“Be careful how you think; no one is in your head more than you are.” I heard this in college and it is TRUTH! We are thinking all day every day,
"Is this shirt too tight?
"Oh, she’s here. Play it cool, she can’t know your feelings are hurt."
"What do I want for lunch later?"
"Did I reply to that email?"
"Is this shirt too big?"
We take in info, process it, judge it, enjoy it, dismiss it, etc. Our inner monologue might be funny or harmful or helpful, but it is never silent.
There has never been anything in my life so out of my control as parenting. Some parents realize this when their kids are different ages. Some of us realize it during our pregnancies. When I was about 8 weeks pregnant with Eva, I started showing every sign of miscarriage. I wept. “Please God not again. This happened last year. We literally sold or gave away almost everything we have and are moving to NYC next week. Please no.”
I am not sure I left my bed much for 2 days, nauseated, sleeping, crying and reading Psalms. My doctor told me to come in. I did and everything was fine. I felt the weight and reality of not being able to do more to make sure everything would be ok. I couldn’t study and read more in my pregnancy books. I could continue to eat correctly and avoid even the sight of deli meat and caffeine, but mostly I had to pray, depend on, and trust Jesus. Seeing is easy. Trusting takes practice and effort.
Fast forward 7 months, we were in New York City doing Bible studies at Columbia and NYU. I was HUGE, which was surprising because I walked several miles every day. One of my favorite Japanese students was performing at Carnegie Hall and gave me 2 tickets. I took a friend and hopped on the Subway (Kyle, my hubby was in a Bible study). We began to cross the street and a large truck ran a red light and hit my friend and I knocking us down in the street.
Immediately a man grabbed my arms and helped me up. In pure NYC fashion he began yelling at the guy, “you could've killed someone. Get out of the car!” It spooked the man and he sped off. As you could imagine, I was stunned. My legs were banged up and bloody and my friend and I could just stand there in shock for a few minutes.
“Should I call an ambulance??”
“No, my hospital I’m delivering in is about 5 blocks away. Let’s just start walking and I’ll call Kyle on the walk.”
I walked up to the front desk, sobbing at this point. “A car hit me. I take Lamaze here. I’m scared.”
They put me in a wheelchair and whisked me upstairs. Kyle arrived shortly after and we watched the fetal monitor for 8 hours while no one could tell me if our daughter would be ok. “Please calm down ma’am. When your heart rate lowers we can give more answers.” I was 35 weeks pregnant and hysterical.
Every Scripture I had ever memorized flooded my mind. Fear was also flooding my heart. Both were equally strong. Often I would just lean my head back and ask Kyle just to pray for me. It was a terrifying and holy moment as I knew God was hearing every real thought and my inner monologue. They sent us home saying, “If you have abdominal cramping immediately come back. We can’t tell you anything definite about the baby.”
There are no words to describe that cab ride home.
My legs healed. After a week I could walk without severe pain. Less than three weeks later I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl ever.
My heart also healed. The fear and sorrow went away. I made the habit of praying for my kids daily when we started trying to get pregnant. Now with the reality of this being SO out of my control I began praying several times a day. I also just talked to the Lord. I know prayer is talking to the Lord, but hear me out!
As I was walking down the street I wouldn’t just inner monolog.
“I can’t believe that happened. Oh, a crosswalk. I can’t. What if someone runs a red light again? I am putting Uber on my phone. I need a bagel.”
Those thoughts TURNED INTO
“Lord, I know you were there with me. I can’t believe that happened. Oh, a crosswalk. I can’t. You’re here with me. I live here. You have to help me figure this out. I have to walk. Calm me. I breathe in peace and breathe out fear. Can you start putting on Kyle’s heart to find money in the budget for Uber? I am like 37 weeks pregnant.”
Jesus already knows my thoughts. I choose to invite him into the conversation in my head. So many times I view prayer has to happen in a quiet place free of distractions with my eyes closed. Simply changing, “I can’t believe that happened” to “Lord, I can’t believe that happened” changes a flippant thought to a moment I invite my God to walk with me. Prayer is crying out to God in the big things and also just acknowledging His presence continually in our hearts and minds- eyes open or closed, in a devotional time or in traffic. I want abiding in Christ to be as habitual, natural, and supernatural at the same time. I pray that this post inspires me to persevere in this and all of us to do the same. - Amy