To all of you pregnant mommies out there:
This is the Christian-nurse-mama side of me that is coming out to write on this topic, and I am prayerful that my viewpoint is both accurate and encouraging to any of you dealing with fears or concerns regarding this subject.
Currently, I am 25 weeks pregnant, and little man is due in early December. I live in Florida. And unfortunately, my state is now a place where an individual could contract the Zika virus.
In our days of technology, information can be a-dime-a-dozen, where opinions are often mixed with facts. For that reason, I am choosing to not address the educational facts of Zika – which can be found on the CDC’s website – and instead share my heart and explain why I am choosing to not be anxious and instead to be at peace in light of this unknown. ♥
We have all seen the news reports and heard the statistics. We have seen images of the poor babies affected by the Zika virus and all of us have wondered at their future quality of life. Our hearts have ached for the mothers and fathers who had dreamt of healthy children and who are now embarking into the unknown world of birth defects. And each of us has quietly begged God, “Please, don’t let it happen to my baby.”
I cannot imagine the emotions and challenges faced daily by the countless families who love and raise children challenged with this and other birth defects. These families have my respect, my admiration, and my prayers. Truly, it requires a level of grace that comes from God. These families are heroes. When I worked as a pediatric RN, I was constantly amazed by the self-sacrifice required of these parents. They daily meet the needs that their children’s medical challenges bring. Surely, they have attained a level of love that I could only hope to reach one day. They constantly forfeit their own needs and wants for their children; and mostly, these sacrifices are unseen and unacknowledged. To the mama who knows this daily walk, I salute you; and I pray for you. You are amazing.
For the rest of us, who are in the stage of dreams and hopes – waiting to hold our babes in our arms, this post is for you…
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91)
I found out that I was pregnant in April of this year. At the time, I was planning on visiting Guatemala for a church missions trip with my husband. We were thrilled about the pregnancy, but realized that we would no longer be able to travel to Central America due to the spread of the Zika virus throughout the region. Ever since choosing to not participate in that trip, Zika has been a regular topic in my conversations with others.
I know many preggo mamas in my area and with them, I have had countless discussions about the risks, the fears, the preventative measures we are taking, etc. Unfortunately, this issue has bled over into many aspects of my life – even things like organizing family outings on the weekends or pushing little B on the swing in the evenings are evaluated for the risk of mosquito exposure. It is frustrating to say the least.
But time and time again, I realize: I AM NOT AFRAID.
I am a realist in many ways. I’m also a nurse. This combination means that I often default to thinking clinically about this and other topics. I automatically switch from emotional thinking to facts and data and statistics when a health concern is on the table. I count this as a blessing from the Lord when channeled correctly. I find that this mindset often keep me from overthinking myself into anxiety…but with regards to Zika, my peace stems from more than my clinical mindset. Did you read Psalm 91 that I included above?
…in Him I will trust…
…He shall deliver you…
…you shall not be afraid…
The promises included in this Psalm give me so much peace! He sees me. He sees this unborn life in my womb. He loves. He cares. He is in control. And I can trust Him. I may not control outcomes or the future, but He does. I can’t see the end, but He can.
I am not naive. I know that Christians sometimes face insurmountable challenges – a pregnancy affected by Zika could be one such situation. But I also know my God, and I know that whenever He allows me to walk through hardships that are beyond my coping abilities, He ALWAYS provides sufficient grace.
Grace is undeserved help that is gifted by God.
The Lord has never failed to provide the grace I needed for every situation that I was called to walk through. The grace He gave me may have just barely met the need, but it always did. He will provide, but I have to trust Him. Sometimes I beg Him for more faith that grace will come, and other times I believe without any doubt. However, I know that regardless of the hardships that lie in the future, He will give me the grace to meet those challenges.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11)
Honestly, I find such relief in being wholly dependent upon my Father. He will care for me, and He will care for my children. I can trust Him because He is good. He is the source of my peace. He is the reason I can honestly say that I am unafraid though Zika may threaten.
I find true rest, peace, assurance, and grace in the arms of my loving Father. He alone is my source. Rather than waste away in fear, I am choosing to trust and to live in peace. Yes, I will take necessary precautions and make appropriate decisions to protect myself and my family from the Zika virus, but at the end of the day, my confidence and faith rests in the Lord, not in the brand of mosquito repellent I am using. Jesus offers me peace. It is not a peace that can come from me – it has to come from above. Daily, I choose this peace and rest confidently in the hope I have found in Him.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
What about you, mama? Will you trust your heavenly Father to protect and provide for your family? I assure you that He can and will do it. Surrender your fears and anxieties to the Lord! He cares for you and your family, and He longs to carry those burdens for you…
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
I pray that you would find these thoughts encouraging. Leave a comment or message me with any ways that I can pray for you!
Grace and peace!
– Alex ✌️
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