This past week was a busy one. We had family in town for my daughter’s third birthday, and then each day just rolled right into the next (funny how that happens, especially with little ones at home!). Needless to say, I neglected this space for a few days, but today I’m back. And I’m linking up with none other than Lisa-Jo Baker for her Five Minute Friday series. (You can find my other FMF posts here.) For this week’s prompt, I couldn’t help but recall the events that preceded the arrival of baby number three, and how she was literally God’s goodness made manifest to me.
In some ways, she was a bit unexpected. But God was already at work shaping and molding her well before I saw those two little pink lines … The pink lines that appeared on the stick just two weeks before we were scheduled to leave on a mission trip to Belize.
We were to leave the other two kiddos at home in the care of my mom and board a plane bound for jungles and the tangible expression of God’s grace. I had battled severe bouts of anxiety in the months leading up to the trip: debilitating struggles that sent me spiraling downward into darkness and eventually found me lying motionless in a claustrophobia-inducing machine awaiting an MRI.
Anxiety is an ugly, silent beast, and it manifests itself in ways that only fuel the fire. Crippling fear, vision problems, loss of sensation and tingling in my face and hands were the manifestations of my anxiety.
The source of it … I believe it started when I said yes. Yes to Belize, yes to the distance of a country between my children and I. I told my husband I would go if he desired. But shortly after, the fears crept in. Fears caused by a thief who seeks to steal and destroy.
As the fears grew stronger, I sought a way out. “I’ll go,” I told my husband, “UNLESS I’m pregnant.”
We didn’t think it was possible, not yet. But it was my Hail Mary, my shot in the dark.
The MRI came back clear; my vision improved; the tingling abated; my heart learned to trust a good God. And then, those two lines. Our unexpected gift. And we discovered the news of her impending arrival just two weeks before we were to leave. If my flesh were to have its way, she was my excuse made manifest.
But God doesn’t give us a spirit of timidity; He gives us a spirit of power. And in the wonderful mystery of His ways, she became not my excuse to stay, but my assurance to go. She became my promise that God is in control, and I am in His hands.
His timing isn’t coincidental. And she was my gift to a heart that had forgotten how to lean into God.
So we went. The hubbie, myself and her, with her tiny, first-trimester body tucked inside. We left our other two for one week, and we served a people who have empty homes but overflowing hearts.
And then 8 months later, she was born; our promise of God’s goodness made manifest.
If you’re interested in reading more about my own struggle with anxiety, or if you’re looking for some encouragement to help you through a similar battle, I wrote a whole 6-part series detailing my journey. If you’d like to read through that series, you can find it all here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!