? Will I be able to get back into shape after I deliver? Will my house be a mess all the time because I can’t keep up anymore? And, let me be perfectly transparent, these are only about a quarter of the thoughts that run through my head in a given hour.
I realize that many of you reading this will respond with, “It’s perfectly normal to be having these thoughts right now, you are headed into the unknown so allow yourself to feel this…” but this unknown territory I am living in, the land of waiting and becoming anxious about things that are truly out of my control, quickly becomes a place of being counterproductive and in essence, a waste of time-since I am worrying about things I can’t change. Look a little deeper and you’ll quickly discover that I lack faith, I lack the faith that God knows what he’s doing and the unfortunate part is that no matter how much faith I lack, it really only affects me because my worry doesnt’ change the master plan. Ultimately, God is in control, always has been. He created the life that has been growing inside of me and He ordained the very moment our son would be born long before I even thought of becoming a mother. He knows what’s going to happen, the answer to every single question I lay awake with every night and it is me who is suffering because of my lack of surrender and my stubborn unwillingness to let go of my fears and let God take care of it all. This is not to say that we can’t plan in life and anticipate exciting events, BUT when the planning and anticipation turns to worry and fear of loss of control, that’s an entirely different thing.
Matthew 6:25-34 states
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
I have read this scripture a hundred times, maybe even more and every time it comes to mind, I seem to willingly bypass its huge implications, but this may be the most fitting time for its application thus far in my life. It doesn’t mean that things will turn out the way I hoped, but it means that God is in control, so whether I worry or not, He’s already taken care of it. I don’t want to have a selfish faith (which isn’t faith at all) that says, “God I know you won’t allow me to have a hard labor, I know my child will be flawless, I have faith that my body will be perfect within a month of delivery” but rather “God, I trust you that as you take care of the grass of the field, how much more I can trust that you will take care of me and my soon to be son. I trust that You are in control and the events are going to unfold perfectly because they are EXACTLY as you want them to be.” Having faith and letting go-totally…now that’s a hard one, but it’s where I am at today. I don’t want to keep struggling with these counterproductive thoughts, I want to be preoccupied with today, with the exact moment that I have RIGHT NOW, because the rest is out of my control.
My hospital bag is packed and I seem to have my professional ducks in a row, but who knows what will happen.
Apparently I have 3 weeks until I become a mom and I am going to give an honest effort of living in the moment every second until God decides it’s time to meet our son, hopefully as a result tonight will be my first peaceful sleep in months.