Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Fears Found in the "Basement"

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on Our Unexpected Journey on September 26, 2009. It is reproduced here with the author's permission. Click here to see this post in its original context (which may include accompanying photos), to view existing comments and to leave a comment of your own.

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On Saturday Mike was organizing our basement and he came across this book that I had partially filled out before I even had kids, on December 12, 1999 to be exact. He started flipping through the pages and then he came to this page and read it out loud to me (this is just too crazy people):

It says: Your greatest fear about having children...

WOW. Did I actually write that? When I heard him read it I said "What!" "I really wrote that?" "I can't believe I wrote that!" I think at first when I heard the word "retarded" I was floored but we'll get to that in a minute.

So the fear about a child being sick-hmmm...for those of you that don't know, Ainsley was very sick when she was born. I wrote about it in my very first post but she had something called Nonimmune hydrops fetalis and the doctors told us that 70% of babies with hydrops do not make it out of the O.R.- meaning they don't survive birth. If you go on the internet (which of course I did while Ainsley was in the NICU-bad, bad, bad) the mortality rate for hydrops is in the high 90's, percentage wise. So there's one of my fears that came true (not to say of course that one of them won't get sick like that again-but Lord willing they won't).

Now onto that other one. The fear that my child would be retarded. {Taking a deep breath in}There's two parts to this that get to me. 1) This word I used bothers me. It bothers me because I don't know why I actually wrote retarded. I hate that word and I hate when people say that word and I hate to think about Bennett in that way but was I writing it in the terms that the medical community uses it as in "mentally retarded" or did I just used to throw that word around like it was nothing? I really don't think it was in my common vocabulary, I just really don't and I'm ashamed if it was. And 2) Once again a fear I had, a fear that I actually wrote down... (I realize the fact that having the fear that your child will have a mental disability or any disability is not uncommon, but to write it down and then to have it happen-WOW) ...happened. In the "basement" of my heart I had these real fears and totally forgot about them until Mike found this book. So what's going on here?

Recently I remember reading the status of a friend on facebook: "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans" (thanks Susan)- I laughed when I read that. Now, this can seem a little harsh but I don't think it's meant to be and I don't see God up there laughing at us and our little plans in life and destroying them (or so we think) or laughing at our fears and then throwing them right in our face. The way I look at it is simple: He has his plans, sometimes they go right in line with ours and sometimes they don't and sometimes we just have to face our fears head on to realize that with Him we don't have to be so afraid. The above saying is kind of like the one about "Don't ask God for patience or he'll give you something to be patient about" and I'm not saying "You better not write down or voice your fears because watch out, God will allow them to happen". God isn't like this. But I do think that sometimes what we think we fear most, God has a way of showing us that maybe it's not so much to fear and I guess in my case it just so happens that he wanted to show me them directly.:)

And I do believe "God doesn't give us more than we can handle" but sometimes I think he does give us more than we think we can handle. Like God didn't give me a baby Bennett, a 5 year old Bennett, a 15 year old Bennett and a 30 year old Bennett- now that would be too much to handle. But we've all had times where we think "this is enough, I can't take any more". So by giving us more than we think we can handle, he's not punishing us but maybe it's so we will come to Him because if every thing were just bearable, just enough where we felt we could handle it, we'd never look to Him and we'd never be able to experience Him handling our fears or trials with us-head on.

I'm still sitting here amazed that I actually wrote down those two fears and they actually happened, they literally happened just as I had feared (and yes I cringe at the thought of Bennett being retarded because this word to me is very hurtful and I will NEVER refer to him in that way). Am I angry that these fears happened? No. Are there times and will there be times (specifically with Bennett) that I wish they didn't happen-yeah, I think so. But you know, those aren't my fears any more. And frankly I don't know what my fears would be now. I'm just living and trying not to live in fear and I think that's what God wants.