Wavering Faith: What I went through lately and How I am Getting Through It

But that isn't always the case.
I'm sharing with you my past few months and how my faith wavered in times I should be rejoicing. 

A few months ago I was on the journey of putting myself back together. It wasn't a secret that I didn't feel like my old self,  resulting to me letting go of myself and acquiring a disease, hypertension. It was a wake up a call to renew my life and I was on the road to being whole again...

Then I got pregnant. 

This came as a total surprise to us because we were being careful. And what others would see as a blessing, fear won instead. I was still on my maintenance meds and I knew the complications of having hypertension. But that was not the only thing that stopped me from celebrating what other women prayed for for their entire lives.. When I got the news, we were at the beginning stage of ruling out Primary Complex on our eldest. I found out I was pregnant inside the bathroom stall of the Pediatric Emergency Room of the hospital. I needed to make sure I was not pregnant because of the requirements in ruling out PC is to have people with immediate contact with the patient should have an X-ray. As you all know, you can't take an X-Ray if you are expecting.

So there I was inside the bathroom, peeing on stick and terrified for the outcome. And then the stick turned up with 2 lines. There was a spark of happiness that started that got easily dampened by the fact that I couldn't do the X-Ray. What if I had tuberculosis and not find out? If was suffice to say, a stressful week of getting tests, series of antibiotics and monitoring. 

With God's grace, Claud was cleared a week later for Primary Complex. I rejoiced that but it also magnified my fears.A week I already know I was pregnant. A week that I felt like the rug was swept under my feet and I was drowning. I missed interviews for possible jobs. I missed deadlines. The morning sickness got worst. It was a downward spiral from there. I was feeling defeated. I felt all my plans of getting better went down the drain.

A few days before I learned I was pregnant, I had a conversation with my friend that I finally felt like I had control over my life. That once and for all, I wasn't feeling afraid to do something for myself. To pursue things. And just a week before that, I was telling my friend that I wanted to give Claud my all because I had a feeling that we will never have another child again having to wait 3 years for her. And just a few weeks before that, I finally got off my high cholesterol medications. I was finally seeing results in myself that in a long time I couldn't make it happen.

Then, I had to finally see a doctor. Considering my case, I knew I had to see a high risk pregnancy doctor. I was ordered to get a sonogram but as the consultation progressed, the words she was saying felt like doom's day were looming. You know how you try to smile and engage the doctor in a pleasant conversation but given that she knew you were sick she's not in a happy mood after that?
After taking my medical history, she gave me a prescription to take for my hypertension and Aspirin. Aspirin is a known medication taken by when with Chronic Hypertension. We couldn't focus on the baby because at the time we had to see first if the pregnancy is viable. I left the doctor's office confused and scared.

My first sonogram wasn't like what I had with my first. I was terrified to see what was happening inside because at the short time I didn't know I was pregnant I was still taking my usual maintenance medication. It was heart-breaking for me to see my sonogram and wonder what damaged I may have caused this child already. And what could happen to him if I got sicker.

I was completely drowning in self-loathing and self-pity. Something inside me wasn't happy or grateful. The morning sickness (which is actually an ALL day nausea) got me feeling more dejected and depressed. I was telling my husband that I wasn't strong enough to handle this situation. That I am scared and unhappy. This while still maintaining a smile  in front of other people. I was terrified to see my doctor again. Scared that she would tell me all the things that are wrong with me making me doubt my ability to have my child. I was in between crying and anger during these times. I was completely emotional.

I look at Claud and I worry. I worried so much for her. I already felt like I wasn't doing my best as a mother to her, what more having two? I know a lot of women have done it but that didn't matter. I was full of fear. How can I care for an infant with a toddler? Without a yaya? All the stories of friends struggling without help came flooding in my head. I also worried about Claud coz we had to wean her off of breastfeeding and it broke my heart to say no to her. We always had a plan to wean her naturally.

During these times, I also had to deal with so much emotional stress brought by matters that I wished stayed private. It made me realize that not everyone can understand what I was feeling and what I was going through. That not everyone will be gracious to accept that I see things differently.

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, h“Let him who is without sin among you ibe the first to throw a stone at her.” - John 8:7

But God made my child strong, while all these emotional upheaval was happening, that was also the same day we saw and heard the strong heartbeat of our child. That gave me enough strength to fight and defend myself. To show that my feelings were valid. And a lot of women stood up for me and even shared their own stories of being in the same situation. Not everyone is ready to face the gifts given to them. Some gifts can feel a lot like challenges. Even if it comes in a form of beautiful strong child. I wasn't scared to have another child. I was scared of the pregnancy. I was scared for my life and of this child.

My second OB appointment wasn't much cheery either. This time, it was daunting, it was tiring. I was given a lot of things to do more than the average pregnancy stuff. I was diagnosed Chronic Hypertensive Superimposed Pre-Eclampsia. The goal is to keep my blood pressure low and so far all we can do is for me to take about 500mg of MethylDopa and 80mg of Aspirin a day. Til my 5th month, we really can't be sure what is going to happen. Naturally, it worries me. There are stories of women who survived this but I know also of women who didn't. Of babies being premies. Of having millions in debt due to the hospital bills and complications that happen afterwards.

My faith was completely tested and I failed. I cried and worried and feared every single day. It dawned on me that I could take anything but with being sick, I was helpless. And when your faith is low, the devil steals and cheats. And oh did I let him... Now more than ever did I feel like I was God's disciple in the storm, telling him I couldn't handle the storm.

Jesus Calms a Storm 
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 
38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 
39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 
40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
 MARK 4: 37-40

It was God's saving grace that led me to Feliz Lucas, mommy of Courageous Catie, who shared with me on how she dealt with a situation that only God can control. She reminded me that God is sovereign and that He has already delivered me and my baby. That whatever happens, God has given provisions for me and my family. She taught me to live in between, to offer all my weaknesses and fears to the Lord but do every humanly thing I can to prevent getting sicker. Most of all she reminded me of my faith.

I forgot. I forget. At a moment of weakness, I questioned Him. I used to be strong. To be thankful of everything, even for the challenges. I don't know what came over me that I forget He is sovereign. That He was written my life already and I just have to live in it in His name?

I finally started looking at things differently, I finally changed my OB. Both for practical and emotional reasons. I needed someone whom I feel would take care of me and my baby no matter what the outcome is. I met with her last week and I finally left a consulation with a smile on my face. She reminded me that healthy women get pregnant. And the reason why I did is because I am healthy. She still was frank about the complications of my condition but she assured me that I have nothing to worry at this point. I could finally feel the joy in this pregnancy. Holding my tummy now with happiness instead of fear.

One of the things that Feliz reminded me is to think of my child, Claud, whenever I see myself falling apart. What would I say to her if she was in my place. When she said that I couldn't help feel the loss of my mother again. But I couldn't rest on that grief anymore. There is Claud who looks up to me now. I have to be a good role model for her. I have to be able to act on the words I will tell her.

In the middle of being shamed, a friend sent these passages to me from PSALM 42:1-11

so my soul pantsh for you, my God. 

When can I gok and meet with God? 

day and night, 
while people say to me all day long, 
“Where is your God?”m

as I pour out my soul:n
how I used to go to the house of Godo
under the protection of the Mighty Oned
with shouts of joyp and praiseq
among the festive throng.r

Why so disturbedt within me? 
Put your hope in God,u
for I will yet praisev him, 
my Saviorw and my God.x

therefore I will remembery you 
from the land of the Jordan,z
the heights of Hermona—from Mount Mizar. 

in the roar of your waterfalls; 
all your waves and breakers 
have swept over me.c

at nighte his songf is with me— 
a prayer to the God of my life.g

“Why have you forgotteni me? 
Why must I go about mourning,j
oppressedk by the enemy?”l

as my foes tauntn me, 
saying to me all day long, 
“Where is your God?”o

Why so disturbed within me? 
Put your hope in God, 
for I will yet praise him, 
my Savior and my God.p

My soul was wanting and He knew that. He sent so many good people to me to remind me that He is in my life. That in every fear, there is His strength. I forget that in my troubles, all I have to do is praise Him and have faith.

Forgive me, God, for my weaknesses. For not seeing the blessings you have poured into our family. I do not compare myself to others but I now only want to look up to You and be prepared to be take on the role of a mother to the child you have graciously given me and my husband. Thank You for thinking of me worthy to take care of your child.

13  For you formed my inward parts; 
you fknitted me together in my mother’s womb. 

Wonderful are your works; 
my soul knows it very well. 

when I was being made in secret, 
intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 

in your book were written, every one of them, 
the days that were formed for me, 
when as yet there was none of them. 
Psalm 139: 13-16

It's a process for me now and I am doing all I can to strengthen my faith since I believe this is one thing lacking of me since the beginning. I let myself drown in misery. Friends and family blamed it on the hormones because pregnant women do have heightened emotions but I know that my faith was wavering even before it happened. I was lost but now I think I am found yet again. If only for the reason that I have two children now that I have to care for in His name.

Faith has delivered me through so many things. Why did I ever doubt He wouldn't do the same again today?

So if you're like me, troubled beyond your own control.. know that it is okay to feel that way. Your thoughts are yours and God. You will get through this and you will be delivered from it. I am still scared. I'm on my fourth month next week... On my 20th week, things could go south for me but I cast all my burdens on to the Lord...

Cast your cares on the Lord

    and he will sustain you;

he will never let

    the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 55:22

There is nothing that is unplanned. God has given me this child despite all our efforts (and current health state) not to get pregnant for a reason. He gave this to me knowing I am sick and I am not emotionally ready. I know so many women have survived this and there should be no reason to worry but I still was. I am grateful though that I am able to process all of these and met so many good people in return. I was given this because of a purpose. I have never ever thought of my children as mine, I am merely a vessel, a steward to them. Why God has chosen to give me another will soon unravel itself. His plans will be revealed in time. And knowing Him, it will be beautiful.

There is this devotional I started reading and it truly was a silver lining to me. It's my Joseph Prince's Receiving God's Healing.

If you need healing, but are not sure if God is willing to give it to you, sit back and ask yourself this: If God willingly gave Jesus up for me, would He withhold healing for me? 
Now, if God withholds your healing after He has already given you Jesus, then it would that your healing is greater or more important than Jesus.

16 For God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life.
JOHN 3:16

If you ever come upon a woman like me going through something similar, please do not judge her. Ask her. Talk to her. Remind her of God's love for her. She may be weak and exhausted. If she's a mother she is surely exhausted. Or probably, she forgot her worth. She forgot that she is strong for this. That's she's fearfully and wonderfully made. And most of all, remind her that her troubles are known to God. That God has saved her many times over, why would He forsake her now.

Not all women all strong.. not all of them sees beauty in their troubles. Not all of them are ready. Be kind. If you can't be kind, be quiet and rather pray for her clarity instead.

I leave you with 1 John 4:16-18 that is getting me through my fears lately.

16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
 17 This is how love is made complete among us 
so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: 
In this world we are like Jesus. 18 
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,
 because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

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