“I see the gestation sack and the fetal pole but no heart beat. Don’t worry, it’s just too early to tell. Let’s make an appointment for you next week, and I’m sure we’ll be able to see it then.”
“Don’t worry.” Two words that you can tell a brand new mother that are pretty certain not to work. I immediately went home and googled everything I could about the earliest time you can see a heart beat on an ultrasound. I was only 5 weeks and 5 days along, but I was plagued with worry that they didn’t see a heart beat. Am I going to miscarry? Did the baby stop developing? I googled and read every baby forum imaginable. I worried. I was anxious. I was not in control, and I did not like it.
I had a picture from this first ultrasound. My mom gave me a frame that said “God is Good” at the bottom. I put the picture in the frame. If I went back the next Friday and there was still no heartbeat, would He still be good? That is what I asked myself and sadly, I really struggled answering that question.
We went back the next Friday and got to see a strong heartbeat and a growing baby. Praise the Lord! I could stop worrying. Wrong… I still had the overwhelming fear of miscarrying.
You see, this irrational fear all started before I was even pregnant. I began having thoughts, “What if I can never get pregnant?” We got pregnant fairly quickly and instead of the fear subsiding, it just shifted into, “What if I miscarry?” Then, when I had a very easy and healthy pregnancy, I started to worry, “What if something is wrong with the baby when she gets here?” Her heart rate was on the fast side a couple of times at the end of my pregnancy, and the worry plagued me. These fears took so much joy out of my pregnancy. A time that is supposed to be filled with sweetness and anticipation, was often filled with the fears and uncertainties of all of the “what ifs” I conjured up in my head. After she was born, she had to be taken to the NICU because of amniotic fluid in her lungs. Once we got to take her home, we requested testing at Le Bonheur just to make sure everything was healthy with her heart. All of her test results came back perfectly healthy. Was I relieved? Absolutely, but I still worried. It became an addiction. I could not stop being fearful about every aspect of her life.
One night at 3 AM I was up nursing my baby and scrolling through Facebook (anything to keep myself awake during those middle of the night feedings J). I began to read a horrifying story about a one month old here in Memphis. I began to pray for him and his family and just grabbed my baby and began to weep. I couldn’t handle the fear and worry anymore. It was overwhelming. I stood up out of my glider and literally held my daughter up in the air. “She’s yours Lord. You knit her together in my womb, and you will continue to take care of her. This fear has gotten out of hand, and I can’t walk with this burden anymore. Please keep her safe and healthy and help me to find victory over this overwhelming fear.”
I got back in bed and began to pray about the fear. All of the sudden, all I could think about was 1 John 4:18 which says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” I needed to not only get rid of the fear, I needed to replace it with something else. I had to start taking my thoughts captive. This means that when a fearful thought came into my mind, I had to recognize that it was not from the Lord and rebuke it. Satan is the father of fear, and he knows right where to send those fiery darts to send mothers straight into a panic. John 8:44 tells us that when Satan lies, he is speaking his native language and that he is “the father of lies.” So if fear comes from Satan, and Satan is a liar… then guess what? All of the fears we have conjured in our head are LIES! That does not mean that bad things will never happen to us, but the fears that we let consume us are complete lies from the enemy. When we allow Satan to take control of our thought life, we give him an open door into our lives and into our family’s lives.
It is high time that we mothers stop riding on the fear and anxiety rollercoaster. We are essentially rolling over and playing dead when we let these fearful thoughts consume us. I am preaching to myself here by saying that it is time to go to battle with fear. It is time to take back our motherhood from Satan and truly enjoy the God given gift that it is. How do we go to battle against fear? Well, how did Jesus respond to Satan in Matthew 4 when He was being tempted? “It is written… It is written… It is written…” He responded with Scripture! If Jesus responded with Scripture, how much more so should we?
We have to replace the fear with Scripture, praise, praying, etc. Practically speaking, I would begin to pray, “Father, You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I praise You, for my daughter is fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).” Rebuking the fearful thoughts (lies) and replacing them with Scripture (truth) must become habits in our lives. It is not overnight that our thought lives will change. We must choose to replace these fears with Scripture (the Sword of the Spirit) every single day. This Sword (the Word of God) is the way we fight the enemy. When we focus on Scripture instead of our fear, we are keeping the blessings and faithfulness of the Lord in our line of vision at all times so that fear can not choke out our faith any longer.
As believers, we are called to look, walk, and talk differently from those in the world. How will we help other mothers in this journey if we are just as riddled by fear and focused on our own circumstances as they are? Christine Caine says, “We can’t help the world if we look just like them.” Oh mommas, let’s take up our Sword and fight for our thought life. Let’s look different than the other women in the world and walk confidently in faith instead of dreaded fear. Let’s take Jesus at His Word when He tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He never meant for us to walk this way – trudging through our fear and anxieties. He is calling us to walk higher than our circumstances, in step with the Holy Spirit, and in the path of freedom from fear. Won’t we join Him?
Bethany Golding is from Gardendale, Alabama and moved to Memphis, Tennessee when she was in 7th grade. She thought her life was ruined when she had to move, but everything turned out great because Memphis is where she met her high school sweetheart, who she fell in love with and married! Bethany has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education from Union University, and she taught the sweetest first grade babies for two years. Now she is staying home with her daughter, who was born in October. She loves middle school and high school girls and is currently discipling the sweetest 7th graders on the planet. She enjoys hanging out with her husband, spending time with family and friends, eating Mexican food, singing, reading, and traveling. She firmly believes that mornings should be off limit, and in a perfect world she would sleep until noon everyday.