I've always been afraid of lots of things. I've always been nervous. I've always worried, agonized, fretted. Becoming a mom only magnified those worries. People tell me, callously, to get over it. So I try to get over it. I don't watch the news. I don't look at MSN. I don't read the paper. I avoid negative conversations about bad things happening. But I'm still not "over it."
I suppose I've been learning to trust all my life, but the first big challenge of trust happened when Isaac was born 2 years ago. I had to trust that we would be safe driving to the hospital. Trust that the nurses were taking care of me while I was in labor. Trust that the doctors (because there were about 4 in and out over the course of labor/delivery) would catch Isaac as he entered the world. Trust that the nurse knew what she was talking about when she helped us take care of our newborn. Many trust situations followed: trust that my milk would come in, trust that I would eventually know the feeling of being rested again (even if it wasn't for years to come), trust that Isaac would keep breathing as he slept, trust family to take care of him when I made that painful move back to work.
Then Isaac was in the hospital at 16 months, and again at 2 years. My ability to trust was stretched farther than I thought it could go. I came to a point where I didn't even have the ability to try anymore and I had to let it go, and that's when I felt something click.
It was like a light bulb turned on inside of me. I had been trying to trust for so long. I had been willing myself to trust for so long. Only when I got to the lowest point was I actually able to "get over it." (Did I mention that I hate that phrase? So unfeeling.) It was nothing that I could do in and of myself. I had to stop trying completely. It wasn't like I heard an audible voice, or saw the clouds part. I just didn't feel worried. My son was hooked up to multiple machines for breathing, monitoring, medicating...and I was able to sit and watch it all without falling apart (well I did cry at one point from sheer exhaustion, and because I missed my husband, but that's a little different!) Something inside me (nothing of myself!) knew that it was going to be ok. I didn't long for someone to come and hold my hand. I didn't need anyone else to be there at all. God was with me. I have a feeling He was smiling. If I could have heard Him, He might have said something like, "it's about time. How long you've been holding onto this. So long I've been trying to show you that you CAN trust me."
I can't explain the feeling of it. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me.
The past couple days have tested my ability to trust God. Isaac has had a high fever for no apparent reason, and that has caused me to worry. I slipped back into my old self, thinking thoughts like, "what if his breathing is affected? What if he has to go to the hospital again? What if, what if, what if..."
The first night he was miserable, so neither of us slept much. I had the urge to check on him, literally, every 5 minutes. I wanted to put my hand on his chest and feel his breathing - too fast??? I wanted to put my hand on his forehead and feel the heat coming off him...had it lessened at all?
I realized I couldn't check on him that often. He wouldn't get any sleep and neither would I! So I laid in my bed and I sang the song based on this verse: "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I sang the song probably 50 times in my head until a miracle happened! I fell asleep!
The other issues of trust are ones that I'm not permitted to talk about yet, because they are still in the works. But they are going to require me letting go completely, not trying to hold onto them, and possibly repeating the above verse, or singing the song it's based on, 100 times a day.
I'm not trying to say I've mastered it. On the contrary! I realized I will NEVER master it, and the only way to really trust is to rely on God's strength to get me through. I can't do it alone, and that, somehow, is very comforting.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.