April 7, 2023

Annie Ward
"I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."
Psalm 34:4-5

Free From Fear

By the time I reached 31 years old, I had been married to my best friend for seven years and had three beautiful baby boys. At the beginning of this baby season, I had the luxury of bravery via ignorance. I knew little about the risks of labor and delivery. But by 31, I had seen the risks. During those years, I walked alongside women who experienced loss, stillbirth, and infertility.

When precious little ones go to be with Jesus, those who bore them and loved them now have to spend this side of eternity without them. At the same time, others are faced with the lonely road of infertility. While these stories of women I loved unfolded simultaneously, I spent every day waking up in our full house. I found myself moving further into fear and made a powerful inner vow. I had three children, that was enough. I would not have any more. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was afraid of loss or hurting people I loved. My heart hurt so much for my friends and sisters that I was altering the desires for my own life out of displaced guilt.

I did not have the power to heal someone else’s pain by refusing something God was leading me toward in my life. There was never anything I was going to be able to say or do; only God could heal.

When my own heart accepted this, I let go of the fear and shame, and I listened to Him. My rebirth story was actually a birth story. My renewed faith and strength, through the power of the Holy Spirit, allowed my heart to be ready to mother again. My daughter Susannah is now a year old, and our family feels complete. We will never know why God gives and takes away as He does, but He is our Comforter and our Covering.