Tuesday, January 31, 2012

fear.



My toughest struggle in this pregnancy so far as been fear. 

{7 week bump}

Fear of miscarriage. 

That my baby isn't growing right. 

That I might not be doing everything right to help this little one develop. 

Fear of the unknown, where I'll give birth, where we'll be in the next few months and years. 

I've never felt so fearful as I have in the last 7 weeks since we found out we were pregnant. It all really boils down to the loss of control. I can't control how my baby is growing, what will happen over the next 27 weeks or how my body will react. I can't control my husband's orders, when we have to leave loved ones here in Hawaii or which state I'll get to have my baby in. Rarely in my life have I been so out of control of the circumstances. 

And it's been stretching me. And I've had to learn a lot about leaning on God. Because I have no control, but He has every control over each minute detail of my life (and yours). Several weeks after we found out about our baby, it dawned on me that I could potentially continue in this pattern of fear for the rest of my life and my baby's life. I realized that even if every detail of my pregnancy went smoothly, that it wouldn't stop there. I could fear for my child's life even after birth, when I have even less control, and I know that I don't want to live a life of fear. 

If my Father cares about the sparrows that flit around outside my studio window, why do I find it difficult to believe that He is caring for our little one and that He is perfectly crafting plans for us? The thing is, I know this Truth in my head but sometimes it takes a lot of work for that to penetrate to my heart of hearts and to affect the way I view my circumstances. Lots of memorizing and re-reading Bible verses, long conversations with God and with Chris. And I think it's going to just be a continual struggle to cast aside fear and take on the peace that God wants so much for me to be covered in. 

Do you struggle with fear? What are some ways that you personally find helping in choosing peace? 



lindsay

47 comments:

  1. I absolutely struggle with fear! I think we all do..

    I found this quote on Pinterest, that is so, so true: http://pinterest.com/pin/86483255314166487/

    I know it is hard NOT to worry about how your baby is doing, but you must try.. The baby can sense when you are sad/worried/hurt, etc. You are doing EVERYTHING right.. You are feeding yourself, which in turn feeds your baby. If anything were to go wrong (which is pretty unlikely), it would NOT be your fault. I hope you get an ultrasound soon so that you can see your little baby on screen. Seeing/hearing the heartbeat makes it exciting and real. :)

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    1. Aw, thank you for the encouragement, Katy! We've actually been blessed to see our baby three times already! :) And yes, it definitely helped to make it feel real!

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  2. love this post, Lindsay. i think you a right about loss of control. i always try to control my circumstances and that is just sooo wrong. God is control, even when I PRETEND I am. Praying for you and your baby's health! I am so excited to see what God has planned for you and your family this year :)

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    1. Oh, you're so right, Jen. Even when I DO think I am in control, I really have no control. So, it's kind of an illusion I make in my head that makes me feel comfy, I guess. What a relief that I don't HAVE to be in control, because He's got it all taken care of.

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  3. Girl, it is normal to have fear. I am an Army wife and I am also 23 Weeks pregnant. We recently moved to CO and I was 10 Weeks pregnant at the time. I was terribly sick my first trimester- TERRIBLY! I was always nervous that our baby wasn't growing because I could barely eat and if I did I was lucky to keep it down. I lost a ton of weight but everything is going great with my pregnancy and our baby girl is growing right on schedule.
    At the beginning of the year we found out my husband is deploying to Afghanistan in march and will probably miss the birth of our little girl, who is also our first child. Now I have all new fears. Can I do this alone? Well he make it home for the birth? Will he make it home to meet his daughter?
    Fear is normal. You just can't let it take control! Try not to stress yourself out. Everything will work itself out.

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  4. I think you are already on the right track... just keep leaning into God. Pray even in the tiniest moments and in the simplest ways when you need to. "Help me get through this moment." Jesus has already won this battle for you, girl! =) I am lifting you up in prayer now.... Prayers Said!

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  5. As a fellow Navy wife, I too felt fear right from the get-go. (We have a daughter who just turned three this month!) Rest assured that all will be just fine. When I was pregnant, someone told me that, as a mother, my fears and worries will never cease. I know exactly what that person was saying now. There are always fears....will I raise my daughter right? will I have to protect her from her peers? We move so often, will this affect her negatively? will she get her heart broken?

    I've come to realize that these fears and worries are a part of being a mother. We wear our heart on the outside of our bodies for the rest of our lives...and will protect our "heart" at all costs.

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  6. I love this post. I just love it. Let me tell you something... I took 9 pregnancy tests in a 24 hrs period because of the fear the one was wrong and that maybe the next would be negative. After I had an ultra sound and of course those 9 tests were correct, I still took TWO more tests over the next few weeks out of fear and needing assurance. As much as I hated being so sick and getting admitted to the hospital 3x, 1 ER, visit, and two urgent care visits for IV fluids... I knew everytime I threw up, that my little baby was still there. Finally he started moving and it was obvious he was there and growing and pushing on my ribs:) And when everything seemed to be going okay, we heard the words "heart defect." From that point up until Mason's second surgery, and even now, I had never been so fearful. But that fear, came an insane prayer life:) You're going to the right place for hope and comfort and direction. I wrote this post a few days before Mason's second surgery... Http://masonsroost.blogspot.com/2011/03/ive-got-this.html
    Xoxo

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  7. Thanks for sharing! Its cool how God can use anything, like your post, to speak to us! Im working tonight and so is my hubby and just got a text from him...He said he was in a "good" fight and was at the hospital and would call me later...well that was an hour ago and I still haven't heard from him! Ive been worrying about him so much. I know he's probably fine but its crazy how this fear and worry can just cripple you! It doesnt help that I just watched "PS I Love You" haha. I love that we can rest in God's promises and KNOW that he is faithful! "Be still my soul and know that He is Lord" =)

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  8. Ohhh be stong and let the fear go! Trust God with prayers, he will protect you and your baby! During this difficult 9 months you need a lot of strenght, trust your husband, he is there to protect you, love you and toghether You will manage through every day! wish you fear-less days and lots of LOVE ! Alex

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  9. I am afraid daily that my baby will suddenly not be there. Two weeks before conception I lost my other baby. I did not expect to get pregnant so quickly after that. I was still hurting (am still hurting)from the MC. it does not help that all of my friends (real and bloggers) have been having high risk pregnancies or MC's of their own. I ordered a heart beat monitor off of Amazon so when I start freaking out because Turtle has not been as active as I think he should be I break it out and just listen to my little man's heart beating in me. All my anxiety leaves when I do this. Sending you big hugs from Washington my dear. It is okay to be afraid, but do not let it rule you. Find something to help you over come your fear, it does help - even if it is still in the back of your head most of the time.

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  10. Lindsay, I think you would really enjoy the book "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow or "Fearless" by Max Lucado. Bottom line is to be constantly in prayer, with thanksgiving, and the peace the passes our understanding will come to us from the Spirit. It is impossible to be giving thanksgiving to Him and be fearful at the same time. He is the Blessed Controller and He will work all things together for our good. Read over Phil 4:6-8.

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  11. You're being completely normal for a 1st time expecting parent. I remember going thru the exact same thing. You freak out over the little things and stress yourself out over things you will never be able to control. You just have to let yourself go and live on faith. I believe that everything that happens was meant to be, good, bad or otherwise.
    Just breathe and relax.

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  12. friend. first and foremost, know that fear is natural...it's human... it's WHO WE ARE (unfortunately)... know that I have lots to share with you on "such" matter when I see you in Hawaii. I know, without a doubt, that God has big plans for this little one. love you friend... and I can't wait to give you and that babe the biggest squeeze!

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  13. What helps me is this: turn my fear into joy, or rather enjoyment. back story: I confessed to my mother once, early on in motherhood, that I was obsessed with fear of loosing sam and/or liam. she too had this struggle and told me, "isn't that just what the enemy wants? for you to have all this blessing and not be able to enjoy it because of his fear?" and I realized, even if I lost it all, I would want to say, "but I enjoyed every minute" not "I worried this would happen". so now when I fear I say a prayer to God, "Thank you for these blessings in my home. Even if you choose to take them away, I still trust you with them--after all, they are yours anyway. Help me enjoy the time we have together." and then I choose joy over fear. I'm so glad you shared this--what a blessing to others and a great reminder to love with out fear. thank you:)

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  14. I struggle with this to and do exactly the same things that you do: pray, talk to my hubby, memorize scripture. Sometimes we just have to remember to abide in Christ and know that even if we walk with fear it is not as big as He is. I read this verse this morning and love it: Romans 8:15 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'" I love Romans 8!
    How wonderfully lovely are those last two words! I hope you can rest in Jesus's provision during this time of uncertainty. I know what it feels like to be afraid about things I can't control, so I am walking this with you!

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  15. I know exactly how you feel. Everyday I have to tell myself not to worry about circumstances. My little guy had cancer and a liver transplant and everyday it crosses my mind, "what if the cancer returns". Every time my daughter gets sick or doesn't feel well it's always in the back of my head, what if it's her turn for cancer. I finally realized that I don't want to be worrying like this everyday for the rest of my life and I have to trust God. I ALWAYS think of that same verse about the sparrows and God caring for them. I guess this is just where our faith needs to come into action and we have to trust and know that regardless of what happens, God is in control. No. Matter. What.

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  16. Welcome to Motherhood :) It's a constant battle between worrying if you're doing right and trusting the Lord. We took our two oldest out of public school this year to home school. I constantly worry if I'm doing enough, if I'm doing it right, if I'm messing them up. But the Lord is always faithful to reassure me that He loves my boys even more than I do and all I have to do is seek Him in all of it. This is something He's called us to and He is faithful to finish it.
    He's entrusted this little one to you, trust Him to take care of you both. Continue to seek after Him and rest in His good & gracious promises.

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  17. After I typed the following comment, I realized it might make you cry, because I am bawling right now too. It may even do the opposite of quelling your fears, but I hope you can see the point I am trying to pass along!

    My fear kicks in at the most ridiculous times and places. At hockey games, in the grocery store, at church, etc. Usually it is at the sight of a amazingly cute baby or toddler. I went through a period where I questioned my faith and while I wasn't married at the time, I felt (in my rebellious head of mine) that having sex was okay because my partner at the time and I had been in a serious relationship for close to 4 years. Then we got pregnant. That pregnancy resulted in a stillbirth. A year later, we were pregnant again, and I had a miscarriage. It was heartbreaking. I lost two babies and my companion of 5 years was leaving me. We were both broken and hurt and he even went so far as to make a dig at my abilities to carry a child.

    Fast forward a few more years and now I am married (not to the same man) and even though we aren't trying for kids right now, I get fearful that I won't ever be able to have children. That haunting thought that I am defective in some way. It's a ridiculous thought but, sometimes I think that God may punish me for my past rebellion. When I get in these frames of mind, I read scripture, I call close friends, I pray, I remember there is nothing medically wrong with me and think about the losses my own mother has had and she now has 4 of us that are perfectly healthy. Or I happen upon someone's blog post talking about all of the medical troubles they have had to overcome, or all the struggles they have had with conceiving, or a combination of both ;) and I know that my fears are silly. I know that if it is what is right for me, God will make it happen. God has his plan. He is in control. And as hard as it is, we just need to trust in Him!

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  18. Take it one day at a time... Don't worry all it will do is cause loss of sleep- which is not good for the baby... Eat healthy, walk, swim, you can do whatever physical thing u are doing pre baby... A friend of mine ran until she delivered... Keep positive thoughts!.

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  19. beautifully honest post Lindsay! so glad you are shinning to fun peace in God's perfect plan. I need to be daily reminded to trust in this. fear has too often held me captive and it is no way to live.. it squeezes out joy. I will say a prayer for you!

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  20. This post really resonates with me right now. I'm not pregnant yet, but hope to be in the next year and these feelings of fear are present now and will probably be even more so in the future. When I start to feel overwhelmed with said fear, I try to tell myself that this is all in God's hands and He has a plan. It usually works :)

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  21. Oh you are totally and completely normal in your fears. I worried constantly when I was pregnant and now that my girl is 3 1/2 years old I worry more and more each day, about her being safe, am I screwing her up with my parenting skills (or lack thereof), my hopes that she grows up into a happy healthy productive person, etc. So much stuff to worry about when kiddos are involved. And I'm not even touching on the everyday worries and marriage worries, etc. Yeah, I'm a worry wart - ha! But what I have to remember is to give it to God. Give all those worries and fears that I can't control to God. It's hard because I want to control everything, but I can't. I have a little saying that I repeat in my head for those times when fears/worries become too much (like when I'm flying), I say "I choose to live, not to be afraid" over and over until I calm down. And prayer helps too. xoxo

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  22. I struggle with fear in the form of doubt. I doubt that I am good enough for God's grace, does he really love me that much? I doubt that I am pretty enough, that my husband really loves me, that I will be strong enough to have children one day. I hate when the enemy makes me feel these things and every time that I give into it and let it overtake my heart, I know it takes me a little farther away from Jesus. I know a lot of this comes from me not spending time with God, praying and reading my bible. I try to do this more often when I am feeling especially attacked. I hope that helps and know that you are not alone in this. It is normal, but it really is an attack from the enemy and knowing Jesus and his bible can be an amazing source of help and encouragement.

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  23. When it comes to fear, I remind myself that everything happens for a reason and it's going to happen whether or not I'm scared of it happening.

    I can only imagine all the fears running through your head... I bet a lot of first time mothers have those same fears. But just let yourself get through things day by day. You're strong, you'll make it.

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  24. oh hun! i know exactly how you feel, i had the exact same fears! i was always soo paranoid about what i ate, what i did, if i felt weird i thought something was wrong with baby.. but really, you can't live your life like that! you have to let life run it's course. just take it a day at a time and ENJOY your pregnancy and get lots of SLEEP, seriously! and eat lots and lots of ice cream and gummies, k?? :D

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  25. I struggle with fear too! Sometimes I just repeat over and over "fear is not a fruit of the spirit". It helps remind me that the fear is not from god, and focus on what is.

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  26. i just finished reading angie smith's book "what women fear" ... it's SO good! ♥

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  27. I have some major fear issues too, I have had paralyzing panics attacks over things... and this is what gets me up:

    I like to say out loud what I know about God: He is BIG... He loves me and my kids... He knows me... He is with me and my kids... etc. Saying the truth out load gives it power!

    I will also sing "My God is an Awesome God" too and it helps me keep things in perspective.

    kids add a-whole-nother level of worrying to mamas!

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  28. You took the words right out of my mouth. We had some scares at the beginning and I pray everyday and thank God that I continue to have a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby.

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  29. Yes, I do know what you mean and I have been there at times myself.. fearing... and the thing with fear is it just snowballs and grows and your right there is no end. Trust is hard, and it seems to be it has to be intentional and done over and over.

    I love that you share your heart so openly here on your blog. Your such a light Lindsay! A true light.

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  30. I could just cry because this was (IS) so me. I was consumed with fear when I got pregnant. And I knew it was unhealthy but it was still a daily, hourly battle not to let it rule my heart. I had Isaiah 41:10 written on an index card and I taped it to my desk at work, where I was prone to google "chance of miscarriage" and "pregnancy risks." The part about God upholding us in his "righteous right hand" brought me such peace. Even if I did have to read it over and over and over again. But regardless, there is so much hope in that.

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  31. It must be genetic! I am always in fear of not having control...over any aspect of life. This is definitely something I need to kick in the butt or life is going to get much more difficult. I am so happy you have been able to let God beat your fears with this pregnancy and I hope you keep an active battle going against the fear so that your life can be lived to the fullest. Love you so much sis!

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  32. I definitely struggle with fear when it comes to pregnancy. Even though my first pregnancy was great I still fear... and this pregnancy is going great, but still there is fear. I think a lot of it comes from reading blog posts about women not being able to have babies or losing them... and definitely because we're not in control... we can't see inside our bodies...we don't really know whats going on in there all the time... and its hard to trust that everything is okay, but its definitely something I have to do...put my trust in Him...put my baby in His hands...otherwise I'd go crazy with worry and fear!

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  33. Girl. You know I'm no stranger to this beast. Fear is arrogance that fools us crazy into believing that it's all up to us. That we can control anything to begin with. And if something doesn't go right, that it's our fault. Really though, fear is the fundamental disbelief in the sovereignty of God. Ouch, right? That one's from Francis Chan. Blame him. It's true, though! Fear challenges our belief in God's power. It convinces us that we cannot trust God's goodness and then reveals that our definition of good is often so very different from the Lord's. God teaches us, gently, through parenthood, about the true state of the union. The state of our hearts in relation to His. Every bit of parenting reflects our relationship with God. He shows us little by little just how amazing grace really is and reminds us relentlessly that we belong to the King. The King! And nothing comes to us without first passing through His hands. Your little one also belongs to the King. Did you hear that? The King! The Creator of time and space! And nothing will come to him/her without first passing through the hands of the One who is forming arms and legs and ventricles and retinas AS WE SPEAK. (Now my kids are asking why I'm crying.) This whole parenting gig is a lifetime of surrender and it begins now. That is no small thing. It is everything. There is no trick or tactic to pull out of our tool belt other than the Word of God that does battle like the Peace that passes all understanding. Write His Word on your heart. Put on the armor of Truth that lies cannot pierce. Suit up, girl. He is going to build you into a woman after His own heart like you've never known before. He can be trusted to keep His promises and He is already surrounding you with a cloud of witnesses to support you. It's a beautiful mess and He will use it for your good. For so much good. So much love and prayer comin' at ya! xo

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  34. Such a good discussion to have. Fear is everywhere and the enemy really loves when God's children are too busy worrying to be in His presence. I started following your blog quite some time ago, but this is the first time I've commented because it so spoke to what my husband and I are dealing with. We just moved 2 months ago from Maui to Austin, Texas... talk about culture shock! Praise God we have been going through a bible study on the book of Philippians for the past 3 weeks. It's great how God uses scripture to speak directly to his children in their circumstances. Here are just 2 passages from Philippians that have spoken to us and I wanted to share with you Lindsay and others struggling with fear.

    "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you." (Phil 1:27-28)

    and then of course there is the famous passage...

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)

    Aloha & Blessings,
    Taylor Marie

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    1. Hi Taylor! YAY for your first comment on here, friend! Don't make it your last, okay?

      I love those verses and so needed a reminder of them this morning. Thank you!

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  35. Thank you for a wonderful post on dealing with fear! We just found out 4 days ago we're expecting in October - while it was an amazing blessing to find out that we'll be parents, that small, silly, human part of me was immediately trying to plan and time and make everything fit into MY schedule. You'd think as a Navy wife of several years I'd stop trying to do that... It doesn't help that we'll be moving TWICE in the next 8 months and we'll probably be between houses when our bean arrives! Whenever I feel myself go into a tailspin, I think of two things. One is the acronym for fear we always shared with our campers (I spent countless summers as a counselor at a church camp): FEAR is Forgetting Everything About Reality. I try and remind myself that reality isn't this here and now, but reality is my Father's existence and plan. When I'm forgetting everything about reality, I'm forgetting that God holds all of us in His hands and guards and guides us to where we need to be. My second nugget is from the wisest woman I know (my mommy!) who has always reminded me that "fear is ingratitude in advance". To be fearful means you worry that you wont have enough, or be where you want or need to be. And when I think about it, it's very silly for my to be ungrateful - I look back at my 27 years and I can see God's hand in my entire life as He's protected me and sent me on my way. Even when I thought I didn't have the tools to get through, they've always been there, just waiting for me to find them :-) So, my goal for the next 7-9 months (besides keeping food down *urp*) is to dismantle and see through my fear, every day. I hope to express gratitude in all that I do, to remember what my TRUE reality is and above all to trust my Shepherd, even when my path seems hidden. Many blessings to you and your new growing family and good luck on your next PCS!
    PS - I can't wait to relocate the Cutie I purchased from you from our guest room to our future nursery :-)

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    1. Love this comment. The word "dismantle" is so powerful. You're so right that gratitude is key! Have you read Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts? Amazing. Eucharisteo: giving thanks in ALL things as a posture before the Lord.

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    2. No, I haven't read "One Thousand Gifts" yet, but you're the 2nd person to mention that book in three days so I'm taking it as a sign :-) The joys of eBooks!

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    3. Congrats, PlanePrincess on your sweet baby!! Such great wisdom in your comment-- thank you so much for sharing. The part about fear being ingratitude really hit me.

      I too, have been thinking I need to read One Thousand Gifts. I've only heard great things!

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  36. I can't even begin to imagine the crazy emotions and fear that comes with being preggos! But I have fears all the time, especially when I think about my future (and the fact that I have absolutely zero direction, lol!). Whenever I'm struggling with strong fears, I turn to my family and friends, who are always there with support, guidance, and lots of love!

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  37. Ok, first, congrats y'all!!! I am thrilled to bits for you two...you will make wonderful parents! I do keep up with your blog, although I've become terrible at commenting!

    I was so fearful but somewhere between Ryan's cancer and my hospitalization, I had to choose. Give it to God, or not. Giving it over brings such a weight and I just kept chanting it to myself when things spiraled..."YOU are in control..."

    love ya!

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  38. Congratulations! Yep, you are so right-pregnanacy and motherhood bring up all kinds of thoughts of out of controlness. My daughter is almost 17 months and I'm learning so much along the way. While I was pregnant both my mother and husband had cancer. As you can imagine the FEAR factor was in high gear at our home and mostly in my heart. I'm realizing that those moments are okay, but breathing, remembering we are loved and knowing that these moments can be fleeting if we choose to think with love. I focused on our little baby growing and the lovely moments we will have (and now are having) together. I listened daily to positive pregnancy affirmations from Hypnobabies, those were so helpful and relaxing. Wishing you a wonderful, peaceful journey to Motherhood. It is amazing.

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  39. Love this post. so true. i was about 10 weeks pregnant (with my now 6 month old)when I realized if I don't give it to God now, I may never do it. it's so hard but so worth it. i hate fear. it still likes to come creep into my mind but having my heavenly fathers Word to comfort me in times of fear and doubt is such comfort and encouragement.

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