Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Fear Whisperer

grandkids

Millisende Isabella Epperson
September 30, 2016
5 lb. 13 oz.

My beautiful second grand girl came to see us twelve short days ago. She's a tiny, perfect masterpiece! Her big sister Lisette loves her so much! We are all so excited God trusts us to care for her. She made me a granmom twice but she ultimately belongs to him. I always think I can't possibly love more deeply and then God shows me I can. This article shares a battle I experienced during the gestation of Millisende.

"Christ-followers contract malaria, bury children, and battle addictions, and, as a result, face fears. It’s not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It’s whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ." - M. Lucado

This quote pretty much sums up my life! Born with a devastating deformity of both feet, I would be lying if I told you I don't fear. I do. Quite a lot. I'm sure my fears don't outnumber yours, mine are just specific to me and yours are specific to you. I feared having a genetic repeat of my deformity when planning for my children. I harbored that same fear with the births of my two granddaughters also. The devil and the doctors caused me to fear with Millisende.

I accompanied Sydnee to her gender reveal appointment. It was a magical day in May as I sat in my car awaiting Syd's arrival at the doctor's office. As usual, I was praying asking God for health and wellness for this baby. I felt confident because my girls and my first granddaughter Lisette are perfect. I finished my prayer thanking God for his many blessings and a voice spoke to me saying "There are worse things than two toes." I said aloud "WHAT?" The speaker said it again. There are worse things than two toes. I was so scared, I couldn't discern who said it. Had God just told me this baby would have problems? I was shaken. Normally, I use God's word to quiet my fears but not today.

After the ultrasound, we needed to buy more pink!  Our happiness was interrupted when the OB doctor informed us of a condition called single umbilical cord (SUC). Millisende had one. Please click the link to read an in-depth explanation. The short version is a "normal" umbilical has one vein and two arteries for food and waste. Milisende's had one vein and one artery which may cause complications. Sydnee began to cry. My head was whirling at his words and I wondered if they noticed my heart on the floor. An appointment was made with a high risk doctor (HRDr).

We all tried to be brave. I'd never heard of such a condition, nor had anyone else I told. Thankfully and if I'd thought about it, God knew everything about SUC. I listened to the HRDr as he explained what could go wrong. He contradicted himself, trying to console us, cooing that these things usually never happen. One week the doc would say she is fine. The next week he'd indicate maybe we should be worried. All the while, I had the words "There are worse things than two toes" ringing in my ears, extremely loudly from an undetermined voice. Roller coasters make me puke and I wanted off of this one.

Now y'all are probably thinking why doesn't Tammy know this is the work of the devil? She's overcome so much. She's strong. She believes God. She writes inspiring news. I'm sharing my experience with you to hopefully help you from falling into the same snare. The devil knew my weakness and he used it against me. And, I let him. I entertained too many of his thoughts without stopping to inspect what he was saying. My mind was like a house of horrors with clowns laughing in my face and mirror images creating confusion. If I had stopped the tilt-a-whirl, I would have immediately recognized the words were not God's. But I didn't. I wallowed.

I tried to remain positive for my family. I hope they never saw my fear although God knew how I was wrangling with the devil. Never engage the devil. My inferior human hands can't fight the enemy and win. Jesus is victorious, allow him duke it out with the devil. My deliverance from my fear came early in the morning about two weeks before Milisende was born. I was crying out to God, acknowledging my fearfulness, asking him to help me. My fear whisperer tenderly reminded me "I am not the author of confusion. I do not cause my children to fear." Absolutely! For sure! You are so right Jesus! Joy and confidence flooded my being.  My heart understood his truthful words. And, he didn't have to say it but once! God won't put me on a roller coaster for fun, especially if it makes me sick! So, as Max Lucado said, "It's not the absence of storms that sets us apart. It's whom we discover in the storm: an unstirred Christ."

I can never promise an "unstirred" Tammy but I can always seek to discover Christ, my rock and salvation. The One who stills my fears during my fiercest storms...my Fear Whisperer.

God tames my fear,
Tammy
The Happy Handicap

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