“The baby measures a bit small for his twenty-week gestation. I’m sure everything is fine, but we need to run a few tests to be sure.”
Even though that was two decades ago, I still remember the anxiety that rolled over me at hearing the nurse’s words. After years of infertility, the shock of pregnancy complication’s rocked my world. I went home that night and researched all I could about a baby measuring small.
Fear gripped my heart, and I endlessly sought answers. I believed information was power. But instead of feeling more in control, I felt less. What-ifs assaulted my mind. What if I lost my baby? What if something was wrong with my baby? The more I researched, the more what-ifs I had to dwell on.
A few days later the ultrasound confirmed my fears. My baby was small for his size. The doctor used the term Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR), a term I was already familiar with from my research. In the weeks that followed, I found many of the things I researched occurred. I was on bed rest, we had increased doctor appointments and tests, and hospital stays to monitor my son’s erratic heartbeats.
At thirty-three weeks the doctor decided it was best to induce labor. More fears became reality during labor, delivery, transport to a bigger hospital that was equipped to care for him.
My baby will be twenty this year and has turned into a fine healthy young man. When I look back on those months surrounding his birth, I realize research and worry did nothing to help the situation. Nothing. I thought research would prepare me. But it didn’t.
The doctors were prepared and helped me walk through each fear as it became a reality. And in those moments, it wasn’t as scary as I thought because I was busy dealing with the situation. If I’d have known what I know now, that my son would grow to be a fine healthy young man, I wouldn’t have worried. But that’s not faith. Faith is not worrying when I don’t know the outcome.
Faith is not worrying when I don’t know the outcome.
In Matthew 14:25-32 Peter sees Jesus walking on water. Peter calls out and asks Jesus if it’s really him. Can he get out and walk on water? Peter gets out and walks a bit. Then he sees the wind and the waves and takes his eyes off Jesus and starts to sink. He calls out to Jesus and Jesus saves him.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and not the wind and the waves.
This story is a reminder to me to keep my eyes on Jesus and not the wind and the waves. I wish I could say I learned my lesson after my son was born and never worried again. But just like waves, just because you jump over the first one doesn’t mean you won’t have to jump over the next one. These three truths remind me what to do when the waves threaten to overtake me.
3 Ways to Trust God in the Wind
- Set up a roadblock. When my mind starts to wander to what-if’s, roadblocks help me get off the highway of despair. I have a box of index cards I’ve written Bible verses on. These verses are my roadblocks. I pull them out and focus on what’s true. God doesn’t live in our what-ifs.
- Focus on what’s true. Hold close to the one who is holding you. God is holding you whether or not you feel it. I love to read the Psalms. They are a source of comfort to me as I see David being honest with God about his pain and circumstances. He always ends a Psalm with focusing God.
- Hope in God, not the situation. I didn’t have hope when my baby was sick. I’ve now learned that I don’t have to have hope or confidence in the situation, people or myself. But I can hope in God. He is good. He is working this for good. He is strong. He is powerful enough to handle this.
I don’t need a conversation with God. I need a full-on collision with Him.
Bart Millard wrote Hurt and the Healer in 2011 after his cousin who was a firefighter died in the line of duty. He said he didn’t need a conversation with God. He needed a full-on collision with Him. Me too, Bart. Me too. When our pain collides with the Healer, at that point, we find hope, strength, and peace from the one who is enough.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34.