I mentioned in the About Me section, I had a lot of anxiety and fear as a young mom. I think it all started the first time I became pregnant. I surprised Jordan with the news when he came home from work one day. We could not have been happier! And for a couple of weeks we got to live in the joy that we would soon become parents. But at the end of a long week as a school teacher, I ended up in the ER. That night after many uncomfortable tests and exams, all they could tell me was that they were sorry, but I was no longer pregnant.
On the way home from the hospital I was devastated. How could this have happened to me? Wasn’t God watching? Didn’t He have control of the situation? I had been praying since it all started that God would save my baby, and here I was going home without. Although I didn’t get my wish that night, what I do remember and hope I never forget, is the unexplainable peace that flooded me. I had never experienced any trauma or loss like this before. I had heard of God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Now in my own life, it was true, a reality. I was so sad and in pain from the process. But through it all was a crazy, unexplainable peace. I didn’t know it at the time but God was taking me on a journey to know Him better and to learn to trust Him.
Although I was unaware of it, at the same time, Satan was stepping up to the plate as well. He was ready to up his game. And that night, a seed of fear was planted in me. One that would take root and be a booger to try to dig up in the future…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
In time the Lord did answer my plea for children. A beautiful, girly little girl and a handsome little guy who is still 100% boy! We are truly so very blessed to be their parents.
When my babies were little, most days were good days. It was a marvel for me to watch them grow, watch them learn, and watch them change. On any normal weekday you would find the three of us playing at home. They loved racing down the little hill in our side yard and throwing the ball against the garage door to see who would get it first. Our favorite activity came only in the summer. We would spend entire afternoons at the neighborhood pool. Our waking hours were filled with happiness and adventure!
But, I was so tired. Our daughter was only 5 months old when I found out I was pregnant with our son. So with only 13 months between the two of them, they kept me on my toes! And our son was one active little man. In order to keep up with his big sister he was on the move at a very early age. You might say that being tired would be normal, it would even be expected. But there was more… the brain fog that I had started to experience in pregnancy, what many people called baby brain, still hadn’t gone away. In fact, it seemed to be getting worse. And now it was accompanied by dizziness and very bad depth perception.
On many occasions when my kids were doing normal kid stuff I would become overwhelmed with anxiety for their well-being. Anxiety so strong it was a physical pain I could feel throughout my body. Sometimes my heart would skip beats and I would become out of breath just laying in bed or sitting in a chair. I had major stomach pain that almost sent me to the ER the first couple of times I experienced it. And some days if I did anything out of the ordinary, anything that took more energy than normal I would soon begin experiencing flu like symptoms that cleared up only after I slept. Although I was sure I was very sick, every doctor told me that what I was experiencing was pretty normal. “Of course you’re tired,” they would say. “You have two babies!” Or, “It takes your body a while to get back to normal. Give it some time.” They ran tests. They did X-Rays of my stomach. They even prescribed medicines including anti-depressants, which I gladly took hoping to fix the problem. None of the tests found anything wrong and none of the medicines cleared up any symptoms.
The overwhelming responsibility of not only keeping my children alive, but teaching them everything they needed to know, paired with these physical disabling symptoms quickly drove me to prayer. Many days the prayers would be as simple as “God, please let them sleep so I can, too,” as I was falling into bed for a nap. As I continued to understand my desperate need for the Lord, I began to search the Bible. I had been in church forever and heard what the preacher had to say about God. I had given my life to Jesus and asked Him to forgive me for all of my sins. I had even read my Bible often. Every decision I made was made with prayer and much consideration of doing things the way the Bible directed. But this was different. I needed answers. I needed help!
In my next post I will share with you how this time of struggle led me to a strengthened faith in the God I had decided to follow many years before but had never known in such a real and intimate way.
If your searching for answers in your own life today, I recommend starting at the beginning just like I did! This is the Chronological Bible with commentary that I like to use. It will help walk you through the entire Bible in one year. Or, if you don't have a very strong understanding of the Bible and would like something more simple, Angie Smith's six week overview of the Bible is a great way to get started. It's called Seamless. Either way, I encourage you to find some time each day for just you and Jesus. Dig in to His Word. Pray your heart out! And let Him take you on the journey of your life.
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys gluten free cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.