I’ve recently been drawn to the song “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. There’s a part in the song where louder than any other lines they sing, “You split the sea so I could walk right through it, my fears are drowned in perfect love. You rescue me so I can stand and sing, I am a child of God.” A day from my Fearless study this past week asked me to think about and record great works that the Lord has performed before my eyes and great works that God has performed in His Word. I started thinking through this question and this song came to mind. The song claims that we are no longer slaves to fear because we’re children of God. To reinforce the truth in this song, they sang about a mighty work that the Lord performed in His Word; they were remembering a great work of God from the past to focus on His faithfulness in the present instead of fear.
I started to think about the mighty works that I have seen God do right before my very eyes, and the Lord brought to mind what is currently taking place inside me—the growth of my sweet baby boy. The kicks I feel on an hourly basis, my growing belly, and the healthy heartbeat we hear at doctor’s appointments all point to a mighty work of the Creator. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am more scared about this new life that is coming my way than I anticipated being. My husband and I have many changes coming our way at once and not knowing what that looks like has sent me into a whirlwind of emotions on any given day. What grace the Lord gave me the morning I did this lesson of Fearless as I thought about the mighty work being performed in my own body that I am allowed to witness. The Lord sweetly allowed the root of my fear to be brought into light on this particular morning. And I wanted to share this with you because while you may not be experiencing the same fear I am, we all do have fears, and I hope what the Lord did for me will be of encouragement to you. Or maybe when you are in the stage of life where I am right now, if you have similar fears, you will know that you are not alone.
I feel as if I hear all the time when people know I’m pregnant, “Enjoy your alone time with your husband now while you can,” or, “Your marriage is easy right now, just wait until you have kids,” or something along those lines. Besides my relationship with the Lord, and to be completely honest, so often even above my relationship with the Lord, my marriage is the most important thing to me. I have seen with my own eyes how easy it is for marriages to drift off into habits that are unhealthy and then people feel as if they can’t get back to where they were. I do not want my husband and me to be one of those couples. And I have been concerned about the impact children will have on our marriage. I want to love my children well and love them in a way that points them to the unfailing love of their heavenly Father, but the Lord revealed the lie I’ve been believing that if I fully embrace loving them then that means the love I have for my husband will change. I don’t know what it looks like to continue to put your husband first but also have a child that needs you and needs to be loved. As I journaled this all out to the Lord, I was frustrated because I desperately wanted to know the answer is to this question (and honestly still do). I just really like to have things figured out and this is something that’s not going to be “figured out” right now.
I confessed to the Lord, “Lord, my mind has been taken over by fear and feelings lately. I’ve allowed myself to believe that I need to address the fear and be realistic, not naïve in thinking nothing could happen, and this has caused me to miss out on the beauty and mighty work of what is happening inside me. I’ve allowed myself to become so fearful of change instead of thinking about and leaning into you.”
While it may not seem like a big deal, I hadn’t been able to communicate the exact fear of not knowing how to love my husband and my baby until that morning. It felt so freeing to be able to confess that exact fear to the Lord, and He led me to look up verses on children. I read God’s truth about children, not what other people say about them in our culture: “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Psa. 127:3-5). The Lord then brought back to mind the story I had read the day before about Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles and his prayer as he realized his kingdom was about to be under attack by large armies. As I went to turn in my Bible to this story, I flipped right to 2 Chronicles 20:12, the exact verse I was looking for because it was bookmarked with my son’s first sonogram picture. The verse says, “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Tears streamed down my face, more like an ugly sob, as I saw God’s mighty work that had taken place that morning, His grace to reveal this verse to me through a picture of my son.
I think I’ve wanted to see my fears and be realistic about them because I haven’t wanted to be blindsided by things that could potentially go wrong in all these changes. I’ve wanted to have a handle on all the potential possibilities and because of that fear has gripped me. I have believed the lie that it is irresponsible not to contemplate all the potential outcomes that could come our way. I can’t be that girl that, you know, thinks, “Oh everything is going to just be beautiful and all rainbows and butterflies all the time.” What the Lord helped me see that morning, however, is that yes, absolutely things will not always be perfect or rainbows and butterflies, even though that is really what I would prefer if I had my choice. He also helped me see that it’s okay to not know what’s coming and to be content in that because I can look to the One who does know what’s coming.
I still don’t know what it looks like to love my husband and my baby. Just like Jehoshaphat I am powerless, but my eyes can look to the One who has all the power. The truth is, children are a heritage from the Lord and those with many are blessed. The truth is, it’s not irresponsible to be powerless and not know what’s coming. The truth is, God was faithful in His Word and He’s still faithful today, and I can look to Him. The truth is, it’s not irresponsible to put my trust in Him alone. These truths are true for you too. If you’re feeling anything like I’m feeling, let’s pray for the grace to say with Jehoshaphat, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chron. 20:12).
Planted for His Glory