Talking to Myself

Lots of people ask if I get special pregnancy treatment from my doctor for a pregnancy following a stillbirth.  The short answer is no; there’s no statistical or medical reason to believe that what happened with Sam (whatever it was) will happen again with Tres.

So this is a “normal” pregnancy, at least according to the hospital and insurance company.  But there’s no reassurance for a mama’s heart in statements like “statistically unlikely.”  Even my previous “normal” pregnancies gave me plenty of cause for anxiety; at every appointment I held my breath until the heartbeat was located.  I asked too many times during the ultrasound, “Does everything look okay?”  I counted kicks, noted every strange cramp or ache, watched for blood.

You can be sure all that is true again, on the other side of a pregnancy that defied the statistics.  And it means I’m not going to believe my doctor when he says, “This is within the range of normal, but we want to keep an eye on it,” or “This is likely to resolve itself as the baby develops,” or “I can’t lock in on the heartbeat, but I think it’s just the baby’s position.”

Numbers do not comfort my soul, so I’ve never been one to hunt down statistics and figures to understand my chances with various forces of nature.  But statistics are acutely un-comforting to me now, as I suspect they are to anyone who has been that one out of a thousand or a million.  I don’t want to take my chances on anything, even if my chances are good.

But here’s the problem: for all his or her closeness in proximity to me, I don’t have any more control over Tres than I did over Abby or over Sam.  Worrying, studying statistics, extra monitoring at the hospital–those won’t make a difference in how this pregnancy turns out because I am not the one who gives this baby life.

I’ve been thinking on this quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself.”

My worries, doubts, and fears are the default soundtrack in my brain.  It’s easy, even comforting, to listen to them and to be consumed by them.  But I am trying to choose daily to turn the sound down on those voices and speak loudly into my mind that which I know is true.  Here’s a glimpse of what that sounds like, and feel free to borrow these thoughts (as I have) for days when you need them:

Jesus is my portion, my constant friend is he.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus–how I’ve proved him o’er and o’er.
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus–oh, for grace to trust him more!

You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me…for you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side.

Thy mercy seat is open still, here let my soul retreat
With humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet.

Your eyes see [Tres’s] unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for [her], when as yet there was none of them.

In every turning he will prepare you with grace upon grace.

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.” 

No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.  O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

In the harvest feast or the fallow ground,
My certain hope is in Jesus found.
My lot, my cup, my portion sure:
Whatever comes, we shall endure.
Whatever comes, we shall endure
!”

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

And one more…it’s too long to get stuck in my head like these others, but it’s rich enough that I go back and read it almost daily:

May we, by His grace, case ourselves into the arms of Sovereign Grace, knowing that God must give all, Christ must be all, and the Spirit must work all–and man must be as clay in the potter’s hands, that the Lord may do with him as seems to Him good. Rejoice, dear brothers and sisters, however low you are brought, for if the Spirit humbles you He means no evil, but He intends infinite good to your soul.

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7 responses to “Talking to Myself

  1. “Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
    Let me be singing when the evening comes.”
    This post brings a smile to my face, as I feel faith emanating from your pores, from your fingertips. I know you are human, and there are moments when the fear creates clanging dissonance where the song of quiet peace is meant to linger. Yet take heart in moments of such truths – as you indeed are! And sharing them with others further imprints them into your soul, readies them on your lips, and defends your heart against the onslaught of the Enemy.

    I pray for you and Stephen. Kristin is so good to share how you and your family are doing in general. Know that even from towns away, you are supported.

    I love your writing, fellow passionate pursuer of sense among sentences. Keep them coming! 🙂

  2. It’s weird, because when I am not pregnant, it is so easy to reassure my friends that are, but when I am pregnant I need the help with my thought patterns (even more than usual). I know this is why women schedule c sections, or find out the gender of the baby, because it lets the parents feel like they are more in control. But, unpopular to our own opinion (most of the time), we are not in control. God is in control and “may we, by His grace, case ourselves into the arms of Sovereign Grace, knowing that God must give all, Christ must be all.”

    I love your reminders. Thanks for sharing them to us fellow worriers.

  3. Carolyn Still

    You inspire me, Lindsey….

  4. So right you are! Every life is a totally unique work of art (not statistics or science). Praying for you all and Tres! See you in 2 weeks in Orlando!!!

  5. And thanks to all of you, friends…it’s so sweet not to walk alone.

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