While I’m doing my best to embrace all of the wonderful aspects of being pregnant, I won’t deny that pregnancy is an anxious time for me. In the beginning, right after seeing those two pink lines, there was the ever-present fear that this wouldn’t be a viable pregnancy. Now that I’m well into my third trimester, there are new worries: are the babies moving enough? Are they growing? Will I be able to carry them to term? What will my labor and delivery be like?
And then there are the anxieties about how things will be once the babies are born: will they be healthy? Will they need to spend time in the NICU? How on earth am I going to manage caring for two newborns while also giving my 4-year-old the love and attention he needs?
These concerns are (mostly) valid, and thinking through them can be helpful in that they 1) provide important motivation to take care of myself and my babies now, while I’m carrying them, and 2) guide me in preparing for every eventuality once they are born. However, I do not want to become so overtaken by these fears that I forget to savor the present moment and trust that my future, and that of my children, is in God’s capable hands.
In my desire to focus on Christ and to rely fully on Him during my pregnancy, I’ve been pouring through Scripture in search of passages that pertain to courage, strength, and trust. In my study I came upon John 14:27, a verse I’ve been familiar with since childhood but that is feeling especially relevant to me these days.
Shortly before Jesus was arrested and subsequently crucified, He promised His disciples that He was leaving them with a gift of peace. This peace was not the circumstantial, superficial peace that the world would offer, but a divine peace that would be unbound by temporary circumstances or ephemeral emotions. This peace sustained the disciples as they witnessed the death of their Lord and Savior and, later, as they themselves faced trials, tribulations, and horrific deaths in an effort to spread the Good News.
As God’s adopted children, we are the recipients of this same peace that Jesus offered His disciples. Because of this gift, we do not need to be worried or afraid because we have been promised that Christ is with us and for us and that He is working all things out for our good and the good of His Kingdom.
I know that there are challenges ahead for our family, but whether those challenges will be of the commonplace variety (sleepless nights and breastfeeding woes) or potentially something more dire (health issues and extended hospital stays) remains to be seen. What I do know is that God has promised to be with us every step of the way. Not only will He be my source of strength and stamina, but through Him I have access to joy and peace, regardless of my circumstances. I will not let my heart be troubled. Because of Him, I am not afraid.