Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leaning on the Faith of Others

Faith is believing what you can't see with your eyes.  It is knowing in your heart that God is in control.  It is also ACTING like you know that.  Not wringing your hands with worry or being consumed by fear.  Acting like you believe what you say you believe.

But what about when you just can't seem to do that?

For example, I have had two miscarriages.  Both times, the baby just died inside of me towards the end of my first trimester.  I didn't find out that they had died until several weeks later.  Those losses were terrible and heartbreaking.

The first time was after Garrett and before Carys.  When I got pregnant with Carys, I prayed that God would let me feel her move early and confirm to me that she was OK.  He answered that prayer.  She moved early and a lot.  That was good because at that time, in the US, I would have only one ultrasound halfway through my pregnancy.  So the moving was good.  It was a confirmation that she was OK.  Losing that baby was hard, but I accepted it as one of those things that just happens sometimes.

The second time was after Anderson and before Giovanni.  This time I was an "old" mama.  I was almost 43 years old.  I found out during an ultrasound at 11 weeks that the baby had died around 2 weeks earlier.  That day I was going to pick up my parents from the airport and "surprise" them with the good news that we were having a baby.  Instead I got to surprise them with sad news.  It was one of the hardest times in my life.

Then I tried for a year to get pregnant.  2007.  Not a fun year.  What was I even doing?  I was 43 and had a junior in high school.  But, it seemed that God had put this desire in our hearts and it wouldn't go away - it was from Him.  At the end of that  year, we decided to give up.  We didn't have it in us to go through another year trying.  Maybe I was just too old.  When we decided to give up, I was already pregnant.  God had his way.

OK, here's the faith part.  After I found out I was pregnant, I was scared to death.  Like consumed with fear.  And I felt horrible.  I didn't throw up (I never do), but I felt like I had a stomach virus about 80% of the time, and I was exhausted.  I could accomplish about 2 things a day.  I knew I should have faith and not be afraid.  I knew God was in control.  But I felt SO bad that I just couldn't summon up the will to believe and be strong.

God gave me a faith partner.  A good friend told my husband to read Psalms 91 to me every night before bedtime.  Or anytime I felt overcome by fear.  He did that.  It didn't ease my queasy stomach (I was actually thankful for that because it was a sign of a healthy pregnancy), but it did calm my heart.

Remember the verse in James 5:14?  "Are any among you sick?  They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make them well."  Whose faith would help the sick person?  The sick persons, or the ones praying?  It seems to me it is the one praying.  Because the sick person is, obviously, sick.  When you are so sick, it is hard to have active, trusting, believing faith.  If you don't believe that, wait til you are feeling horrible and try to think about being positive.

Look at what James tells the sick person to do.  Call.  Call someone, call out, let someone know, share, open up.  Don't try to be a super-hero.  Be OK with getting help.  It is actually even OK to not feel like you have any faith at all.  Just have enough faith to call.

My point is that sometimes we have to lean on the faith of others. And sometimes we have to allow others to lean on our faith, too.  We don't have to do it all alone.

PS. That pregnancy story has a happy ending.  Here he is:


  1. Benay,
    I loved that post and I love you.

  2. He's such a beautiful boy. Your whole family is beautiful. I miss you so much.