15 June 2010


It happened yesterday. I was driving home after a full and busy day at work, when all of the sudden, it was there. It had not come on gradually. I had not been fighting it off or shoving it into a corner over the course of my day. It was more like hitting the proverbial brick wall. Except in this case, the brick wall hit me, dropping out of the sky, giving me zero warning of its entrance.

Fear. Terrible, all-consuming, my-entire-body-is-trembling and I cannot stop crying fear.

I know all the same Scripture passages you do. Do not worry, do not doubt, do not fear. They are the commands Christ repeats the most often. Many have said that this is because He knew the temptations to worry, doubt, and fear would plague us so often. I am not one to disagree. But it's not as if I had the ability to just stop fearing either.

This fear had its claws deeply embedded in me. It had a choke hold around my throat and I swear it was trying to squeeze my heart so hard, it would just stop beating. Through my chokes and sobs, I prayed out loud. I knew this wasn't from God, but I was powerless in myself to make it go away. This fear would not be one that could be reasoned with. This was an outright assault.

The fear was this: I saw it happening all at once, losing this child. God taking him away. Being in the ten percent of families who bear a child with this heart condition and don't get to take him home. I felt the grief of it, I saw doctors in pale blue scrubs with somber faces and slumped shoulders, heard them sighing deeply, getting ready to tell us exactly the thing we don't want to hear. I saw and felt myself crumbling on the cold floor of the NICU, all in a matter of moments. As if it was really happening. I suddenly felt like I couldn't breathe.

It's hard not to think about Job and his compounded losses. It still amazes me that he was able to say at any point during his great suffering: The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. I've been thinking it for awhile, but haven't said it aloud or written it out until now. I'm not there. I can't say what Job said with the full weight of my conviction behind it. But what if God wants to make me into the kind of person who can? And what if He wants to use Ewan to do it?

This all came tumbling out when I came home. James held me and let me cry, and he prayed over us. Eventually, the fear subsided, melting away, and I was able to breathe again.

I expect that this is not the last I will find myself immersed in unexpected moments of anxiety and outright fear. Though we mostly maintain hope and confidence, we don't do so naively. We don't presume upon a miracle, a cure, or even the outcome we desire. But still, we keep our hope and rejoice in this life, and we pray God's protection over him. We prepare for his arrival. And we enjoy each and every second Ewan is with us.


Sarah said...

Oh Kirsten! My heart hurts for you in your fear, even though it's passed now. Sweet Ewan, to be loved like that . . . what an amazing mama you are!

christianne said...

I'm so sorry you experienced this paralyzing fear, my friend. It sounds frightening, and to hear that it came on you without any warning at all ... I'm sorry.

It amazes me to watch you walk through this with such openness to all of us about what it is like.

Love you.

terri said...

Oh dear, I so wish I could take that away from you. My heart is so heavy for you.

And I'm with Sarah...you're a great mom. Little Ewan couldn't have hand-picked a more welcoming home than your wide-open arms. Hoping with you that all will be well, and standing with you no matter what may come.

Shay said...

wow, Kirsten! thanks for sharing your heart and your fears. you are right in that the fears are not from God, but from our enemy. I will be praying that each time you are attacked with fear that God will surround you with His loving arms and take all your fear away. Ewan is blessed that God chose you and James to be his parents! you are in my prayers!

kirsten said...

Thank you, friend. It was a brief, but very intense hour or so where that fear totally consumed me. I want to love this child without fear, and he is already teaching me how to do that. Smart baby!

Thank you, dear friend. That thought of losing him came on so vividly and suddenly -- I don't think I will ever be ablet to describe adequately just how entirely sudden it was.

Thank you for being here, and for seeing me, and loving me all the same.

Thank you ... really. It was so sudden and so paralyzing. I couldn't escape it (and while driving on the freeway -- a scary thought). It's amazing how he's still in the uterus and is already teaching me so much. I swear sometimes I hear him telling me to just chill out already and stop being so uptight. ;o)

Thank you for being here, no matter what happens.

Thank you, friend. Thanks for praying and for recognizing also that fear is from the enemy. He does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). I love that Paul lists "power" first -- that we have God's power accessible to us!!

Thank you for your continued prayers!!

Momma Sue said...

I love you, you dear, sweet beautiful daughter of God, and am praying for you from afar....

Carrie Johnson said...

In heart, I am there with you. Fear continues to plague me and when I am no longer able to fight it off, the fear of losing Emily is sometimes debilitating. I have found myself pleading with God not to take her and felt unwilling to entrust her life to God for fear He would take her from me. A dear friend helped me realize last year that God does not need me to relinquish her for him to take her home, but how much better it would be if I already had and was at peace with God when that day happens. It has been a very challenging perspective that I still must remind myself of when I feel myself starting to hold on too tight.
The same week you learned of Ewan's diagnosis, one of my fellow special needs moms son, Dylan, died in his sleep. He was a month younger then Emily and we have know their family since the kids were 1. Evan and I have been warned Emily could go the same way and when I've thought about it too much, I find I'm too scared to go get her up in the morning. Now my friend is living my worst nightmare and my "strength and trust" in God have been shaken. All those feelings and fears I fight, that they don't rule my life, have again been thrown in my face. None of us know when we will go home to our perfect bodies by Jesus' side, but most people don't face that possibility every morning they awake! Don't fight the fear, for it will keep coming and you don't want it to win. Cry out to God and seek His comfort and perspective and He WILL sustain you - every time.
I too struggle with people reminding me "God promised never to give us more then we can handle" or "I could never do what you do." To which I am reminded of a quote I read shortly after Emily's diagnosis at 4 months. "God promised never to give me more then I could handle. I wish He didn't have so much faith (or maybe it was trust) in me." If all those other people were given a special child like us, they too would find unimaginable strength and determination to fight for and give up everything for their child. It isn't a daily choice I make each morning. I don't think about it, I just DO it. Your past has prepared you for this moment and whatever you are lacking God will provide when He thinks you need it. I wish I knew you better for you to have called me then. Or I could have just ran over to give you a hug. We'll have to change that.
You are ministering and blessing others/me with your honesty - thank you.
I was thinking today about the Baker twins arrival and how difficult their healthy arrival may be for you two and how this difference between your lives may potentially change your relationship with many of your friends. I will pray for you guys about this! It is another one I have to give straight to God before it overpowers me.
Sleep and sleep well and may God grant you dreams of sharing your future life with your son. I had one once of Emily walking up to me and talking to me! I wish I could remember what her voice sounded like and what she said! (=
love you guys,
p.s. Evan is Welsh for John (=

allie :^) said...

i am new to this blog as of 14 jan 2011, so am reading all of this months after you wrote it. this one particulary strikes me. you just captured it...perfectly. the way you described this assault of fear. wow! i am moved by who you are and the way you write it. :)