Love and Fear.

January 28, 2010

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. {1 John 4:18}

Perfect love casts out fear. I’ve heard this countless times throughout my life and never thought much of it–I always took it as one of those “Christian sayings” that people just throw around as cheap words of comfort for people who are afraid. But these past couple of weeks, the truth of this verse struck my heart in a profound way.

We lost our first child in mid-August. It came as a huge shock to us–I just never considered the possibility of even having a miscarriage. The initial days and weeks after it happened were kind of a big blur. My heart went through a roller coaster of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I really felt at peace about all that had happened. It was the months following our miscarriage that proved to be more difficult for me. I’m currently reading a book that Grace Lee gave me called Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick. She started out with a quote by C.H. Spurgeon:

“Such strange creatures are we that we probably smart more under blows which never fall upon us than we do under those which do actually come.”

When I read this, I kind of laughed to myself, because it just captures the essence of my life these past few months. Since that heartbreaking day in August, I have wrestled with so much fear and anxiety about the future. What if we’re one of those couples that has three or four miscarriages before having a healthy baby? Or worse… what if there’s something wrong with me & I can never bring a child to term? What if it takes us years to get pregnant again? Or what if I get pregnant too quickly & have another miscarriage? Could it really be true that I am too weak–that my uterus is too weak–to carry a child? What if everyone has kids before I do? The constant burden of these worries weighed upon my heart and plagued my mind every single day. I thought to myself: Surely I will crumble if it were to happen again. The Lord has to spare me… I won’t be able to stand up under this trial.

But I guess I underestimated the extent of God’s grace.

This week we lost our second child. When we found out that we were going to miscarry again two weeks ago, I felt completely stripped. Since that day in mid-December that we found out we were expecting again, I felt like I had been walking on eggshells. I thought of everything I could do to make this pregnancy a success. I exercised regularly last time, so I will not touch a treadmill this time. Maybe I didn’t eat enough last time; I will eat at the slightest twinge of hunger this time. I tried so hard to keep a balanced diet last time; I will eat whatever I feel like eating this time. I worked my regular schedule last time, so I will ask my boss to work less for the first trimester this time. When my morning sickness waned, even for a few hours, I worried. I wanted to feel nauseous around the clock, so I could have some kind of reassurance that the baby was still alive and growing in my womb. I wanted to be in control. And I felt justified.

My heart was bound by fear. I was so scared that my greatest fear would become a reality. And I felt certain that if I miscarried again, my fears would multiply, my trust in God would diminish even further, and my desire for control would tighten in my life. But instead of doing these things, the miscarriage taught me to surrender. I really tried my best to keep that baby healthy… I. tried. so. hard. But my best efforts could not save that baby, and my worries most certainly could not save it. It just wasn’t in my power.

It was and always will be whatever the Lord wills. My problem is not believing that, but it is remembering and truly believing that He loves me. My God loves me. I really thought I would fall apart if I lost another baby, but He sustained me. He is sustaining me. No matter how weak or powerless I feel, I believe that His grace will cover every hardship and trial we face… when the time comes. Not before, not after, but exactly in that time of need. His carrying us through this second loss proves to me His faithfulness and tender love for us. It is phenomenal and supernatural for me. Perfect love casts out fear. I feared because I did not believe in that perfect love, but He has proven His perfect love for me. And how can I fear when I’m covered in that? If God is for us, who can be against us?

I have confidence that we will be okay. Not confidence that we will be able to have children, or that He will not cause us to go through any more trials… because there is no promise of such things. But confidence that His grace will see us through anything and everything. I know my heart is still prone to fear, and I do not doubt that I will still struggle in the months to come, but I am thankful for this very sweet reminder from God Himself. Sharon recently sent me a link to Molly Piper’s blog, John Piper’s daughter-in-law. In 2007 she went through a much greater trial than mine; she had a stillbirth at 39 weeks gestation. I’ve been reading through some of her posts and have been so encouraged by her openness in sharing about her trials. In a recent post, she wrote:

“He is a loving Father, and not my adversary.”

I believe it.

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22 Responses to “Love and Fear.”

  1. keziahkim Says:

    my heart breaks with yours, catherine. praying for you and steven. encouraged by your deepening faith and the Lord’s unfailing lovingkindness in your life…can’t wait to give you a hug the next time i see you.

  2. steph shin Says:

    <3 ya cathie. our prayers go to you and steven.

  3. mimi Says:

    hi cathie,
    it’s been a great encouragement reading through your blog.
    i am thankful for the ways God is strengthening you and deepening your love for the Lord as He’s sovereignly placed this trial in your life.
    will be praying for you & steven. =)

  4. thechungs Says:

    beautifully written, catt. we love you & steven so much & are constantly praying. thank you for glorifying God & making Christ even more beautiful through your trial. praise God for your faith! love ya.

  5. misun Says:

    Cathie! I randomly stop by ur blog! This entry was encouraging! keep up da faith :)

  6. lufamilylove Says:

    so encouraging sweet cathie, our hearts are burdened for you and yet we rejoice to see God making you and steven more like Christ through this trial. loving you, cheering for you, and praying for you!

  7. court Says:

    thanks for sharing…your words of God’s truth always minister to me. May God continue to use you & steven for his glory.


  8. strength comes our Father alone…thank you for sharing so openly. it’s truly an encouragement, blessing and challenge to know that your faith stands strong amidst trials. God is [and will continue] using you and steven greatly. praise God :)

  9. iloveivan Says:

    that was an incredible entry. you and steven encourage me to no end. i am praying fervently for you guys and am glad to see that God alone is sustaining you both.

  10. Anna Says:

    Thanks Cathie for being so vulnerable and sharing your life with the many of us who are reading your blog. I am DEF encouraged and I will most definitely be praying for the both of you. <3 you!

  11. moonchoi Says:

    <3

    Praying.

  12. letitia Says:

    i love you guys…and want to imitate your faith. i’m praying for you. and cathie, i can’t wait to meet your two babies in heaven someday. i can’t wait to tell them how God used them to make much of Himself through you and steven.

  13. Jules Says:

    Cathie, what a sweet reflection on the good and perfect will of God. Mark and I have been praying for you both and know that the Lord will use this to bring greater glory to Himself. Love you both!

  14. Sue Says:

    Cathie, talking with you today was a huge blessing. For sure, I see God’s love for you and praise God that his love is sustaining you through your heartache and trials. Thank you for sharing, Cathie…it is a tremendous blessing.

  15. jane Says:

    Oh, Cathie! I wish I had known when I spoke with you yesterday. My heart aches yet rejoices at all of the wonderful things the Lord is teaching you through trials. Will be praying for you, dear sister!!!

  16. joan Says:

    i’m so thankful that you are resting and hoping in His intimate and fierce love for you. “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves…” praying you’ll keep leaning on the everlasting arms! love you!

  17. Rachel Li Says:

    Cathie, reading through your blog has been such an encouragement to me. I don’t know you and Steven too well yet, but thanks for being such an awesome testimony of faith to me. God is so persistent in teaching us to surrender the areas of our life we hold onto, huh? Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  18. rosie Says:

    cathie, oh mannn, i had no idea! thanks for letting us peek into God’s amazing grace at work in your lives – it’s so super encouraging and really helps put things into perspective. we’ll be praying too <3


  19. Cathie, I never thanked you for the encouragement you shared on my blog and I wanted to take the time to encourage you and Steven. You have both been in my prayers and I am thankful that God is growing and teaching you both so much. As it is with difficult times, it is such a blessing to know how great our God still is. He is immutable. You both are encouraging so many people, and I’m thankful for the bond we have in Christ. Keep striving after Him and know that we are here with you as body in Christ. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  20. jennifer l Says:

    Cathie I am always ao late in reading blogs… my faith is strengthened and my eyes turned to the kindness of the Father. Praying for you and steven.

  21. Pastor John Says:

    It was good to see you and Steven this past weekend. Angela and I, as well as our girls, especially Livi, really love you both and are praying for you to continually trust in our faithful God’s care as we know what it’s like to suffer loss too. Take care!


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