I can’t help but notice that our world today is full of fear:
…of politicians and the aftermath of our presidential election;
…of whether or not their children will suffer, and if so, how;
…of what may or may not happen;
…and on and on it goes.
Of course, this list is nothing new. But as I’ve participated in and heard conversations among people, the prevailing emotion is this paralyzing fear. Here’s an example of a conversation among friends that occurred recently:
I shared with some friends from church about our third pregnancy, and one woman’s response was, “Well, I hope this one doesn’t have anything wrong with it!” I know her and knew she meant well, but it was a blow nonetheless.
Shortly following this comment, another friend (who has an autistic child) mused aloud, “It’s probably good that my daughter hasn’t married yet as she approaches thirty. We have so many autistic family members that maybe God is preserving her from having a child with a disability.”
Taken aback by both statements, I realized this reality: They were statements made out of fear, not love.
Unfortunately, it’s this prevalent societal mindset that undergirds how most people perceive humanity: If you are a productive, contributing member of society, then you are somehow superior to those who are not. Those with disabilities are unfortunate disappointments, burdens to bear.
I’m sure both women did not intend to convey this message, but they verbalized fears that have already flitted through my mind on occasion throughout this pregnancy – the what ifs. What if our child has a disability? What if we have a miscarriage? What if something goes wrong?
As soon as the fear enters my mind, I try to quell it with Scripture. Two of my favorites are “Perfect love casts out all fear” and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and rely not on your own understanding.”
Fear can only paralyze us if we allow it to. I think the first step in overcoming our fears is to face them head on. We cannot live in denial, nor can we become catatonic or traumatized by fear and its cousin, worry. Once we face fear with Truth and God’s love, then we must fight it with His Word. The Lord has given us tools to combat fear, so that we may live in freedom instead.
So, yes, it’s true that our third baby might have ‘something wrong’ with him or her, but I cannot dwell in the suffocating place of fear. I’d rather dwell in the vast meadow of freedom, which means I rely on God for all things, both good and bad. I trust in the Lord, and I know He will not fail me.
Text Copyright 2016 Jeannie Ewing, all rights reserved.