I remember, clearly, the day my husband and I found out we were pregnant. After receiving the good news, we knelt in the middle of our little white cottage and began this new season for our family in prayer. Through tears, we first offered a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to the One who made it possible. We were married four years by this time and with both of us already in our thirties, we were just slightly concerned about our ability to keep up with a little one. But God's* timing is perfect and we looked forward to being parents.
The months ahead were filled with excited preparation. We quickly discovered that babies, though very small, come with a lot of accessories. Realizing our sweet but tiny home was just too small, we began searching for a larger one. The pregnancy itself was near flawless. No morning sickness or any other medical concerns of any kind. As with most pregnancies, I had cravings. For this one, it was clementines by the crateful. One of my fondest memories was when we participated in a Lamaze class. I have to admit, all that we learned went completely out the window on the day it was needed but I'll never forget how much my husband and I laughed as we tried to practice those ridiculous breathing techniques (hee, hee, hee, haw, haw, haw).
Somewhere around the sixth month or so, while reading my trusty copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting", I began to feel very anxious about a host of things and all sorts of horrific scenarios filled my mind. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our request be made known to God." It was a verse I knew well and prayed often---for others. I felt sheepish bothering God about it all, but one day, in a very quiet moment, a wordless exchange took place between the Creator of the Universe and this frightful mom-to-be and by the end of it, I had His divine assurance that everything was going to be just fine. To trust in an unseen deity, especially in the midst of a trial we didn't ask for, may seem, to some, a complete abandonment of reason or a crutch for the weak minded. On the other hand, there are those who would encourage a blind trust, a trust without inquiry or honest expressions of doubt. Neither view is accurate. Faith in God is neither blind nor unreasonable. "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) God is never surprised by our "concerns", big or small, and is always available to answer those who seek him in earnest. And this faith is a reasonable conclusion to come to in an increasingly insane world. "Just fine" doesn't always mean "problem free" and in the days and years ahead, our faith would be tested over and over again in ways that we would never have imagined and, honestly, weren't always ready for. But, for His part, God and His word proved and continues to prove, trustworthy and true.
"Assurance grows by repeated conflict, by our repeated experimental proof of the Lord's power and goodness to save; when we have been brought very low and helped, sorely wounded and healed, cast down and raised again, have given up all hope, and been suddenly snatched from danger, and placed in safety; and when these things have been repeated to us and in us a thousand times over, we begin to learn to trust simply to the word and power of God, beyond and against appearances: and this trust, when habitual and strong, bears the name of assurance; for even assurance has degrees."