How To Have Vibrant Faith In God During Scary Situations
I sat on the exam table, staring at the medical student who had the doppler machine on my stomach. He was trying to find my baby’s heartbeat at 16 weeks, and he wasn’t having any luck. He looked nervous and embarrassed. My husband just looked nervous.
I took a deep breath and figured to myself, “This med student is just clueless. Surely the doctor will find the heartbeat with ease, the med student will look sheepish and we’ll all smile and tell P she’s hearing “her baby’s” heartbeat.”
I had a tiny fear pop up in my heart, but I was trying to trust God. “This is normal at 16 weeks, right?” I thought.
But when the doctor came in, she couldn’t find the heartbeat either.
She kept moving her wand around in the goo, trying to get that rhythmic sound to start playing. Instead, all we heard was that scratchy sound of a fuzzy speaker when the music stops but the sound is still on.
My heart started racing. I felt hot. I started to sweat. All the memories of last year came flooding back. Hearing the bad news, going through the process of losing the baby, all that physical and emotional pain.
“This can’t be happening again… right?” I could feel tears coming but I tried to hold them back. “Just breathe, it’s going to be fine…”
More scratchy speaker, more wand sliding over my stomach. Time ticked by, with no heartbeat showing up on the doppler.
“I’m sorry,” I choke out, “but I’m getting really worried,” and I burst into tears.
How To Have Vibrant Faith In The Storm
I’ll finish the story in a minute, but I thought I’d pause for a sec. Many of you know that I’m a Christian, and after this experience I asked myself, “Where was my faith during this moment? When I was getting hot, tearing up, my heart was racing, was I doubting God? Was I lacking faith?”
How do we have faith during scary moments like this? I mean, I was trying to trust God, but my physical reaction was evidence that my whole being was experiencing major anxiety.
What does it actually mean to have vibrant faith?
First of all, faith is not the absence of a human reaction to our circumstances. We’re emotional beings and emotions come upon us out of the blue, out of our control. Experiencing those emotions is part of life.
Instead, faith is having a deep confidence in who God is and His character. That He is ultimately good, even when we experience difficult circumstances.
The Bible says this in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
That doesn’t mean that faith is believing that everything in life is going to work out perfectly. It doesn’t mean that I’ll always get what I want, which in this case is a healthy, living full-term baby. And it doesn’t mean that I won’t ever have a negative human emotion.
The confidence in what we hope for is ultimately our hope of salvation. That one day everything will be set right. For those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, all the pain, sorrow, hurt and death we experience here in this life will one day be erased and we will experience life to the fullest. That is our hope.
So amidst pain and loss, amidst the fears that rise up in the doctor’s office, amidst our day-to-day struggles, we can have peace deep down in our hearts that all will be well one day. That doesn’t take away the tears and the pain. We still have to walk through that here. But we also know that we have a Savior who walks with us through our trials and helps us along the way.
The Story Continues…
Now I can’t say that I was cognitively thinking all that when I was sitting on the table that day. But as I remember clearly when we lost our baby last year, and what I felt a glimpse of at this doctor appointment, was that vibrant faith and peace of knowing that God would walk us through whatever came our way, and that He is good no matter what.
So I was bawling on the table. The doctor said, “Oh I can hear the baby moving around, but it’s just moving too much for me to get a heartbeat.”
I was skeptical. Her words give me some solace, but I was still uneasy. Was she just saying that or was she worried? I could tell that hubby was very concerned. The doctor thankfully decided to put our minds at ease by doing an ultrasound.
Sitting in that empty room waiting for her to return to do the ultrasound was torture.
Not knowing whether we would see the baby’s heartbeat and continue in our pregnancy joy, or start walking down that long painful road of miscarriage was like standing on the edge of a cliff.
The doctor came back and the machine went on.
The wand came out.
Images on the screen, blobs that I couldn’t decipher.
And there it was. The little beating heart of a healthy baby, trucking right along like it should be.
I breathed the biggest sigh of relief I have uttered in a long time, thanking the Lord from the bottom of my heart!
Looking back, my faith during those scary moments was still there. I felt the deep peace of the hope He gives us, even while not wanting to walk down that dark road of miscarriage again. And in the end, we experienced another human reaction to our circumstances: extreme joy and happiness that our little one was safe and sound! Thank you Jesus for that precious gift!