The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us

Pregnancy Fears

10 Comments

We are filled with so much joy about the new little one God is growing inside me, but with my pregnancies come many fears.  A few years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and while this poses no problems for the baby, it frequently causes many problems for the mother.  There is always a risk.  Some mothers have no problems, but many do.  I have fallen into the latter catagory during the last two pregnancies.  I ended up having several problems after delivering Ariana which led to surgery and home treatments every 8 weeks.  For a few months, I felt healthier than I had in ages, and I thought God was going to heal me (there is no cure so far), but lately the disease is reminding me once again of its existence.  The scary part now is that my body has begun rejecting my medication.

Last night I barely slept from anxiety.  I feared what would happen to my body during this pregnancy, I feared raising my other two children amidst the weariness and pain Crohn’s causes, and I questioned why God didn’t just take it away from me.  Then, this morning God reminded me of his faithfulness once again as I reflected on His word.  

Bill and I have been memorizing a passage of scripture each week now for several months, and last week’s was 2 Corinthians 12:9b.  This was Jesus’s response to Paul after pleading three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed.  It says, 

” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Through this I saw clearly for the first time why I still have the disease even though I have asked repeatedly for healing.  It is to reflect God’s glory perfectly.  My weakness is transparent to show the strength of Christ.  Every burst of energy I have, every semi-pain free day I have, all I’m able to accomplish is only through Christ’s power.  As I reflected on this, I did something I have never done before.  I praised God for the disease he has inflicted on my body.  “Though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision, it’s through this that His glory shines so bright” (adapted from the “Valley of Vision“).  What an amazing reminder I have every day of God’s greatness!  Instead of wallowing in self pity and feeling uncomfortable each time I’m asked how I’m doing, I can use this sickness to point others to the cross (including my children).  Praise God!  Forgive me for my self-centered, self-glorifying heart in this area.

I do covet your prayers, especially during the pregnancy, but my eyes are finally being opened to understand the greatness of the disease.  I will live with this for a few short years, yes, but then I will get a new, perfect body when I finally get to see my God’s face and fall at His feet in worship throughout eternity, understanding more fully why He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory!

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10 thoughts on “Pregnancy Fears

  1. As much as I know how hard it can be to see the good and bad in an illness, it is amazing to see how God works throughout it all! Please know that you and your family will always be in our thoughts and prayers and that we love you!

  2. Courtney, What an amazing post today! Thank you for your honesty, I love to read what you write about.

    I have fallen into this area many times over the past few years, many times over preg. I want to dwell on my 22 weeks of morning sickness, instead of rejocing that God has given me a child to carry, something many women can’t do.

    I will be praying for you and your children. I pray that God will heal you and give them patience while you are sick.

  3. Sorry if this opinion is not welcome, but I have read a few of your entries and found them inspiring. I think some of your ideas are great and well-expressed. So that’s why I’m writing that you should consider an abortion if this pregnancy can risk your life. 100 years ago, many women would die during pregnancy because they didn’t have that option. I know it’s not considered right from the point of view of the church, but in my opinion the value of a human life is in its development- and you shouldn’t risk your whole future development and the rest of your family for a baby that is not even fully formed.

    That’s just my opinion, take it as you like. You may not even be at risk, so you should hear your doctor out more than me.

  4. Dear freetothepublic,

    I want to begin by saying that your opinion is very welcome. I appreciate very much your kind words and especially your concern for my health. It’s important to say first that my life is no more at risk than any other woman who is carrying a child. Pregnancy always carries risks with it, even for the healthiest person. At this point, the greatest risk to me because of my Crohn’s is that I would lose my colon, which I see as a small thing compared to the blessing of a child.

    However, I do need to address that even if my life were at risk, aborting this baby would never be an option. Please stick with me while I explain. No matter how much we try to have a child or how much money we pay to fertility doctors, it is God who gives and God who takes away. “Children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). If he wants us to have children, even if we don’t want them, we will have them. For instance, not long after Bill and I were married, I was regularly taking birth control pills and I still became pregnant. In that instance, God gave, then He took that child back through a miscarriage. Conversely, my mother’s tubes were tied, yet she became pregnant with me. Despite what we may like to think, God is ultimately the one in control. And God gave me this baby. Alhough it is correct to say this baby is not fully formed in one sense, he/she is still much alive and has infinite worth in God’s eyes. David says, “You formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb,” and “From my mother’s womb you have been my God.” Jeremiah’s words from God say, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” My baby is already being formed by God as one created in His image. This being the case, I must also obey God’s command that I am to not kill another human life. It is not my place to decide if this baby lives or dies.

    As for my own life and the future development of my children, God can take me at any time. So my children are never guaranteed safe under my watch. I also believe my children already born have infinite worth with God and that He will take care of them, working their lives together for the good of those who love Him. Though it’s wise to take steps toward their safety (my husband and I are currently working on wills in case something happens to us), I cannot ultimately control everything in the lives of my children. If I was able to control it, I would probably make a huge mess of everything. More importantly, there are things far worse than death. An eternity of torment in hell is far worse than dying in this life. For anyone who dies in the body, their soul still has an eternity to exist in either heaven or hell. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Physical death isn’t the end. And the only hope for me, my family, or anyone else is faith in Christ Jesus. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-24). Life or death in this life means nothing without the blood of Christ taking away my sins and making me a child of God by faith. I certainly don’t have a death wish, but I know that’s there more than just this short life. So, I can’t worry about my own life, but I must honor God with what He gives me, especially this child.

  5. Praying that God would sustain you & your little one during these next few months, that He would be & supply all that you need. 🙂 Thanks for your openness & Godward thoughts!

    Still waiting for your visit to O’boro! 🙂

    –Love, Katie

  6. Praying for you Courtney. 🙂
    Awesome response.

  7. wow Courtney! I am humbled by your outlook and your faith. I have had struggles already in my mind concerning some issues I need to work through in me and the instance that God blesses me with another pregnancy. How the two would pan out together, I guess you could say. You post was very helpful to me concerning those things. Thanks for your honesty and God bless you and this new baby!

  8. You are simply amazing Courtney! I have been wallowing a bit on a self-imposed pity party the last couple of days. I haven’t read, I haven’t prayed like I should have and I haven’t really looked upon the cross as I should. Your blog (and Christlike response to the one comment), made me want to cry. I have so much learning and growing to do. I’m tired of losing the joy that I used to have – it affects me and those around me. Not a good thing at all. Thank you for that scripture. Thank you for your words. I thank God for you. New outlook and bended knee in prayer coming right up!

    Praying for you and your family as well! Love you much.

  9. I love you; as always you are an inspiration to me….I love you very much

  10. How strange for me to come across your website.As you noticed my maiden name is Bell.Whenever am hit with an illness I always say Thank You God for this gives me compassion for others who suffer severe illness.
    May God be with you always and your thoughts help you greatly.
    God Bless,
    Carol Bell Chambers
    of
    America

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