I was late. Late didn’t always mean pregnant for me before Elyse, my cycles were always all over the place, I figured the same was happening after Elyse. But after a week I figured I might as well test, purely to rule pregnancy out, of course. I wasn’t ready for another baby. I couldn’t handle another baby. Not like this. Not right now.
I snuck away to the bathroom, quietly pulled out a test, did the deed, set it down, and waited. I didn’t have to wait long. It was positive. A very quick positive. The color flushed from my face, my heart stopped, and I began to shake. I couldn’t be pregnant, there was no way. How is this possible? I mean I know how it’s possible, but why? Why would God allow this in my life right now?
You see, I was battling anxiety. The Fall season following my daughter’s birth I suffered my first panic attack and I had no idea what was happening to my body. I contemplated driving myself to the nearest hospital and rushing in to tell them I was dying. I felt like I was dying. I was scared. I was confused. I was lost. I was upset. Anxiety came into my world after my daughter and it completely changed who I was. I was not the same person, and I never will be the same person again.
I went through months of counseling, months of digging out past trauma and hurt, months of healing, months of confronting, months of darkness, months of change, and months of growth. My anxiety wasn’t gone, I still struggled. I had come a long way, I knew that, but I wasn’t better yet. I couldn’t be pregnant.
But I was.
I sat there at the table with tears in my eyes, scared. Scared because anxiety and pregnancy in the same sentence, to me, was as scary as it gets. I had made it up in my mind that I couldn’t be pregnant while struggling with anxiety. I declared that God wouldn’t let me get pregnant when my life was so messy. I decided that He could not use me to bring life into this world in the middle of one of my darkest seasons. But that’s just it, I decided. God didn’t tell me He couldn’t use me in the middle of my messy season, I just thought He couldn’t.
But I was wrong.
God chose right there, in the middle of one of the messiest seasons of my life, to use me. He blessed us with a child. He made the decision that anxiety couldn’t keep me from being used. Anxiety couldn’t hold me back from God’s plan. God could use me in the midst of my darkest season, and that is just what He did.
Just a few days after I found out I was pregnant I sat in church and listened to our Pastor speak of Joseph and the name he chose for one of his children, Ephraim. Ephraim meaning, God has blessed me in affliction. A promise, in the middle of Joseph’s storm. Right then I felt God speak to my heart, this baby was a promise in the middle of my storm. This baby was proof that I wasn’t broken beyond God’s use. This baby was a blessing amidst one of my life’s darkest seasons.
God knew that my heart needed to be assured that I wasn’t broken beyond His use, I wasn’t broken beyond His reach, I wasn’t broken beyond the plan He had for my life. Even in the middle of anxiety, He could use me. Even in the middle of anxiety, He could bless me. Even when I didn’t think it was possible, He showed me that He is the God of impossible.
All of us go through storms in life that can leave us feeling inadequate and unworthy of God’s hand in our life, but God works in mysterious ways. It is in our brokenness, in our weakest moments, when we feel most vulnerable that He can truly use us and speak into our lives. It is in the moments we feel unfit that God can use us the most. It’s in the moments that cause us to depend solely on Him that draw us closer to our Heavenly Father than ever before. It’s in those moments that God shows us the beauty of being broken.
Sweet baby Jude, God knew my heart needed you.