It was 3:30am and I was awakened by sharp cramps in my lower abdomen and back. Being on 23 weeks pregnant with our twins, this was a great concern. Hoping they would subside, I just sat in my bed asking God to keep the babies in my womb, to not allow them to be born this early. The cramps continued. For 2 hours. Finally my husband decided that we needed to go to the emergency room. We checked in at 6am and I was monitored for contractions. The baby’s heart beats sounded good, they did not seem to be in distress.
Then the nurse came in and said the OB had asked her to check my cervix for dilation. This is nothing unusual; it’s par for the course during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. My husband was in the room with me and as she did the exam I became consumed with insecurity and anxiety. Not because of the cervical exam, but because my husband was watching. This may confuse some of you, as it seems odd that I would be insecure and anxious about my husband being in the room during the exam. He’s seen me naked; he knows every part of my body. Why, then, would I be so upset over a cervical exam? I guess you could blame it on the fluorescent lights and surgical gloves, but for some reason I was overwhelmed with questions.
Does he think my body is gross? There’s nothing sensual or sexual about what’s happening here, is this causing him to see my most intimate parts as something “clinical”? How can I possibly give birth (twice!) in front of him if I’m freaking out about a simple cervical exam? He’s seen thousands of naked women through viewing pornography, women whose private parts were not that of a pregnant woman (and most likely not that of women who’ve given natural birth twice already). Their bodies were not on display under fluorescent lighting that offers no assistance in hiding blemishes. Nope. They were naked and supposedly unashamed because the lighting was right, their make-up concealing, and the scene set the mood for his viewing pleasure. My scene was filled with beeping monitors, unflattering hospital gowns, a lots of goopy ultrasound gel! How could he possibly see me this way and not be repulsed or call up images of other women?
When the nurse left the room (thankfully I was not dilated) my tears flowed uncontrollably. I didn’t even know how to explain what I was feeling to my husband, though tried I did. He attempted to reassure me by saying “you’re my wife!” but his words just sounded void of comfort to me. I’ve been his wife for almost 10 years, eight of which he spent viewing pornography and lying about it. So his words didn’t mean much to me at that point. He didn’t understand what I was feeling and it was difficult for him to show me compassion. He felt frustrated. I felt alone and like I was “stupid” for even feeling that way. The enemy swooped in, increasing my fears and added shame to top it all off. It was a very low point for me. Already anxious about the babies and whether I was going into preterm labor, and then to deal with my insecurities about my body and my husband’s past all at the same time was almost too much to bear. I wish I could say I quickly turned to the Lord and was rescued swiftly, but that wasn’t the case. It was a struggle that lasted throughout the day, after leaving the hospital and returning home to rest. We learned that I was not in preterm labor but that it was something that I needed to prepare for. I was basically put on bed rest and only allowed to do certain things throughout the day. The restrictiveness of bed rest has been difficult for me but it will give me A LOT of time to spend with God. I am finding that my faith needs strengthening and that my joy must be full in Christ. I do not immediately turn my eyes upon Jesus in all circumstances. Instead, I often allow my circumstances to determine my state of joy. I worry. I get anxious and insecure. I get angry. I doubt God’s faithfulness to uphold my marriage and I doubt His purposes and plans for my life. I desperately want to change this. And sometimes I don’t know how. But in the end I think it’s a matter of walking out my repentance daily and taking all my thoughts captive. I must ask myself, “Are my actions honoring God? Is my response to this trial a reflection of a repentant heart? Are my thoughts increasing my faith in the Lord or are they drawing me away?” Ultimately, it’s a choice. Will I let those thoughts of insecurity, anxiety, and worries consume me, or will I choose to be consumed by the Lord?
Things worked out last night once Gavin and I were able to communicate in humility and love. I’d love to say that those feelings will not arise again, but I know they inevitably will. But the next time I must handle it differently. God is teaching me to completely rely on Him and to see myself (and Gavin) through His eyes. It’s not easy, but it’s my goal.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: insecurit anxiety worry ""trust in the lord"" joy trials
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