First, I had the ultrasound and non-stress test that showed once again, Bennett is doing exactly what he is supposed to do and everything looks great, thank you Lord!! Then I waited in that exam room and thought about the last time I was in there and how my mind was in a totally different place. The last time I was anxious and worried beyond belief because I just had this feeling, let's call it "mother's intuition" (which I totally believe in), that something was wrong. I thought how relaxed I was this time around and that it's kind of funny, since this time I know that there is something that most would be concerned about.
I've been reading "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow and my sister suggested skipping ahead to get to chapter 8 and after I read that she said, now you really need to read chapter 9! So I read that and I got to chapter 10 and it talks about "Trusting God With The What Ifs". This is such a good chapter for anyone and everyone to read because she talks about the "What Ifs" and touches on the "If Onlys" in life (the "If Onlys" are talked about in chapter 11). Both show a lack of faith and I see myself doing this all the time. The "What Ifs" look into the future and you worry about what God might allow to happen and the "If Only" looks at the past and you complain about what God has given you. She says the "What Ifs" cause anxiety and the "If Onlys" cause anger. So true!!
So here is my one big "If Only" (I really don't have a lot of "if only" in my life, to be honest)
- If only I had not pushed Mike for this third baby, we would not be in this situation....
I have now let this "If Only" go because I know it causes me to be angry at God and in no way should I be angry towards God for giving us Bennett or complain about my situation. This is a work in progress.
Now my "What Ifs" in life are so much longer and I'm thinking as a mom, I'm not the only one in this cycle of worrying. So here goes...
- What If Bennett has to go to the NICU
- What If something terrible happens and he doesn't make it
- What If life with a child that has special needs is just too much to handle
- What If one of my children has autism, cancer or is in some terrible accident
- What If one of these moles I have turns out to be Melanoma
- What If Bennett doesn't learn to talk until he's 5
- What If something happens to Mike
- What If Mike lost his job
- What If, what if, what if...
So I have realized that if I let these "What Ifs" consume my life, I might as well check myself into an insane asylum because there is no way I can function and be a good mom, wife, friend, daughter or sister if I am constantly worrying about "What If". I have chosen to literally give these to God and trust that he will take care of them, in his time and in his way. One of my favorite verses to say to myself is Matthew 6:34-
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own."
Focus on today and have faith that God is in control of these things as well as the next day and the next. I'm telling you it is such a huge relief to give the uncontrollables to God and focus on what I can control.
I of course believe in the power of prayer and praying specifically, so if you are praying for us, here are my specific prayer requests and I ask that you pray for these things as well...
- Please pray that Bennett arrives safely and is able to come home with me when I am discharged
- Please pray that Bennett feeds well and grows at a good rate so he can be strong for his surgery
- Please pray that the c-section goes well and no problems occur with that
- Please pray that Bennett has good tone so that he can feed well and be stronger in general
- Please pray that Bennett's heart defect does not cause him problems and that he can thrive until the cardiologist feels it is time for surgery.
I know God hears our prayers but I also know that sometimes it may seem like he does not always answer our prayers as we would think we want them answered. Like, you better believe I prayed when we were given the 1 in 10 chance that our baby had DS, I prayed like crazy that he didn't have it. So did God answer my prayer? It may seem like he didn't but I don't know what the future holds and His ways are far better than mine.
So if Bennett has to go to the NICU will I be upset? Sure, but I'm not going to worry about it today and I have total faith that God has everything in His control so what ever happens is what is meant to happen. Or if he doesn't eat well, will I get frustrated, well, maybe but I know that worrying about it now is not going to change it so I will deal with it, if it happens. Whew, it's so nice to let go of all that anxiety. I highly suggest you pray and ask God to help you let go of your "What Ifs".
Again, we cannot thank you enough for praying for us and for helping us pray specifically, all the while knowing that God has full control. And I realize not everyone that reads this blog may have the same beliefs as I do or even prays or you may not even believe in God. I'm just sharing what has worked for me and my family and can only hope that it will encourage you to think about it and let go of your anxieties.
One last verse: 1 Peter 5:6-7-
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
So now I am off to change the sheets, clean some bathrooms and straighten up because these are things I can control and cleaning relieves me of some anxiety as well! And I'm sure God sees nothing wrong with being a little nutty about cleaning, until it gets out of control of course, which I'm sure my family thinks it already has! I guess that will be a work in progress too:)