“How did you know you were pregnant?”
Truthfully, I had no immediate symptoms. Regular yoga and healthy eating increased self-awareness so my intuition kicked in soon after conception. The first day I missed my cycle, I officially knew. Four days later, an at-home test confirmed my suspicions. All I could do was sit on the ground and cry.
I often dreamed about the day I would have a family but the stars in my life were not properly aligned at the moment. Let’s refresh, I just lost a bunch of money and my degree was being put on hold for a while. I already ended the relationship with baby’s father. Not ideal.
Under any circumstance, because of my relationship with my body, I believed that I would have a wonderful pregnancy free of pain and yucky symptoms. Yea, I know, wishful thinking. Sometimes my beliefs do not always coincide with science because study results are generalized (they are never 100% black or white). You may find this laughable but I consider my personal “morning sickness” to be a product of spiritual sickness, not biology.
Let’s frame it, I had to figure out a way to tell my family I was pregnant when they didn’t even know I was seeing anyone. My career formally became a dud. Moving back home with my family made me feel like a failure. AND, I would be starting a broken family. My mind was spiraling.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I’ve memorized this verse, now, but how I wish I knew it just five months ago. Because things did not get better after I told my baby’s father that I was pregnant. He thought this meant we were back together. He was not ready to put his starving artist dreams aside but he was ready to be taken care of. The reality sickened me, I was already going to struggle raising a vulnerable baby–there was no way I would do that for a grown man. I had not yet forgiven myself for even catering to a fruitless relationship. What had I gotten myself into?!
Things eventually escalated into daily harassment, I will spare the details… I just wanted to be left alone so I could provide my baby a healthy womb but apparently, that was too much to ask for. Poorly managing this experience welcomed symptoms right in.
On the bright side moving back home gave me the opportunity to return to church. And raising a spiritually healthy baby reignited my desire to go to church. There was no question about it in my mind or heart. Seriously, I just went. No hesitation.
In retrospect, all of sin’s consequences were killing me. I was fearful, I was aggravated, I was sick, I was searching because there was no peace in my life.
Except for the quiet moments during praise when I could shamelessly weep and repent for all that I’ve done.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
But anger, fear, and disappointment still plagued me Monday through Saturday. Although I would physically ignore it, daily reminders about the chaos of my situation did not stop. As believers, we know that spiritual warfare takes place behind the scenes of the physical world. See, when you cross over dominions the devil loses you and will fight to get you back. If he cannot get you to serve him then he will disturb your peace by any means necessary (including your ‘baby daddy’). And because I was coming back to the Lord, the enemy was sending direct attacks.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Jesus distinguishes the difference between the enemy’s goal and His goal for us. Destruction versus restoration. Dark forces were now combating against my weekly meetings with God and daily prayers from my prayer warriors. So they came for me at all three parts of my being.
My spirit (our divine connection dock) was weakened by the sins that I had committed and the power I historically gave to the devil. Strife inevitably seeped outward into my soul (mind, will, emotions). Persistent “what-if” anxieties and anguish became a lack of willpower. I spent weeks laying down, crying and worrying. That’s totally unlike me. The uneasiness caused me to lose myself in a pity-party.
Dwelling in despair does no good but it is hard to combat when your world is crumbling. Guilt began to consume me. Wasn’t I a bad mother for allowing all these negative thoughts to scare away my excitement? For being single? For having a child with someone I did not love? For not having a job and a sorry academic standing? For all the drama?
Releasing these emotions seemed impossible, I could not even go one day without crying. In my opinion, this manifested in physical sickness. Constipation, when not pregnant, can be associated with emotional hoarding or bondage. Nausea can be triggered by the nervous system’s response to fear. Headaches result out of fear and self-criticism. Exhaustion occupied my every cell. My weakness cultivated poor eating habits, which would result in vomiting. There was no joy in living. I don’t even remember one moment where I genuinely laughed in THREE MONTHS.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful,
but heartache crushes the spirit.”
“A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Thankfully, God’s graciousness gave way and broke the chains that bound me. I can remember the day at church when my eyes wept and my hands automatically lifted in praise at Living Hope lyrics. And I felt the Holy Spirit swipe my heart free of anxiety, guilt, shame. The Spirit was making a home inside of me and He brought gifts of love, peace, and faith. To be honest, it was this moment when I finally let go of my shame about being pregnant. God told me that all was well and I was released from the bondage of sin. And just like that, I got off my crying bed, made healthy meals and never experienced a symptom again. No, seriously, it was a modern day miracle.
Those months spent in darkness were opening my eyes to the consequences of sin while God was building me a new life.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
New inspirations, new goals, new feelings. I was transformed by the desire to be set free from all that kept me away from righteousness. God could give me what nobody could: LIFE. I am now creating life inside of me and I am so blessed that she is what inspired me to step back into church.
My daughter is so special to me because God blessed me with the ability to be a mother. He blessed me with a little girl who motivated me to go back to school, I will officially be graduating in December. Thank the Lord! Through her, God also removed my fears of commitment, and I was baptized on September 22nd. I have confessed my devotion to Jesus Christ and I doubt I would be at this milestone if it was not for the conviction to be a godly mother.
The devil still makes his attacks but I have the ultimate victor on my side, for the Holy Spirit resides in me now. And those old areas of confusion are now areas for God to work miracles.
When he tries to attack me, in any way, shape or form, I have defense:
“Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
“Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
God healed my spirit, my soul and my body all at once. And all is well with my healthy baby girl. ♥