Fear Be Gone
I still remember the exact spot I stood when Anne called to tell me my dear friend, Sarah, had complications and delivered her third child, Harper, at 26 weeks.
I wept on that sidewalk in Hawaii and then booked a flight home that same night. Shortly after I arrived, Harper went to be with the Lord. In the following months, two more of my very close friends had complications with their pregnancies. One lost her baby girl at 36 weeks, while the other went on to have their beautiful daughter, who suffered a severe brain injury.
In my single days, I believe many would have described me as fearless. But when I became pregnant with Carsen, I was often paralyzed with fear, afraid for his life. I had to daily choose (sometimes without much success) to not let fear grip my heart.
Once Carsen was born I felt relieved. I never said it out loud or even in my heart, but looking back I think I felt like we "were out of the woods."
Last September, my long time mentors/friends were killed in a horrible car crash. Recently, my dear friend, Tiff, found out that her 6-year-old daughter, Selah, has leukemia. Both cases rocked me clear off my feet.
Thursday, I drove across Iowa, and for the first half of the trip, Carsen road in my parents' car. I followed behind with their dog, Mocha, in my own. Other than a panic attack back in South Africa, I have never experienced so much anxiety. The interstate was packed with huge trucks and speeding cars. For a few minutes I was in tears as I drove because all I saw in front of me was my parents and my son dying right before my eyes.
I know that might sound dramatic, but anxiety has no shame. It holds you captive and feeds off fear.
I have a group vox with two dear friends and in that dark moment I asked them to pray peace over me because I could not.
Thankfully, we stopped at a rest area where I was able to get out of the car and calm down. When we loaded back up, Carsen road with me and I felt the Lord's presence and peace.
It was another reminder that Carsen will never be "safe." He just won't. Life is unexpected. Awful shit happens. And I cannot metaphorically or in reality hold tight to him. Nor do I want to.
I want Carsen to experience life and live it to the fullest. I want him to be fearless and brave and a man of strength and kindness.
Tiff sent me this text on my birthday and it has helped me: "This might sound really weird but, I really need my mama friends to know this...before Selah's diagnosis I struggled with fear so badly. Like, if I read about someone else's kids getting cancer I'd feel so scared. Like every mom, I didn't want anything bad to ever happen to my babies.
I know God's heart is breaking more than mine is over Selah. This was never his plan for her life. But, I truly believe with my whole heart that God can take the ugliest of situations and turn them around for his glory. He is covering me with this intense grace. I'm sad but, I feel like God is almost protecting me from feeling the weight of it all. I feel like he has this special grace for mothers who have to go through these types of things. I literally feel joy and peace.
I've never been more aware of heaven. God has been talking to me so much about heaven. As Christians, we don't have to fear dying bc death is our gain! Jesus took the sting out of death. So no matter what happens- Selah wins. We win. Our victory is Jesus and our reward is Him/heaven.
I just don't want anyone to feel afraid. God is so good. He is so dedicated to us and our children. I've never been more in awe of how good Jesus is.
No matter what life throws at you- Jesus is there. He will get you through it."
I daily choose to give my son to the Lord and not live in fear of the unknown, the maybe or the what if.
Fear will not win in my life.
It doesn't define me.
And it will not keep me bound.
Jesus is good and He wins.