For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:16-18
Through my healthy pregnancy with Abraham, I had white-knuckled the entire 9 months, never convinced that he would be born alive until they put him in my arms. I frequently experienced panic attacks, especially when sitting in dark ultra sound rooms, and during my twice weekly stress tests. I didn’t sleep well, constantly waking to make sure he was still moving. I spent the entire pregnancy terrified.
When we were pregnant with Sam, facing his terminal diagnosis, I knew there had to be another way of carrying a baby: a vital, trusting way, a way in which I could live every day to its fullest. I didn’t know how long we would have Sam, but I wanted every minute to count.
I knew I couldn’t do this vital living by myself, so I turned to God. Where was the lamp for this path? Could He show me the way? What I received was, really, one big DUH! Though I grew up memorizing Scripture, have a degree in Religious Studies, have gone to graduate school and studied the Bible, and taught Hebrew Scriptures, I had completely forgotten that THE BIBLE could help me. It is the Word of God, the lamp to my feet, the light to my path, the Sword of the Spirit!
So, this is what Jack and I did. I searched on Bible Gateway.com for specific words: “peace”, “trust in the Lord,” etc. I wrote down pages of references, and took my Bible and list of references with me along to doctor’s appointments. Then, when I would have totally freaked out before (i.e. waiting in the waiting room or waiting for ultra sound results) I would pull that Bible out and start looking up Bible passages.
I eventually learned that I also needed to remove myself from ultra sound rooms while we were waiting for results, just to stop shaking enough to flip through the pages. So, Jack and I would sit down in the hallway, Bibles in hand, and write out Bible verses about God’s promises to do us good, to be with us through all of life’s troubles, to shield and protect us.
We must have looked pretty funny: me with my big belly, and my husband, both noses in our Bible, scribbling furiously, as doctors walked over our legs in the back hallways of the most high risk Perinatology clinic in the area. I worried, too, that I would look like the dreaded “Jesus freak.” But, as my shaking hands calmed and my heart stilled by the TRUTH and LIGHT of God’s word pouring into my consciousness, I didn’t care anymore who or what I looked like. God was here with us, in this moment of supreme fear, and He was ministering to us, right then and there.
Despite the many obstacles we faced during our pregnancy with Sam, a deep peace ran through me. I couldn’t take any credit for it because I knew it was the Spirit of God working in me. The very places I had been the most afraid became places of solace. The stress tests I could never brave alone became a place of peace for me. I would drive up to Seattle in my car, listening either to Christian music (God’s word to music), or a sermon on DVD (a pastor or priest speaking God’s word aloud). It was my time alone with God and Sam, and I treasured it. I laid down on the hospital bed as they wrapped my belly with stress test belts and actually relaxed for twenty minutes. A passage was introduced to my consciousness, one I had memorized as a child:
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
I am not saying I wasn’t afraid. I was scared to death. To tell you the truth, as Sam’s open heart surgery date nears, I am still scared to death. But I don’t have to be captivated by that fear because I have a tool: the Word of God. And I’m going to keep using it, and share my Scripture lists with you. We can wield this Sword, this tool, God gives us so that we do not have to be captivated by our present circumstances. Instead, we can be captivated by His love and presence.
There is a lot of Scripture around my house: some as decoration, some as little post it notes with Crayola marker verses on them. You can usually decipher what I’m struggling with based on what verses are posted! But I don’t care. You see, I can’t do this life by myself. I need Jesus. Plain and simple.
I will leave you with the verse I had pinned to my wall when I was a kid:
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Scared to death with my nose in the Word,