Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trust and Obedience

I had a great post planned about trusting in God and the intercession of the Saints. It was awesome. I'd been very stressed about an upcoming wedding where I'd have to make a speech, and decided I needed supernatural assistance. So I said a novena to St. Dymphna and immediately experienced an increase in confidence that God would take care of things and the speech would go well. When it went better than well, I was all prepared to sit down and crow about the power of God and how praying to the Saints really works. A success story! What a great post!

Then my life took a surprising turn. I found out I was pregnant. And just as quickly, found out I was miscarrying. Yesterday morning I had a dizzy spell while driving my daughter to preschool and had to pull over and get out of the car. It triggered a massive panic attack which led the kind stranger who found me hunched over on his porch to call an ambulance to take me to the ER. It all turned out to be nothing, just some cramps and nausea associated with the miscarriage. Everything was fine.

So much for trusting in God and overcoming my anxieties. Why is it that whenever I'm confronted with a situation that's out of my control, I completely lose it? I spent a large part of yesterday beating myself up for not being able to handle that dizzy spell. I had a long list of "if onlys." If only I'd lain on the sidewalk until it passed...if only I'd called my husband instead of the ambulance...if only I'd waited five minutes to leave the house, or left 10 minutes earlier...if only I'd had my cell phone with me...

What bothered me most about it was that it was the panic attack which sent me to the ER, not the miscarriage. As sad as I am to be saying goodbye to my Little Acorn, healthwise, there's really no problem. My bleeding is light, and aside from that one big cramp while driving, I've hardly had any pain at all. If only I weren't such an Nervous Nellie...Why can't I just trust in God?

Finally last night, while meditating on the fifth Joyful mystery, God hit me over the head with the sanity stick. Jesus is lost in Jerusalem, the Son of God entrusted to Mary and Joseph is missing, and they are FRANTIC while they search for him. Doesn't Joseph say, "Son, why have you done this to us? Can't you see how worried your mother and I have been?" Jesus gently chides them. "Why were you worried? Didn't you know I must be about my Father's business?" And God asks me, "Do you think Mary's emotional response to losing her son means that she doesn't trust Me?"

Mary, who said yes to a plan that must have seemed wildly impossible, surely trusted God. She must have known that God, who sent an angel to warn them of Herod's soldiers and kept them safe on the trip to Egypt, would not let any harm come to His son until He had fulfilled His mission. She must have known, even before Jesus reminded her, that He not only had the power to take care of Himself, but also to guide and save others. Yet she was worried and upset, searching for Jesus everywhere.

It's okay for me to be anxious and experience panic attacks. They are the natural, human response to stressful situations. Their presence is not an indictment of my ability to trust God. What matters is not how I feel about a given situation, but what I do. If I allow my panic and anxiousness to keep me from doing the Lord's work, then I am not trusting God. But if I go ahead along the path He's made clear to me, even if I am nervous and frightened and stressed, as long as I keep on doing what I'm meant to do, He will take care of things.

Picture credit.


Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Wow, this is a great insight! Thank you for sharing.

And I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Jessica said...

Tienne, I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Your insights are beautiful; thank you for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tienne,

I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for you.

Aren't blogs amazing? We can care about people we have never met in person, and have people praying for us who would never have known we existed.


Zina said...

Hugs. Many hugs.

I had a miscarriage, and it was very sad for is.

When preggers with Myra I had a dizziness, pain (of the piercing white light variety). I was certain I was miscarrying. Many powerful cramps. I know that feeling of wanting the ambulance or a trip to the ER. I know panic. I understand.

Rae said...

I am sorry about your miscarriage.

This is really a beautiful post. I hope that in addition to realizing that panic is only human you will also give yourself a break when you consider that your body was dealing with the hormonal onslaught of miscarriage. That in itself is a tremendous amount for any woman to handle, and it sounds as if you are doing an incredible job of focusing on God rather than your own suffering.

I sometimes try to remind myself that even Jesus fell while carrying the cross... but it is so hard to accept my own failure. Thank you for this post.

Elizabeth K. said...

Thank you so much for your post. I am experiencing a fairly long-term, stressful medical situation right now. Even though I have great reason to hope that everything will be fine, I still fret and worry at every turn, and I was berating myself today in exactly the way you describe--and then, lo, your post is another answer to a prayer for me (there have been many such ones on this jourbey so far!) Thank you thank you for your insight.

Also, I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I have had one also, and it's very hard; and Rae is right about the hormonal onslaught. It takes some time for your body to recover.

God bless you!