Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So Grateful (a Hide & Seek post) - Philippians 4:6-7

I am so grateful for the comments I received on yesterday's post. It took me a while to work up the nerve to officially announce our news on the blog, so it was such sweet encouragement to read the well-wishes!

Ever since I found myself in this expectant state, I have clung to a verse from Philippians. It's been a while since I did a "Hide & Seek" update, and I just wanted to share a little bit about what God's been teaching me over the past month or so through this particular bit of wisdom from His Word.

Let me start with a little background. I've written about this before, but my first pregnancy basically shattered my pretty little expectations. I was beyond sick. For the first 5 months, I lost weight at every check up, went on disability from work, made several visits to the hospital E.R., and became intimately familiar with the diagnosis of Hyperemesis. For the remaining months, and with the help of a prescription drug, I finally overcame the nausea and vomiting and proceeded to gain, oh, about 50-60 pounds. I was miserable, depressed and F.A.T. by the time we welcomed my beautiful son into the world four years ago.

It wasn't any wonder to my family and closest friends that, when asked about our plans for adding to our family, we always responded with an emphatic "No Thanks!"

Which was really a shame. Because I LOVE being a mom. From the millisecond that my son took his first breath of air... all my physical and emotional symptoms vanished. I have never enjoyed anything as much as I enjoy the journey of motherhood.

I honestly just wished I could do it again without actually having to be the designated "growing place" for any more children.

You know, it's hard to be real enough to write those words. I have so many friends & family who would give anything to know the sensation of life growing inside them; those who have spent days and nights on their knees in prayer (and thousands of dollars on tests and procedures). And I realize that they would give anything for a bout of morning sickness.

But when I saw that big plus sign... my thoughts quickly turned to fear and anxiety.
What would my husband think? (Those 9 months were no picnic for him either).
Would I be sick like last time?
How would I handle that level of sickness when I had a 3 1/2 yr old to care for? Could this time possibly be different?
What could I do differently to avoid the feelings of depression that left me so despondent last time?
Could we afford a housekeeper?
(O.K., so it wasn't all fear and anxiety!)

It just so happened that I had recently been reading through the book of Philippians in my quiet time. And one verse resonated in my mind as I pondered what to make of this news.

Found in the 4th Chapter of Philipinas, verses 6-7 say (in the NLT):
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

For years, I have treated this passage as a slap-on-the-wrist kind of admonishment to myself. If I began to worry about a problem, I chided myself with the knowledge that "the Bible says not to worry about anything! Stop worrying! Stop feeling anxious!"

But I saw finally something different in this passage; God gives me a formula - a clear plan to rid my mind of worry. A way to get out of it, not a guilt trip for getting into it in the first place.

How do I combat worry?
Tell God what I need.
Thank Him for all He has done.

The first and second part come pretty easy to me. I am a pro at telling God what I "need" from Him. But there's an equally important component to the formula. THANK HIM for all He has done.

I can't tell you what this part of the verse has meant to me for the past month. Any time worries, doubts and fears threaten to undo my mental wellbeing, I have been reminded to start THANKING HIM for what He has done, for Who He has been in my life.

And when I pray, make my needs known, and thank Him... guess what?! The second part of that Scripture - the part about experiencing His peace. Well, it washes over me like a river. And I know that He's guarding my heart and my mind.

So... I'm grateful today. Grateful in part for 24 hours of the kind of sickness that brings me to my knees. I'm grateful that I have a son who can feed the dog by himself, dress himself, bring ginger ale to his momma and fix himself a snack when he gets hungry. (Even though the snack this morning appears to have been cream cheese straight out of the tub with a spoon).

I'm grateful for a mom who lives less than 10 miles away and was just looking for an excuse to wisk my self-sufficient yet extremely bored young son off to spend the night at Grandma's house. I'm thankful for friends who emailed today during my worst bout of sickness with subject lines like, "How are you feeling?" or "Thinking of you". I'm thankful for sunny weather that feels so heavenly when I work up the energy to stand outside and soak it up for a moment. I'm thankful for an outlet to express my thoughts in writing. I'm thankful for a flexible job and a good boss! I'm grateful that my husband cleans the dishes and folds the laundry and does the goodnight routine like a pro when he's called in from the bench to do so.

And I'm grateful - SO VERY GRATEFUL - for the beautiful heartbeat, the strong profile, the arms and the beginning of legs... all seen on a grainy sonogram picture yesterday. I'm so grateful that I get to be a mom... again! I'm grateful for God's perfect timing that surpasses my "perfect plan" and His peace that surpasses my understanding.


Amber said...

Isn't it amazing how wonderful God is? I should stop being so surprised at his awesomeness and how completely he takes care of me. God is doing great things in and through you and I'm so glad I get to watch/read! :) I'll be praying for you as you take on this pregnancy. Seriously, can you convince Emily to get pregnant again? :)

Anonymous said...

WOW! what a beautiful post, i am almost in tears. i can relate so much to what you are experiencing, except for the part about actually being pregnant. my pregnancy with my son was life threatening for me and a whirlwind of emotions. it was an extremely trying time for us and God is what brought me through. thinking about having another child makes me nervous. like you, i love being a mom and enjoy motherhood so very much. but the thought of going through that whole thing again (and putting my family through it) makes me cringe! the outcome is a beautiful thing and surely worth every ache and pain, but it's the 9months before that is so difficult.

i thank you so much for this post and for nudging me about this. it's been on my heart and God knows how much i worry. this scripture spoke to me. you put your situation out there and helped this mom realize she's not alone in her feelings. thanks for that!

i'll be praying that you continue to feel God's peace in this wonderful experience. congratulations again!

Cheryl said...

GREAT post, Jenny! Praying for an amazing, healthy pregnancy for you. I am beyond excited for you guys.

Anonymous said...

I love it. You are the best.
Jennifer N

Kelly White said...

You are awesome, my friend!! Drink of Him daily! Check it out in the Message: Philippians 4:6-7

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Amber said...

I left a blog award for you on my blog if you'd like to claim it! :)