Q: How do you make a hormone?
A: Don’t pay her!
HAHAHAHA okay, sorry. That was probably inappropriate, but I couldn’t resist. Anyway.
It’s no secret that along with pregnancy come unpredictable hormones. In my first trimester, I was pretty weepy about just about everything. (Example: I burst into tears on the way to work as this song played on the radio. Because, you know, the love between the doggies at the end was just so sweet.) Things kind of evened out during my second trimester, and I was feeling much more like myself. Now that I’m solidly into my third, however, I’m noticing some inconvenient hormonal reactions again. This time, however, I’m also noticing some sinister activity that I didn’t notice before.
I’m nervous. Scared. Terrified. I am 33½ weeks pregnant, and there’s no going back. This child is going to rip through my *ahem*, and it’s not going to be pretty. (Beautiful, miraculous, amazing — okay, but not pretty.) And it’s gonna HURT! I’m scared of the needles, the poking and prodding and checking private areas, and that’s before you even get to the pushing. I saw a video of a doctor breaking a woman’s water and OH LORD I hope my water breaks on its own. I hope everything happens the way it should, Bennett does what he should, my cervix does what it should, and the epidural — please, Jesus — does what it should.
But what if it doesn’t? What if? What if? What if? I worked myself into a frenzy the other day with these fears. Worries. Anxiety. Bawling. I’m not ready; I can’t do this; it’ll be horrible… and don’t even get me started on breastfeeding. I’m scared about that, too. What if…?
Anyway, I was having a pretty emotional day that day to begin with. The last thing I should have been doing is thinking about Bennett’s birth day and watching other babies’ birth days on the interwebs. But I did. And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it and worrying about it and feeling inadequate.
Not surprisingly — although I failed to recognize it at the time — the enemy was all over that. My thoughts were consumed by all this negativity, by all these feelings of inadequacy and what ultimately boiled down to my not trusting God. Scriptures tried to poke through, but I just dismissed them with a, “Yeah, I know, but what if???” I chose to give in to the enemy and to dwell in these thoughts instead of resting in God’s love and strength. What started as a normal hormonal imbalance brought on by pregnancy turned into an occasion for temptation, and I gave in. It turned into sin.
Yesterday, something else happened that got me all anxious and planted a very small and unreasonable seed of negativity. It was quite a battle, but I sought the Lord and refused to let the enemy take over my thoughts any more than he already had. Here is how God encouraged me:
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.
~ Psalm 94:19
For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; my praise is continually of You.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
God led me into victory against the enemy, because I chose to listen to Him. It was really hard to listen to Him, though, because the anxiety and the “What ifs” were so strong. Still, I persisted. I lost the first battle, but won this one.
I think as women, it’s easy to blame hormones for our bad behavior. That’s because it’s extra-easy to allow our hormones to lead us into bad behavior. This isn’t only the case during pregnancy; adolescence, PMS, and menopause mess with our hormones, too. These times bring about legitimate challenges that upset our emotions and, therefore, our way of thinking. This is largely out of our control. Still, we are responsible for our choices and our actions, even when the temptation is terribly strong.
Sin is sin, regardless of how in balance — or imbalanced — your hormones may be at any given moment. I can’t believe that I’m 29 and just realizing that this is yet another opportunity for the enemy to gain a foothold. Don’t let him. Saturate your mind with Scripture. It’ll help you immensely and really, really aggravate him. (That’s kinda fun.)