By: Jennifer Murray

Fear, Faith, and Hard Things

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I had a glorious 10 minute read on our back porch last week.  The boys were occupied with shaking dirt and sand in plastic bottles and I found a moment free of  interruptions absent  of “Mom, Mama, Mommmmmmm!!!!”, dire emergencies, or refereeing. It was just me,  the warm sunshine, and a moment to take it in.

I love to sneak these little moments in my day – sometimes it’s successful, other times it is not. {And I’m slowly giving myself some grace without guilt to do so.} Sometimes I just need to think about something other than cleaning up breakfast or what’s for dinner. Breath deeper. Live fuller. Think clearer.

On this particular day, my memories traveled back to some of my darkest days of pregnancy.  Days that I feared how they would end.  Days that I was scheduled for an ultrasound to count heartbeats on the screen. Days that I could barely find my way from the bed to the couch to monitor contractions.  Days when there was no magic eight ball to foretell the outcome of undocumented situation.

I remembered how desperately I wanted to have immense faith to walk through the valley and face the unknowns, but I didn’t know where faith, acceptance, and reality met.

Do we go ahead and buy a mini-van or does that assume that we get to bring “healthy” babies home? Should we look into special needs accommodating vehicles?

Do we register for four car seats, collect four cribs, take clothing donations – or will that just break our hearts even more when we have to return them?

Can I make it through this baby shower “normally” without knowing if any of my babies will survive?

Do we really believe that God can GIVE and take away? 

The rubber had met the road, and this was where we found out what our faith was made of.

Can I tell you that some days our faith was not pretty? 

I felt like I couldn’t bloom without sunshine, and the darkness seemed too dark to grow.

We heard so many “God’s got a plan”, “have faith”, “stay strong” “everything’s going to be alright”, “believe in miracles”  “you’re only given what you can handle” but they weren’t always easy to believe.   I had no idea what my “okay” was going to look like.  What did four “healthy babies” even mean?  Was survival our only success measurement?

For me faith was a wrestle with fear. Some days I battled well, and some days I was left with the scars of defeat. 

Some days faith meant getting out of bed and doing everything in my power that I could do to make healthy choices for that day. Some days faith  meant praying prayers that I couldn’t speak or finish. Some days faith meant forcing a smile through discomfort and pain. Some days faith meant resting in the promises found in His Word, and then reminding myself of them just moments later when worry sprung its ugly head again.

My battle scars are proof of  God’s faithfulness, even when my faith was small. The hard things did bring growth, even when I couldn’t see it.  It wasn’t a perfect faith, but we walked through it, not alone, but with the Comforter on our side.  His strength was perfect, when ours was far from it.

“We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again
His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect”

Writer: CHAPMAN, STEVEN CURTIS / SALLEY, JERRY DEAN JR.

6 Responses to “Fear, Faith, and Hard Things”

  1. Emily Hasselbeck
    July 29, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    While I am in a very different situation with my pregnancy, this post was so encouraging to me! All the “what ifs” are terrifying, and sometimes I feel like I know far too much about how things sometimes turn out. Thanks for the reminder that God is bigger than all of that, and no matter what, He is there and in control!
    Love ya Jen! And so thankful that you DID get to bring home 4 amazing little miracles!!

  2. Kori Gammon
    July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. I really needed this right now as my husband John just found out that is office is closing in the next few months and he will be out of a job. Our faith in God and his plan for us will surely be put to the test.

  3. Crystal
    July 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    I never thought about all those questions you walked through with your quads. Thanks for helping me to understand you a little better.
    Crystal recently posted.. Love Hurts (According to the Everly Brothers)

  4. christa
    July 29, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    beautiful. i cant even imagine the road you walked and the times you went through. from the comments, sounds like we can relate to the battles of the mind and faith from different situations. we are in the throe’s of several battles and trying to look past our fears and hard times and have faith in the God who knows all. thank you for this post!

  5. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect
    July 30, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    oh friend. I can’t imagine what you and Brad went through, but as one whose faith is battling fear right now, I’m so thankful you’re sharing this. We all face hard things in our lives, and how we hold onto our faith – even if it’s just barely with our fingertips, even if it’s actually our faith holding onto us – speaks so much about His love, His faithfulness. And being willing to say, out loud, that it was hard to hold on, some days even impossible? Well, that’s brave and bold and so generous to all of us who have felt that way, too.

    xoxo
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted.. What goes around comes around

  6. Covington Grandma
    July 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks for reminding me of those uncertain days when your family members were also going through struggles of trying to be positive but also knowing that God was in control and that He could be glorified through life or death and we needed to trust in His Will. We thank Him every day for Isaac, Henry, Brooks, and Clark and for the protection of their precious Mother through such a traumatic pregnancy. We are so blessed.

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