You’d think I’d be overjoyed by the notion of carrying another little blessing from God in my womb. But I wasn’t. I was afraid… panic-stricken actually.
I wanted to be pregnant again. But my fear of loss haunted me for weeks to come.
My husband and I told only three people at first. We waited silently, praying with every morning that brought us closer to our first ultrasound that we wouldn’t be faced with the dreaded words again, “I’m sorry Mrs. Mendez, but we don’t detect a heartbeat.”
My absolute favorite quote about fear actually isn’t from the Bible. (…gasp… I know, I’m a heathen.) But seriously, it comes from the movie, “After Earth” with Will Smith. Smith’s character offers this counsel to his son, who is on a mission to save humankind:
“The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
Man, does this resonate!
Keeping my little secret, mostly out of fear of reliving the agony of sharing my joy only to publicly recant it days later, left me buckled over in depression and feeling isolated. Even my husband struggled with this. We sat in fear of our thoughts of what might be. We were paralyzed by the product of our imaginations. We were anxious about something we absolutely could not control. We were insane. Yes, early pregnancy is risky. But we serve a God who is sovereign and always has our best interest at hand.
Isaiah 42:10 says, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
These two sentences offer three promises that brought me such comfort. First, He is with me. Not just some of the time, but all the time. Second, He promises to strengthen and help me no matter what I go through. And third, He holds me with His steady and faithful hand.
Today, I write, as I’m exactly 25 weeks pregnant with my second baby girl. To say I’m thrilled and overcome with joy by the faithfulness of the Lord would be an understatement. But if there are any experiences that will teach a woman about the sovereignty of God, pregnancy is one.
I’ve learned great humility and trust. I know that I’m carrying a life and everything I do to my body has an impact, yet I have no control over whether she will breathe her first breath or not. To God be the glory for He is able to far beyond what I could ever ask or think.
Diera Shaw-Mendez is thrilled to be part of the team Barbara’s Place, and also serves as worship leader and youth leader at New Beginnings Worship Center, Pennsauken, NJ. She is wife to Chaplain Juan Mendez and mama to Olivia Joy. She enjoys graphic design, event planning, and cooking. Diera is a God-fearing, Starbucks loving, tech junkie (…in that order!) who simply wants to remind women of God’s unchanging, healing love.