Next Wednesday will be a day to remember…and for the better, we hope. At 8 am, we’ll be at the hospital for our first Level 2 ultrasound and some testing. The thought of seeing our little once again and in such detail is exciting. Its always amazing to see babies that small and so fully alive. With Isaac, it felt like we knew him well before he arrived because we had seen him grow and move so much with the ultrasounds. But with this excitement of seeing our baby comes some trepidation, wondering what may be found. Thankfully, none of Isaac’s difficulties were genetic so there’s no medical reason to believe we would experience that road again. But having traveled that path before, you go from thinking “it could never happen to me” to fully understanding anything is possible.
So what does one do when past experience and future hope collide? How do you reconcile knowing what has happened with believing the best for things to come? What if such and such happens? What if they find something wrong? Will I be able to go through all that again? When the path is bittersweet, how do you keep the “bitter” from choking out the “sweetness”?
I’ve been reading through Luke with the Life Journal plan. The timing has been perfect as so much of the book talks about faith, hope, and trusting God with the impossible. Days before scheduling the Level 2 ultrasound, I read Luke 12 and verses 25 – 31 really spoke to me. “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can’t do little things like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? …Don’t worry whether God will provide for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” What a timely reminder. It popped back fresh in my mind when anxiety from the scheduled appointment came. I’ve struggled with the land of “what ifs” for much of my life and dwelling there has never added a single moment to my life, let alone made it better. Worry only detracts from one’s quality of life, placing dread in hope’s place and fear in the path of peace. Even in knowing this, so often my flesh writhes within me to grasp worry’s illusion of control. And every time I’ve grabbed it, it has only left me weary with the fresh reminder of how little control I actually had in the matter.
“Don’t worry whether God will provide for you.” God has provided so much already. He gave me life. He gives me this moment’s air and the ability to take it in by breath. When dread creeps near, I need only to look back and remember all God has already done in my life, all He has already provided me with.
As Wednesday approaches, I’m sure there will be many opportunities to grab worry’s hand, to travel back to the land of “what ifs” and dread, to be consumed with things that have no guarantee of occurring. But at the same time, another choice will also be there: the choice to give my anxious thoughts to God, the One who has promised a hope and a future. (1 Peter 5.7, Jeremiah 29.11) As The Message translates it, “Don’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.” (Phil. 4.6-7)
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what we’ll see on the ultrasound Wednesday. But of this I am certain: God created this child perfectly for His plan, He holds my very existence and loves me no matter my response to Him. He has placed great joys in my life and faithfully carried me through the valleys. While it will always be a choice, my desire is to always choose hope and trust over worry and dread. And in those moments when I’ll give in to emotion and fear what has not yet come, He’ll carry me on anyways til I can stand again.
“You are blessed, because you have believed that the Lord would do what He said.” (Luke 1.45)