Today I am 37 weeks pregnant. Baby boy is about six pounds, the size of a honeydew melon, and it’s virtually impossible for me to think about anything other than him. I am working full-time, but whenever I have a free second, I am thinking about him. What will he look like? What will he smell like? How will he sleep? Will he be blonde or brunette (or have no hair at all)? What kind of boy will he grow into? What kind of mom and dad will we be?
I’m not afraid of being a mom—I’m beyond excited and know God has been preparing me for this for months. But the whole birthing process is still quite scary and overwhelming for me. I wrote early this year about my fear and how I experienced an anxiety attack around Christmas time. I truly think that panic was God's way of waking me up to challenge this fear.
A couple days ago, I said to my husband that I've been fearful my whole life. As long as I can remember, even as a child, I've had fear. Fear of giving a presentation at school, fear of the big test, fear of roller coasters, fear of sleepover parties, fear of being left out during a slow song at the school dance. And eventually fear of not being perfect and not measuring up to my own unreasonable standards, which contributed to my struggle with anorexia.
The fear has been with me. I know I must have had moments during my childhood where I confidently pursued my dreams and didn't think twice about doing so. A childlike faith, courage, and innocence. I don't believe we are born feeling fearful, but I can't pinpoint a time when fear first crept into my life. It doesn't make sense. My family always loved me and encouraged me. Life was good. So why did fear still overwhelm me? Why was fear this continual thread in my life?
The day after I shared this with my husband, I thought, Well, wait a minute. I've also done a bunch of things in my life that I was initially afraid to do.
In the eighth grade, I tried out for my school’s play for the first time, and I ended up being cast as Dorothy in our production of The Wizard of Oz. Terrifying yet so fun.
I took a trip abroad with my Spanish class the summer before my senior year of college. I cried in the car on the way to the airport because I was already homesick, but 10 days later, I was having so much fun that didn't want to come home.
I decided to go to college six hours away from my family, at a school where I knew no one.
And then I recognized when I needed help, needed to leave college, and needed to get treatment for my eating disorder. One of the most difficult things I've ever had to do.
Post-college, I moved to a Pennsylvania town of 10,000 for a magazine internship. It was there God gave me a newfound interest for his Word and Biblical community, plus a friend who to this day is like family to me.
I moved to New York City to pursue a career in journalism and ultimately pursued a relationship with Jesus. In 2015, I was baptized and shared my testimony as an adult with my church.
Sensing a new call on my life from God, I relocated to Nashville for the man I love and a job in full-time ministry—even though I had only been to Nashville once before and never worked in ministry.
And I started this blog, sharing my story and trusting that’s what God wants me to do.
I thought of all these experiences, and I saw God's faithfulness. Anytime I felt afraid and unsure, God was there for me.
I also remembered the countless men and women throughout the Bible who God used when they felt inadequate. He turned to people who seemed totally unqualified by cultural standards: Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Mary, the bleeding woman, Matthew, Peter. I read a quote somewhere about these men and women of the Bible that rang so true for me: God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called.
Moses repeatedly told the Lord to choose someone else to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, and God kept reminding Moses that he was made for the journey.
Then we have Joseph—a young man sold into slavery by his brothers. He is wrongfully put in prison but eventually becomes ruler of Egypt—and his line of descendants leads to our Messiah, Jesus. Joseph is an unlikely hero. He looked completely unfit to rule Egypt or bring glory to God, but that’s exactly what he did. God qualified him. God didn’t care about how he looked socially or culturally; He cared about Joseph’s heart.
Stories of redemption like this are scattered all over the Bible.
Perhaps the most well-known is that of Mary, the 15-year-old girl chosen by the Father to be Jesus’ mother. She has a choice in the matter, and she boldly steps forward in obedience. Look at what happens in Luke 1 when the angel of the Lord visits her:
Mary is greatly troubled. Can you imagine what she felt learning this news? This was not 2019; this was a time when Mary could have been disowned for a child born outside of marriage. Not to mention, she’s only 15 years old. Yet she steps forward in faith. She trusts God, and she doesn’t let fear hold her back.
One of my favorite biblical stories is that of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. These boys refuse to worship the king of Babylon, and in doing so, are sent to the fiery furnace to burn alive. Daniel 6 describes how the furnace is so hot that the soldiers who brought these boys to it immediately die. Except the boys don’t die when thrown into the fire. They walk around in the fire with God at their side.
They risked their lives in order to serve God, and they are delivered from the fire. What stands out the most to me in this story is how God not only rescues them, but He walks with them through the trial. This is truth that I need to cling to. I need to remember this on a daily basis. God walks with us through fear, anxiety, pain, and suffering. He is still good, no matter what we are feeling or experiencing.
So does birth scare me? Yes.
Will it be worth it? A million times yes.
This is God’s plan for me, and He will be there with me through every second of labor and delivery. He’s called me, and He will qualify me.
I'll get to meet my son. I'll have the gift of becoming a momma, something I don't ever want to take for granted. I picture holding him on my chest moments after he takes his first breath in this world. His dad and I snuggling him with overwhelming thanksgiving for this good and perfect gift.