Taken captive by fear; ‘why do I doubt?’

May 6, 2010 at 2:45 PM 2 comments

(It’s a long one, but this one is more for me than for you…)

My mind and my heart are all over the place these days, which has caused me to become scatter-brained and forgetful and make mistakes left and right because I can’t focus or think straight. For instance, in the last couple of weeks or so I’ve placed two orders online and did them incorrectly. I left our back door wide open which allowed Opie to make a quick, easy escape and go play in our neighborhood without my realizing it happened. I wore flip flops to an aerobics dance class. My mind and heart seem lost from me… and so does God.

But first, before I get into that, today it has been 4 months since I held Hailey in my arms and this anniversary of her passing is probably the hardest so far. And that is something I didn’t quite expect. I thought it would continue to be ‘easier’ as time passed, but instead I feel as though I’ve gone backwards and got stuck…when I had been going forward for so long. This week has proved to be a difficult one and I’m not even through with it yet. But it is difficult in a way I never expected, and I have hit a roadblock in my journey and I am at a standstill.

Well actually, before I got to the standstill I managed somehow to get lost and end up a mile behind where I was and then reached a standstill. It somewhat feels like I was having a nice, peaceful Sunday drive and then suddenly out of nowhere some unidentified object appeared before me and before I realized it I crashed into it, spun around five times in the direction I had just come from, flew off a cliff, and ended up stuck in a ditch with no way out and it’s cold and pouring all around me.  My mind is shocked, what happened? where am I? how did I get here? how do I get out? what do I do now? That is my metaphor for where I am.

I feel stuck.

I feel confused.

I feel lost.

I feel discouraged.

I feel anxious.

I feel worry.

I feel fear most of all.

I search for God who has been carrying me and I can’t find him. I know he’s there, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m lost or separated somehow. He’s there, but it’s foggy and I can’t see him or find him. I’m at the bottom of a dark well and he’s at the top, but I can’t see him or get to him. Or it’s like there’s an opaque, thick, unbreakable piece of glass separating us. I can see his shape, but I can’t see him clearly and more importantly I can’t touch him or reach him. I feel lost from my Shepard. I have wandered away and now I’m trying to find him again.

So here’s what’s been happening… I think our appointment with the geneticist triggered it. Our appointment went fine, we learned more about Hailey’s Trisomy 18 and discussed future pregnancies – it was pretty much a 15 minute conversation and that was all. Kind of a no new news situation. They confirmed Hailey’s genetic disorder was completely spontaneous and not a result of what we had or did. They are hopeful that we will have healthy children again, but there is always the risk of something happening and it just so happens that our risk goes up a percent since we already had a child with a genetic disorder, even if it was random, and I am all too well aware of how things can ‘spontaneously’ go ‘wrong’ now.

So obviously with that appointment comes a lot of thoughts about our future and trying to have another child. And weeks ago when I started to think about this appointment is when I started getting to this new place I am at. This new place is a result of me thinking about our future and having another baby.

I have so many thoughts and feelings about this topic. At first we were traumatized by what happened with Hailey and in that fear and tragedy, we initially didn’t want to have a baby again. But after time passed, we both realized that our family is not done, and we still want to have another child. But beyond that is where my mind and heart go in a million directions and everything becomes foggy and I feel lost.

Let’s just say, fear has crippled me, and I have allowed doubt to enter my mind and heart. I have become what I never wanted to become in this journey through grief. This is me being vulnerably honest again. Right now I am not a model of what a Christian should be doing or feeling. So you may wonder why I am even writing about this then… well it’s because I need to write down my thoughts and release them from within me… I need to take them captive.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Cointhians 10:5

I know many of my thoughts and feelings are not from God, and I need write them and say them in an attempt to take them captive so they don’t do further harm to me.  And I am daily fighting against them to find my way back to God, but the fight has been exhausting.

I feel confused because I don’t know what to do or where to go next in my life in terms of having a child; therefore, I feel stuck because I don’t know my next step and I don’t know how to take my next step. This also makes me feel lost. I feel discouraged about having another baby because I only know what it’s like to have a unhealthy baby and have a baby die. For me suffering came along with the joy of having a baby and it’s hard to get passed that suffering, and I wonder if I have another baby will that baby come along with suffering too. I feel anxious and I worry about having another baby that might be sick or might die. And all of these things make me feel fear most of all.

I want to have another baby, but I am afraid. My worst fear is that  my next baby will die – I will have a miscarriage, a stillbirth, another early infant death. And if my baby doesn’t die, I am afraid he/she will have a chromosomal disorder or another serious health issue.

I know these anxieties and fears and what I am doing is wrong and are not from God. God tells me (and these are only a few of the times):

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you..” Deuteronomy 31:6

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” Psalm 56:3-4

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

These feelings all rooted in fear are consuming my thoughts almost day in and day out, and I can’t break free of fear’s grasp on me. I’m to the point where I’m so consumed by everything that I’m drowning in these negative feelings and thoughts, and I am trying to break the surface of the water and gasp out my prayers to God… and the only thing I can manage is help. I don’t know what I need. I don’t know what’s going on. I know I shouldn’t be worrying, anxious, afraid, etc. but I can’t break free so help me God. Search my thoughts and heart and help me:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:26-27

And here is my other problem… I think this is not only the a result of the geneticist appointment and feeling I have to face my future… but it is a result of something I have come to believe over the past couple of months…

I know God can do all things. I know he could have healed Haily. I know he could have healed my dad. But he didn’t. He allowed the suffering. And I know that even though he allowed those things and the suffering to happen, that he still loves me and them and he has a greater purpose behind it all. But now I am thinking, he can do anything, but I don’t think he will. I know too well now that he allows pain and suffering because that is our world. He can give me another child who is healthy, but I don’t think he will. He doesn’t have to even if I want it. And that is a dangerous place for my faith. I know he can, but don’t think he will. I’m on the edge of unbelief, doubt, and not trusting his perfect will and his sovereignty and so many of his other promises in his word.

This is my line of thinking – if God allows us to get pregnant again, two things can happen – 1. we have a healthy baby and that is God’s will and I am happy because that’s what I want. 2. we have a baby who either dies or is sick and that is God’s will and he will help us all through it. but here’s my problem I want to shout at God – I don’t want you to bring or allow any more suffering or sick children to come to me even if you can use it for your good, even if you will be there with me helping me and healing me – I don’t want it God and… I realize my heart is saying I don’t trust you God, I don’t believe you know best…

I get angry with verses like these and people talking about these verses who know nothing of tragedy like I do…

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

And I cry out, didn’t I delight myself in you Lord? I desired a healthy child and you gave me a sick one.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

I asked for a healthy baby and you didn’t give me one. I asked for you to heal my dad and you didn’t.

But I prayed for your will to be done and I trust that it has…And coming to terms with the fact that my desires and prayers were not answered and were not God’s will is hard. It has led to my lack luster faith. To my mindset that God can, but won’t in my life. I’m expecting the worst. I know it can happen and that God allow it. And now my prayers are somewhat empty…which is why I don’t know how or what to pray anymore… and just pray help… Holy Spirit pray on my behalf… I realized that this has led me to stop hoping. To stop hoping and believing that God can give me a healthy baby… that he can bring good things to me.

If there is something God is trying to tell me, it’s through this verse.

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22

I am realizing that I have not been believing that God will answer my prayers. I know he can, but I have not been believing he will. I need to believe. I have stopped believing I will or can receive a healthy baby. And that is the last thing I need to do. I need to believe and I need to ask so I can receive in the future. I need to have courage and trust. I need to hope for the best. I am not living how God and Hailey teach me to live. The two words I associate with my daughter are courage (the meaning of her name) and hope (hence naming our project Hailey’s Hope)… and I don’t have either of those. I don’t have courage and I don’t have hope.

And this is how I have wandered away from my Shepard. Suddenly I want to play God in my life when it comes to my next child. I want to tell God when it’s going to happen and what kind of child I’m going to have. And how foolish am I?? What faith or trust do I have?? NONE.  I think I know more or better than the creator of the universe – who am I kidding?

I have given my life daily to God and prayed that he would take me and use me how he wanted to according to his will.  I knew that if I trusted in him, he would direct my paths.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

And I trusted and gave my life over to him completely without reservation over the course of my life and especially during these past 5 months. And only today am I realizing that I’ve been trying to take it back and not trusting that he’s directing my path. I want another child, and I believe that God wants that too – I just don’t know what his plan is, will he give me a dying or sick baby – our risk is so high …. so instead of trusting God like I said I would, I am fearful of being pregnant and am being crippled by that fear. It’s harming me, people I love, and my relationship with God. I have lost my childlike, innocent faith, and I need it back.

I have given my life to God to use how he wants… and he’s doing it. He is doing it. And now that he is… I stopped. It’s not what I expected. It’s like he’s trying to lead me by the hand into a scary dark tunnel telling me his ways are perfect even if they aren’t my ways…but I’m stopped at the entrance and have taken my hand out of his telling him I don’t want to go. I am Peter.

Jesus immediately said to *me*: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’

“Lord, if it’s you,” *I* replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” (during my storm of losing Hailey)

“Come,” he said.

Then *I* got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (And that is where I have been for awhile).

But when *I* saw the wind (or the possibility of having another sick child), *I* was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (this is where I have been for the past few weeks, days…)

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught *me.* “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (this is where I am today)

Matthew 14:27-31

5 things have become clear to me.

1. My fear is not from God and is trying to drive me away from God, the one who knows what’s best for me.

2. I want to have another baby.

3.  At this moment today I am not ready.

4. I am doubting and have little faith.

5. Having another baby is going to be perhaps the biggest LEAP OF FAITH I will have to take in my life.

So here I am… another metaphor…I have wandered to the end of a dock on a foggy, stormy night and have found Jesus standing out on the water in front of me, hand extended, asking me to come to him as we continue this journey together… and in my hesitation and weakness, fear paralyzed me and stopped me in my tracks. And I have been standing there letting the fear eat away at me. But now I have taken my thoughts captive and am fighting back trying to discern the thoughts and feelings of God… I have broken some of fear’s chains…and I’m sticking my toe out to touch the water and reaching for His hands…

This is a new part of the journey that I didn’t expect yet, and it’s here whether I’m ready or not. And I need some faith. I realized, I don’t need to be ready 100% to take everything on, I don’t need all the answers, I don’t need to receive everything I want, my faith doesn’t have to be huge… I just need some… a small amount of faith, a small step out to God. I think I can do that.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:5

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I’m hoping to win this… They help me through…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ileamarie  |  May 6, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Your faith gives you an amazing path to follow, but don’t be so hard on yourself when you feel you fall short. Even Jesus had his moments of doubt, uncertainty, fear. But all of Jesus’s friends fell asleep when he needed them, so in that way, you are pretty lucky. None of your friends are going to crash on you 😉 You aren’t alone. 🙂 Love you!

    Reply
  • 2. elyse  |  May 10, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Hey Krissy, happy mother’s day. When I saw that you wrote that having another child will be really difficult, I wanted to tell you that I think you’ve overcome another extremely challenging feat: your marriage. My mom told me that she and my dad went to an infant loss group after the twins died, and almost all of the other couples split up eventually. From reading your blog posts and seeing your facebook updates, it seems like you and Josh are still going strong — which I think is rare. Not only did you lose a child, but it happened pretty early in your marriage. I can’t say that if you can overcome this tragedy and still have a great marriage, that you’ll be able to have another baby — but it definitely shows that you have the strength of character and a wonderful marriage to bring another child into. Congrats!

    Reply

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Dedication

"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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