We've all seen those TV shows/movies where two long-lost nemeses finally face each other and one of them says "so, we meet again", then all sorts of havoc ensues. This is how I've been conditioned to feel about appointments. It was probably inevitable based on the horrific nature of my last 23 or so. (give or take on the quantity). Typically, on an appointment day, and usually the day prior, I begin to have this feeling. Like something dreary is about to happen. It starts with a nervous twinge in my stomach and works itself up to my cognition: "Tomorrow is an appointment, do you think he will be ok?" Then, I start questioning all movement I've been feeling. "Maybe I don't really know what it feels like when he moves". "What if,all this time I've just been convincing myself he's moving but I really just ate something strange?". And so on and so forth until I can't sleep and I cry and beg and can't think of anything else.
For the last appointment, I had peace. I didn't have the "night before stress" and I was calm and just kept telling myself, "God is in control and Samuel will be alive". We haven't had an appointment in almost a month. So, despite my best efforts to be a perfect example of how to live in faith and not let anything concern me, I woke up this morning at 6:30 with that all too familuar pang..."today's an appointment" (insert snarl and "stare-down-my-nemesis" face"). Quickly, I decided to turn back to God for help. "God, today is an appointment and I need you!" Once again, I was reminded that He is in control. I have so very little control over this situation (almost none) and when I try to gain more, I just end up with doubt, confusion and hurt. So, I handed it back to Him. "God, you take this mess!" "Please, make it in to something beautiful and keep my anxiety from hindering your plan". As I lay in bed, still under my covers, I noticed a red blinking light coming from my phone. It was a text from one of my favorite friends. The text said "I hope this doesn't wake you!" (it was from 4:30am - her baby girl is due any day now, so she doesn't sleep much). "I was just reading my Bible and came across a cool, simple verse I wanted to share with you". The verse is 1 Samuel 2:26. "The boy Samuel was very much alive, growing up, and blessed by God." She finished saying, "Just a sweet reminder that God is taking care of your Samuel."
Wow, how awesome is it when God speaks to you right when you need it the most? Simultaneously, how awesome when God uses people who love Him to help you as well? I love it! God is with our Samuel and He is in control.
In Luke 8:50, Jesus said, "Don't be afraid; just believe." He was referring to a father's concern for his sick and dying daughter. I'm going to face today unafraid. I don't need to worry about the appointment because God is in control. He already knows exactly what will happen in Samuel's story and that's all that matters. Today, I get to see my son again! That's what I'm going to focus on.
Bryan just came back in to say goodbye as he is leaving for work. He's feeling a bit anxious too. We talked a bit about how it's ok to have those feelings. We are human and we fear the unknown. (We realized, even Jesus himself was nervous as he prayed before his betrayal). It's not the nervousness that's wrong; it's when you allow those feelings to take over that you have a problem. God is the God of hope! 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you". He also says in Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." So that's what I'm doing.
God, you know why I feel this way as I prepare for an appointment. You understand my anxiety. But you also have told me not to worry and not to hold anxiety in my heart, so I've giving it to you. You love Samuel even more than I do and so I know you want only the best for him and us. Please, Lord, give me peace as we walk through this! Thank you for never leaving us.
More to come later today... our appointment (look, I can say it without sneering!) is at 1pm.