I was recently talking to my sister-in-law who is expecting her first baby in just 2 weeks. She was asking me about baby products that I thought were most helpful. This wasn't the first time I've thought about this by a long shot, but in telling her about the products I liked most, I realized that I am a certified bundle of nerves. Not that I'm jumpy, but more paranoid.
Let me clarify. So that no one becomes unnecessarily concerned about my mental health or well-being, I am not referring to any type of all-consuming fear, worry or paranoia. I am just talking about a heightened sense of caution. That said, it began when I started dating my husband. I think it's based in realizing that a person is so precious to you. So when I knew that I was going to marry this guy, my view of the world changed. If I heard sirens outside and he had just left to go somewhere, I'd call him just to make sure it wasn't him.
I still feel that way and always think about him and his safety. Sometimes it gets on my nerves, other times I think it really helps me not to take him for granted. First of all, he's an exceptional husband. I know that guys like him are rare and I should and do appreciate everything about him. But there aren't any guarantees in this life. We could live to see 100, or well, not. So those thoughts and worries that something might happen to him drive me to make sure he feels loved every minute of every day. They ensure that I kiss him hello and goodbye, every time. They make me tolerant of his silliness when I'm in a bad mood (most of the time, I'm not perfect). So in that sense, it's a good thing.
Now that we have a baby, much of my worry has transferred to her. She is so helpless and her well-being is entirely up to us. I know part of it is being a first-time mom. I've told the story about her first 24 hours and how one of us stayed awake with her at all times because she was having trouble gagging on fluid that was left over from birth. When we first brought her home, I felt unnerved at the thought of both of us going to sleep at the same time because there was no one watching the baby. It sounds kind of silly now, but it was a real worry of mine at the time. Now that she is 5 months old, I realize that the worry will probably never go away. Some of my worries have changed but I still reach over and check to see that she's breathing when I turn over in the middle of the night. One of the things I was telling my sister-in-law is that I'm going to have to get a video monitor when she starts sleeping in her own room so that I'm not running down the hall every time she does, or doesn't, make a sound (which, of course, would be at all times).
I don't want to be a worrier. Part of it I know is just natural and all moms are going to worry about their kids in some way or another. I'm ok with that. But I also want to feel like I trust God more. I guess I would say I feel kind of guilty about worrying because God has said not to. He gave His word, made His promise, and I should definitely have enough faith to feel comfortable with that. It is, in fact, what I remind myself when I feel like I'm worrying too much. MckMama mentioned in one of her recent posts about how Satan whispers lies in our ears. Ever since reading that I feel pretty certain that I've had that experience. I used to think my imagination just got carried away sometimes, but now I realize that Satan is trying to put fear into my heart, and I need not be afraid.
"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33 (NIV)
I don't expect to ever be completely free of worry or fear, but I am glad that I have this and numerous other verses to remind myself that someone else is in control and looking out for us. Now I just have to put it to use :]