Thursday, March 31, 2011

small steps: stepping out in faith

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a dear friend about my fears associated with this pregnancy. We talked about how fear can rob you of joy during pregnancy and motherhood, and how to step out in faith, even in small ways, to honor the Lord during times of doubt.

My friend said, "Let me ask you a silly question. Are your pants tight?"

I lifted up my shirt and showed her my work pants, which were halfway unzipped and barely held together by a strained safety pin.

She said, "Wait here. I'll be right back." She ran upstairs in her house and returned with a belly band and said, "Buy one of these today. You need it. Only worry about what you need right now, this week, in your pregnancy. You don't need to choose a crib, a name, or think about the registry yet, but you do need to keep your pants up and fastened. Show the Lord that you trust him by stepping out in faith and buying one of these."

She pumped me up about buying this belly band for the next five minutes. She assured me that the baby wouldn't die because I bought a belly band. If something did happen to the baby, it was the Lord's sovereign plan, and not because I bought a belly band, or browsed online for cribs, or told people about the pregnancy.

What a novel idea, huh? Now, for better or worse, gentle readers, perhaps you have a better understanding of the depth of my irrationality right now.

My friend closed the deal when she said I could just order one online if I was too afraid to go into a store to buy it. We decided that purchasing a belly band was my "homework" for week 13 of pregnancy.

It took me two days to do it, but I finally braved Target and bought two BeBands. I patted myself on the back for going into the maternity section of Target rather than hiding behind my computer monitor and ordering the bands online. (Although, honestly, I barely stepped foot in the maternity section. I rushed to the table that held the bands, grabbed two, and escaped to another corner of the store.) Then I got home and my bravado crumpled. I tried one on for Brad and burst into tears because I felt like an imposter. What was I doing wearing a belly band? Surely there must be some mistake.

It took me another week to muster the courage to wear the BeBand in public, even though it was carefully hidden underneath my shirt; that task became my homework for week 14.

Now, I'm trying to set reasonable goals for each week of pregnancy. I don't need to dive into the to-do list at once, or even create a master to-do list, as that task would only overwhelm me right now. (I must be turning a new leaf--I don't think I've ever not had a to-do list in my entire life!) But, focusing on only what is necessary each week is a great way to step out in faith and show the Lord I trust him.


Caitlin said...

I love this post. I think this is such a smart way to approach this. Pregnancy feels overwhelming in the best circumstances, so I can't even imagine how daunting all those checklist items must feel.

On a completely superficial level, those belly bands are great! I never really found them super comfortable, but they are so functional and much better than wearing tight pants.

I think this is one of your best posts yet. Exceptionally well written and beautifully honest.

kerryandtorey said...

I hated maternity clothes so put off wearing them as long as possible :-)And, it is actually better to try them on when you actually need them so your approach is perfect!

Great post and we are thinking of you all often.

rebecca.d.winnett said...

Rebecca this is beautiful and such a great way to approach faith and trusting God.

Many prayers

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

What a wise friend! You received some wonderful advice. In fact, it is my personal opinion that too often we jump way to far ahead, shopping for cribs, buying stuff, etc., instead of focusing on the miracle that is happening within us. It was brave of you to share these fears with your friend and with all of us, but it also helps your friends to direct our prayers that your trust (and slowly your joy as well) increases with each hour, day and week. And know you can reach out if you need help with those small steps!

Emily said...

This is a really beautiful post. Maybe your best...
Love and prayers!


Heather N. said...

Loved this post! Still praying for you all!

Susannah said...

Maybe during a particularly emotionally straining week, you can do something only "half" related to pregnancy, like eating an extra piece of cake or buying yourself a pair of comfortable, cute shoes. That way, it's not a HUGE step in faith, but is a way you could treat yourself to something that is partially prenatalesque.

Great post.

Momma Fid said...

One day at a time is the way to go. You are wise to accept this philosophy now. The truth is the worry never ends. Here was my worry time table:
1. not getting pregnant
2. miscarriage
3. birth defect
5. Choking
6. Fall down stairs
7. Autism
8. Learning disability
9. Not having friends

Your friend gave you very good advice and you are wise to follow it. Once again, I love your posts!!!

Renee said...

Sometimes adults need to take baby steps too.