This is a post I wrote for my bestest, Nathalie’s blog, which is AMAZING btw, and thought I should have it here too. FYI – I could write a whole blog on this topic.
Hi! I am Jennifer and I am a worrier. Everyone say, “Hi Jennifer” in your best therapy group voice 😉
My amazing husband, Chad, and I got married in 2003. I was an elementary school teacher at the time w/ NO designs of having kids any time soon and we didn’t… for 5 years. For the majority of that time, I was fine w/ it being just us. We traveled and went on tons of dates and spent time w/ friends. But then the bug hit me. I realized I wanted to have kids. At one point in time I wanted to have 2 before I was 30. Well, I was hurtling towards 30 and we hadn’t even discussed it. I would drop hints and casually bring it up but Chad wasn’t thinking the same way. He needed time to process and I was already there so I started to worry. FYI~ I come from a long line of worriers so I come by it honestly. I worried he didn’t want kids ever. I worried I was getting too old to have kids. I worried we might not be able to have kids. It got so bad that I spiraled into a really dark place. Worry really will rob your joy and life. The Father dealt with me gently and patiently. I know now that He held me close the entire time, waiting for me to calm down and listen to His reassurances.
We did eventually get on the same page, that is a whole other story of redemption, and started trying to get pregnant Fall of ’06. I thought it would be very easy b/c it had been that way for both of my sisters, but after 8 months, the worry started again. And b/c you don’t ever worry about the same thing the same way twice, it brought all new kinds of baggage. Anger at Chad for making us wait so long, jealousy of my sisters and friends for having an easy time, thoughts that I was somehow being punished for some kind of sin. All craziness that once again the Lord pulled me out of so patiently and gently.
Fall of ’07 I found out I was pregnant. I was so thrilled and so was Chad. We found out around Thanksgiving and wanted to wait to tell our family at Christmas, Of course I was secretly worried. Now that I had what I had been dreaming of I couldn’t just relax and enjoy it. No, now I had to worry that something bad would happen. I was determined that beside family, I was going to keep this to ourselves until the 22 week mark, That way if something did happen, I wouldn’t have too many people to explain to. Looking back now, how sad it is. I know so many people who had been praying for me who would have loved to celebrate God’s gift, but I deprived myself and them that moment. Of course eventually we shared our news, when I felt it was safe and I really did my best to enjoy being pregnant. We chose not to have all the prescreenings for birth defects done. We said it wouldn’t matter to us and knowing myself, if they aren’t 100% accurate, I would worry myself to death. But of course, I still secretly worried what if something was wrong. Then the closer to my due date a whole new set of worries set in. Worry about the whole birthing process, worry about anesthesia and pitocin, worry about not being able to give birth and having to have a c-section. And if that happened, worry I wouldn’t bond w/ my baby or be able to breastfeed. And on and on and on. I robbed myself of some precious quiet moments with all that nonsense. My precious Elijah made his entrance Aug. 5, 2008, a week after his due date. Truthfully, some of my fears did come to pass. I did end up having to have a csection. I did have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. I did have trouble breastfeeding at first. Elijah was jaundiced so we had a longer stay in the hospital. You really don’t want to know what this crazy is like on drugs. 😉 But once again, the Father dealt w/ me gently and assured me in that still, soft voice and I got through it. I was a little crazy, but I got through it.
What He really showed me was what He had given me – a perfect, healthy, beautiful son and the all the time in the world to spend with him, getting to know him and marveling at him. Then it hit me. Thankfulness is the opposite of worry. You might be thinking, DUH! but really, that thought has not occurred to me. It was amazing! I now knew how to combat my worry! Count my blessings- 1 Thessalonians 5:18- “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the Lord’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Now, have I given up worrying? No, it is my demon to wrestle with, probably for life. My story could go on for days. Have I worried about all things Elijah and now my 9 month old, Xavier? You betcha! Xavier’s birth worries were even more ridiculous! But what I have learned is simple and I need simple. Don’t listen to that worrying voice. It doesn’t matter what happened to and for other people, those are their stories. Give thanks always and you can’t worry. Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of the joys of life by the what-ifs. And if you are continually thanking God, those things are seen for what they truly are, thieves.