Thursday, September 15, 2011

fear and the great unknown

being pregnant is one of the most terrifying experiences of my whole life.
i said it.
ever since two pink lines told me that there was a tiny person growing inside me, i was filled with fear. feat that something would happen, that we would lose this little one, that days filled with happiness would be clouded with grief. and as she has grown, i've had to let go of those fears. for the first few months, i didn't even want to buy things for the baby, because i was scared we would have to look at a closet of clothes that would remind us if something happened. sweet Emmy-Grace is 26 weeks old, and i have really tried to rest in the Lord. ultimately, i cannot control the circumstances of her birth/arrival/growth and i have to enjoy every moment i get to be her mama. i battled fear last week when i was having almost 4 hours of regular, painful contractions and i thought we might be having our sweet girl much too early.

to be quite honest, i have battled fear and anxiety a lot these past few months as the financial trials seemed to keep coming. dealing with health insurance, rising hospital bills from my last surgery, and upcoming new bills related to Emmy, it felt like we were sinking. it all cumulated with the most recent loss of our one car, my 1997 Ford Taurus. it couldn't have come at a worse time, it seemed, when we were just beginning to establish an actual savings account and making more than our bills were costing. but as always, the Lord has been extremely gracious to us. we have had a very healthy baby girl thus far, easy and low-cost appointments, and never been unable to pay a bill. i got a sizeable raise last month, and we were able to find transportation from gracious friends as we looked for a car.

fear is eager to rob our joy. my beautiful friend Sara Frankl passed away a few nights ago, someone who would have been seemingly justified in living in fear (she battled chronic illness/infection and pain and had to be restricted to her home), but for whom joy was the only option. she always chose joy. thankfulness. eucharistia. i wish that i could have gotten to see Sara run into the arms of her Saviour, because I know without a doubt that she was welcomed and rejoiced over. she lived well and died well.

Sara knew.

She knew that our God is not a God who leaves us vacant.

Will He strip things away to let us rely on Him? Yes.

Bills, housing, cars, children...all causes that can make us tremble with fear.

He will never leave us vacant.

"I've picked you. I haven't dropped you. Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you"
Isaiah 41:10

In loving memory of Sara Frankl. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


i heard just this afternoon that my friend sara (gitzengirl) is headed to be with Jesus sometime in the next hours/day. she has been housebound due to a medical condition called spondylitis, and therefore i have never met her in person. i began following her blog after my friend matthew directed me there and i found a Godly, beautiful friend. sara is the epitome of love in action and finding joy in suffering. her motto was always "choose joy!". sara painted beautiful canvasses of inspiring verses and quotes and her blog is filled with fun photos and joy in the midst of great pain from her illness. i have never seen such trust in the Lord or peace in the storm that for sara, never really let up. sara loves people without bounds or measures, and does so in spite of not having the luxury of all the things we take for granted. that's why today, although i am sad and heartbroken for the loss of a beautiful friend, i am choosing joy because that's what sara would want. sara is surrounded by hospice care, and her family is surrounding her, reading her messages from friends as she waits for Jesus to take her home. she would not want anyone to be sad, because she is confident in Who awaits her.

sara chose a "word for the year" in january, and hers was "praise".
fitting, because that is what her whole life has been about.

i love you sara, and cannot wait for you to get to see Jesus.
Your heart is already His, now it gets to see Him in person.