From the place of fear

Nothing strikes fear in my heart more than my role as a mother.

Before I became one, I know that I had fears.

What if I never meet the right guy?
What if I lose my parents to cancer?
What if so & so doesn't like me anymore? 
What if I never graduate college?
What if we can't pay these bills?
What if I get in a car accident?

It's not like it's new to my heart or anything.

But becoming a mother brought it to a whole new level.

Every time I've read that passage in scripture- perfect love casts out all fear- I've been left a little bewildered. So, since I have fear, does that not make me a believer, I've wondered?  Do I not have the perfect love of God in me, if I still am scared of things?

Since the moment I became pregnant with Eliana I have battled the most intense fear & panic I've ever known.  Was I going to miscarry again?  Was I going to make it full term?  Was she going to be ok?  I spent the whole of my pregnancy worried about her well being & mine.  In the most unhealthy way.  And it cast a dark, dark shadow on my entire little world.  Because fear is such a powerful thing.

Fear, anger, jealousy, worry, stress- they are all like the black plague running through your veins, of this I'm convinced.

Fear has often been the place where I've made all my decisions in regards to mothering unfortunately.

There are a thousand little decisions you have to make as a mother from the first moment you learn you're pregnant- and often times I went with the option I was less afraid of.  And I toiled over each decision with so much worry, so much googling, and so much questioning.  Never feeling fully confident of the decision, but deciding it was the lesser of two evils.  I'd pray about the decision & then worry myself to sleep with the weight of it.  A little counter productive.

I've been fighting with every bit of strength I can muster to eradicate fear from my heart & mind.  It's been eye opening to see how it can wreck havoc on my body, my relationships, my well being, and my family, but most importantly- my relationship with God.

I've learned what some of my triggers for fear are- and I've stayed far away from them for the most part.  And that really has helped.  

I can't watch the news anymore.  At least not now.  Which sucks, because I love watching the news.  But everyday they beat into your head the horrible tragedies of this world & all it was doing was leaving me shaking with fear that something like that was going to happen to my daughter.  She'll die of the flu.  Someone will break into our home in the middle of the night & kidnap her.  She's going to have autism because I had the flu when I was pregnant.  I'm never sending her to school because of Sandy Hook.  So forth.

I can't read natural mom blogs anymore either.  I just cannot.  There is nothing wrong with them- but they were leaving me in a ball of fear every time I read them.

Don't trust your doctor!
Don't use antibiotics!
Don't use formula!
Don't use medicine!
Don't vaccinate!
Don't use this carrier- use this one!
Only feed your baby these things!  ONLY!
Throw away your microwave!
Sleep together!
Never discipline!
No sleep training!

I cannot handle it.  Because it was turning me into a crazy person who didn't sleep at night because I couldn't understand why it was so scary to feed my daughter rice cereal.  (I know, I know.  Arsenic is in rice!  They cannot digest it!).  Rice cereal.  Who knew it was that dangerous.  That mom blogger though has it all figured out!  

I don't go on them anymore.  I try to make the best decisions I can with my husband & I pray a lot more about each decision.  Because when reading them- suddenly everything we owned was dangerous.  All the soap, all the food in the panty, all the household products, her toys- everything.  You can find a ranting mom on the internet calling water dangerous, of this I'm sure!

I was laying awake at night because not every item in my home was natural.  And that meant my daughter was unsafe.  We were unsafe.  And it was ridiculous.

So I ignore them now, and it has been so much better for us.

There are a lot of dangers in the world, and probably even in my home.  I am going to do my best to protect my daughter, always.  To make good decisions that will support her ultimate well being.  But this place of fear is going away.  I am done with it.  Eliana needs to be loved.  She needs to be nurtured.  She needs to be prayed for.   She needs to be enjoyed.  I cannot do any of those things from a place of fear.

God is working & moving in my heart.  This morning I read Habakkuk and was struck with how perfect the timing was. Right now Eliana is battling the flu- the actual flu!!!!- and God has been so abundantly gracious to us.  Especially to me.  I of course am heartbroken she has the flu, and I am concerned & watchful- but we're making our way through it.   God is holding us & comforting my heart in the greatest ways.  She's thrown up everywhere, had a temp of a 102.7 & has been so sad- but God has released me from the fear of it by bringing me through it.  And I love Him for that.  I love Him for being such a wise & loving God.

Habakkuk was so fearful of the judgment coming to Judah.  The people had sinned greatly and God was going to use the Chaldeans to pour out His righteous judgment on their wickedness.  Habakkuk says:

I heard and my inward parts trembled,
at the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
and in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress.
For the people to arise who will invade us.  
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
and there be no fruit on the vines,
though the yield of the olive should fail
and the fields produce no food,
though the flock should be cut off from the fold
and there be no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will exult in the Lord.
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength,
and He has made my feet like
hinds' feet,
and makes me walk on my high places.

Habakkuk 3:16-19

Real fear.  And real trust.  I think the only way to move from fear to trust is to go to God.  I have no strength on my own to fight fear- God alone can eradicate it from my life.  I can avoid triggers, and speak to counselors, and read books, and memorize scripture, repent & pray- I can do all sorts of things- but it's surrendering to God & walking with Him through the fear that leads to freedom.

Look at me.  Getting all personal on this blog I just told you I don't get personal on.  Ha!  It was heavy on my heart- that's my excuse.  :)