verb ( -ries, -ried)
1. give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles; cause to feel anxiety or concern.
ORIGIN: Old English wyrgan [strangle.] In Middle English the original sense of the verb gave rise to the meaning [seize by the throat and tear,] later figuratively [harass,] whence [cause anxiety to] (early 19th century, the date also of the noun).
Some days, I do great with my fears and anxieties about this pregnancy; I am praying often, releasing my worries to God, and at peace with His plan. Other days, I am like an animal, seized by the throat, paralyzed and helpless in the face of the black hole of my fears. This has been one of those by-the-throat days.
After going to the doctor on Monday and realizing that my body had been changing dramatically in a very unwelcome way (for only 22 weeks) without me having any clue, I’ve been paranoid that I have no idea what is going on with my body. They tell me all of these things to look for and be aware of, and call right away if I notice any of them!, but what if I miss them? What if I don’t notice?
But the worry didn’t just start on Monday. When I found out, 4 weeks along, that I was pregnant, I began to worry about miscarrying. So I told myself, as soon as I’m in the second trimester, I won’t worry, because that’s some big milestone for everything being fine. Second trimester came… and the worry didn’t leave. Before each doctor’s appointment, I tell myself, “After this appointment, I won’t worry any more, because I’ll see the babies and know they’re healthy and growing fine.” And I walk out of the office and BAM. I’m worrying. The new “worry-free” milestone in my brain has become 28 weeks- “Just need to make it to 28 weeks. Then, everything will be fine. Even if I go into labor then, it’ll be fine.”- but then it dawned on me. If “second trimester” or “next ultrasound” or “hearing the heartbeats again” didn’t make a difference, why would that milestone? I don’t think it will. Because I don’t think that my worry has anything to do with what week or what doctor, but with my heart. In my heart of hearts, I fear that God’s plan may be more painful that I could bear. I don’t want to have to be strong; I want things to be easy! C. S. Lewis says what I mean, but much more beautifully; he wrote these words in a letter to a friend whose wife had been diagnosed with cancer:
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us: we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
I have no real ending for these thoughts, nothing to wrap it all up, because these aren’t old struggles and I’m still battling worry. But it does help to remember a few things: first, that God loves me infinitely; second, that God’s plan is the very best for me; and third, that no matter what He allows, He will not allow it and then abandon me to it. I’ll close with a verse that is one of my very favorites (sorry, it’s long):
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
(Isaiah 43:1-5a, NIV)