My husband worries when I am calm.
You see, I’m a worrier, control freak, anxiety ridden perfectionist. I constantly analyze what has gone wrong, what could go wrong, what I could do differently next time and how that might change things in the future.
But when the storm gets too big and the burden too heavy, I simply let go. I ride the waves of anxiety, of fear, of not knowing, until I find the Calm at the center of the storm. And He is always there, finding me, too.
Last night I bled. It’s a terrible thing to be 6 1/2 weeks pregnant and look down in the toilet to see blood, but I didn’t respond with panic. I took a calculating look at exactly how much blood appeared to be in the toilet, flushed it, washed up, then stepped out and announced to my husband, “I’m bleeding.”
I sat down quietly with my phone and googled “first trimester bleeding,” and what I found was both comforting and not at all comforting. 20-40% of all women experience bleeding during their first trimester. Only 1/3 to 1/2 of those will go on to miscarry. So I have a 1 in 3 chance to miscarry. Not comforting.
The news only got worse, as my husband was concerned, for I went on to read that there is nothing the doctor can do about it. I can call to schedule an appointment, but they will either confirm that I am (or have already) miscarried or that the baby is fine. They can’t change it either way though.
Whatever it is, it cannot be changed. And I know what to do with the things that cannot be changed: Accept it.
So I closed my eyes and prayed:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
It’s a prayer I’ve prayed hundreds – if not thousands – of times without finding any serenity at all, but I knew if I kept praying it, if I kept believing in the goodness of the God whom I know and trust, eventually I would find what I was looking for.
So I prayed it again:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
(Help me to place this baby and this pregnancy in your loving hands,
and to know that whatever comes of it,
you work all things for the good of your people),
the courage to change the things I can
(Help to calm my worries and fears, help me to comfort my husband,
and to see the correct course of action from here),
And the wisdom to know the difference
(Remind me to return to you when I am doubtful, mistrusting,
fearful, or uncertain of the road ahead. Bring me back to your loving
embrace, where I can find truth and peace).
And I prayed it again and again until I felt it. And I can’t believe it, but I slept well through the night (other than the usual five bathroom trips), and woke well rested and calm.
I know when the doctor’s office opens and the phone call gets made, I will experience more anxiety. I know that sometimes not knowing is less frightening than knowing, because right now it can be either or, but once I know, it can never be the other thing again. That could be good. It could be bad.
Hopefully, when anxiety strikes again (as it always does for me), I will remember to return to God, to place it in his hands again, and to trust him to work for the good of me, my husband, and our unborn baby – whatever the outcome may be.