What if I miscarry? What if I have an ectopic pregnancy? What if I have a premature baby and we spend days in the NICU? What if my baby isn’t healthy and something goes wrong?
It hadn’t even been 24 hours since I peed on a stick and it read “pregnant.” Yet, my mind was flooded with all of the what-ifs. All of a sudden, I was imagining the pain and horror of a miscarriage. I was putting myself into the situation of what would happen if I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was living out the days in the NICU, and the struggles of an unhealthy pregnancy or baby. And I hadn’t even had a chance to tell my family or friends and celebrate the joy of learning there was a new life growing inside of me—none of it. Squat. Just anxiety.
Now, I’ll be honest, I have never experienced a pregnancy loss. I have had one late preterm baby, a subsequent high-risk pregnancy, and I’ve spent a week in the pediatrics unit with a newborn. However, I have suffered from an anxiety disorder since I was a child. Even pre-pregnancy, I could let my mind control me and fill me with worry.
I’ve never been a stranger to anxiety attacks, flushed cheeks, and a racing heart. I’m well-versed in it all. I’ve laid awake at night for hours on end as my mind has jumped from one thought to the next. I’ve been unable to do simple things because my anxiety has made it too debilitating for me to function. Then you add in motherhood, and anxiety can go from being annoyingly there in the background to a full-on anxiety attack.
That’s where God comes into my life and flips it all. I don’t know how I ever survived living with anxiety before I made Him the center of my life. That doesn’t mean anxiety doesn’t come knocking, it does—and it will—but what it means is I’m able to face it all with His strength.
While my anxiety has me going over all of the what-ifs in my mind, I’m reminded that He’s the God of even if. He is the God of the impossible.
That’s the truth, my friend. And when anxiety tries to convince you otherwise, just know He will see you through it all. He’ll see you through every panic attack. He’ll see you through those nights of tossing and turning with worry. He will deliver you from your fears (Psalm 34:4)—even if it is a momentary peace, His peace will find you. And when anxiety is great within you, He will comfort you (Psalm 94:19).
Anxiety no longer dictates my life. Sure, those what-ifs raced through my mind as I read the results of a pregnancy test, but they were shut down as soon as I reminded myself that God will carry me through this pregnancy. Even if this pregnancy results in preterm birth or it doesn’t turn out the way I’ve prayed—He’ll still carry me through it.
The what-ifs may race through my mind (I’m living with an anxiety disorder after all), but He is still good even if any or all of those what-ifs come to fruition.
I may be anxiously expecting, but I’m not doing it alone. God is with me and this baby.