Facing Dread with God

I am drawing nearer and nearer to the arrival of my second child. With this anticipation comes a slew of emotions, many of them wonderful. Energy has found me again, and I am happily preparing the nursery and getting the house in order. I am treasuring time with my son, sometimes with a complicated tear in my eye. What will it be like to have another baby who relies on me and loves me the way this one does? I can’t wait to squeeze them both in my arms.

But I must be honest. Creeping in along with the happy, nervous feelings is a steady stream of dread. Childbirth is not easy. Neither was my first postpartum experience. I struggled a lot with anxiety and depression. I struggled to nurse my son. I talked a bit about it in this post, where I shared a verse that comforted me when there was no earthly comfort to be had. What I felt in those times wasn’t dread. It was despair.

Dread is different. It flares in the weakest moments, like worry’s more sinister sibling. Dread is a more hopeless kind of worry, not hopeless the way worry is- that worry itself is a hopeless act. When I worry, I believe maybe if I think about the problem enough or do all the right things, I can make sure everything turns out ok. Dread is like worry without any hope.

So as I face new unknowns of becoming a mother of two, I am finding ways to keep dread back. Dread of uncertainty, dread of the demands of the postpartum season. I am reminding myself daily of what the word says in Matthew chapter six:

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

Photo by Raphael Rychetsky on Unsplash

This comparison Jesus makes is no small thing. The God of the universe feeds birds, but we are so much more valuable! We can take comfort in knowing our Creator will care for us on even a basic level. His advice to “not worry” isn’t an empty platitude. It comes with assurance that there truly is no need for it. How I wish that I could trust Him with so much confidence. Though it is getting easier with time.

Dread may be what I am facing today, but I cannot carry it with me into tomorrow. God will either provide what I need or He won’t. And so far, He’s never let me go without whatever I need to face each day. So I am choosing to cling to His goodness, to remind myself of how He has provided in my past. Instead of lingering in the dread that threatens to steal my joy, I am choosing to take each day as it comes. I am relying on the foundation of faith that has come every time my Heavenly Father has shown his love to me. And I am trusting that His love will not run out, no matter what I face.

Ultimately, the things I dread will come and go. Childbirth will be difficult. I will have to adjust to a new baby and a new family dynamic. Perhaps it will be as hard as I imagine. Perhaps it will be so much easier! Either way, preparing my heart to trust God day by day now will help me seek His goodness in whatever comes. And good He is indeed.

What are some of your stories of how God has seen you through trials?


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