Friday, November 5, 2010

My Greatest Fear

I'm afraid that God will take my husband and son away from me.

There. I said it.

I'm afraid that I love my husband and son more than I love God. I'm afraid that He will take them away from me to teach me a lesson. It's paralyzing.

I recognize that this is not the right perspective to have. God is not a giant bully man with a big stick, waiting around for us to do something that allows Him to beat us with it. He is loving and patient and compassionate and everything else in 1 Corinthians 13. His method of teaching us to love Him more isn't always to take away everything else that we love so that we're forced to love Him first. But maybe sometimes it is. And I'm afraid I will be one of those times.

I wrote last year about having to love Jesus more than I love my son, and how I was struggling with that even before his birth. Now that he's here the struggle has worsened and I find myself wondering whether it's even possible at all. Then I remember Job, and how God took away all of his children (as well as everything else he had) and he praised God anyway. Let's be clear on something: I am no Job. I am failing at loving Him more.

One of my closest friends lost her baby this spring. A full-term baby with no complications during pregnancy or birth. She was a perfect, beautiful baby girl. Except for the fact that she couldn't live and no one knows why. I don't know why my baby lived and hers died. She and her husband are not less loving than we are. They are not worse people. They didn't do anything wrong, didn't make some huge mistake, nothing to warrant their baby dying, but she did. The world I lived in before that was not free of miscarriage or stillbirth or neonatal death. I have other friends who have lost babies to miscarriage, and those losses were equally as tragic. But after this little sweetheart left the earth, I felt it even more deeply than I did the others and my world turned into one where babies die after perfect live births for no apparent reason, which somehow translated into a more realistic view of darkness and unimaginable heartache in a very personal way. Maybe it's because her baby was born just as alive as mine was. I know this mother reads my blog, so let me say to you: God is not punishing you by taking away your baby. And you are not punishing me by allowing me to be part of your grief.

I'm going to be very hypocritical and say that despite what I just wrote to my friend, I am afraid that He will punish me and take my baby away, and maybe my husband too. What does this say about me? Well, perhaps it says that I hold them too tightly. Perhaps I don't trust God enough to give them over to Him and trust Him for protection over them. Perhaps I'm just a big control freak (this is true). Whatever it says, I better take a knee and talk to God about a remedy because this is no way to live or love. I prayed it last October, and I'll pray it again: "God, thank You for giving me these incredible blessings to love, but help me to love You more." And I will continue trying my hardest to mean it.


Sarah said...

This is a great post, friend, and so true. How hard it is to love so deeply for fear of losing that loved one(s). I wrestle with the same thing - nearly everyday - and I'm not even a Mommy.

Terra said...

I agree Jessi. Many of us moms and wives struggle with the same fears. I sometimes lay in bed at night gripped with fear that something will happen to one of my children or husband. I, too have experienced a miscarriage, three years ago this month, and have many close friends who have traveled the same road. I do wonder is my love for God is "enough". But we will always be human and our love will never be perfect until we are glorified with Him. He does promise that He will, "keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, for he trusts in [Him]," Isaiah 26:3. I must daily give over my loved ones to Him and by no means succeed all the time. I can only trust that my meager attempts show him that I love and trust him above all others. And when bad things do happen, I know that he will provide an amazing, unfathomable, peace that passes all understanding. I have experienced it. I don't know why I lost a baby, but I do know that He has a plan, and that my little peanut is living out a perfect existence with Him! Praise the Lord that baby will never have to experience the pain and heartache of this world. It is hard to imagine, but He loves that baby even more than I could.

Angela said...

What can I say? I don't think God will take your husband or son away to teach you a lesson, but I understand the fear behind that thought. Since Charlotte died I've worried constantly that my husband would die. When we love we risk losing. I'm trying to figure out how that makes sense, and how to integrate it into my life.

Amy Wolff said...

Well articulated, Jessi. After losing my brother, who was young and healthy, so suddenly, I realized how quickly life can be cut short. (like that current country song: Sharp Pain of a Short Life)

It's hard not to have moments of absolute terror of what could happen.

You're not alone in the feelings of guilt (to trust more) and worry (to cling to your family).

I guess we take one day at a time...