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  • Writer's pictureKelsey Scism

Choosing Faith Like a Child Over Fear Like an Adult

I was prepared for the tough question. I assumed they would ask it, and I had already prepared answers in my mind. I had rehearsed the conversation. I was ready for it . . .

But, Mommy, what if this baby dies too?

I was 12-weeks pregnant, and we had just seen a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat on the screen in the ultrasound room. I hadn’t been myself for weeks—I was irritable, far less active, complained a lot of “headaches,” and almost matched the kids’ bedtimes each night. We had already told our teenager about the pregnancy, and now it was time to tell the other kids.

At eleven, nine, six, and two, their understanding was limited, but still, they knew. They knew that just over a year before, a baby had died in mommy’s tummy at 10-weeks. They knew I had to have a procedure and that it was sad.

They knew that seven months before, a second baby died in mommy’s tummy at 17-weeks. They knew I had to go to the hospital to get the baby out. They knew our baby was a boy, and they helped name him when we got home from the hospital.

Because they knew all these things, I expected them to know it could happen again.

I expected them to feel fear and worry; after all, I did.

I expected them to ask the tough question.

But they didn’t.

When we showed them the ultrasound picture, the 6-year-old giggled and squealed with delight. The 9-year-old grinned from ear to ear and asked if they could tell their friends. The 11-year-old declared that we’d need a bus to haul our family around.

I smiled as they asked questions and grinned and looked at the sonogram picture over and over again—all the while, bracing myself for the tough question.

But it never came.

They heard that their mom was pregnant, and they believed they would have a new baby brother or sister in a few months.

They simply felt joy and anticipation. If there was any fear or doubt, I saw no sign of it.

And in those moments, I just kept thinking about how I wanted to be more like them. They weren’t naive or ignorant to the fact that this baby could also die. They were well aware of the history of loss and had felt that pain. They weren’t suppressing their true feelings of fear and anxiety. They truly felt joy and anticipation. They weren't scared. They just believed.

Pregnancy after loss is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s forced me to come face-to-face with my inability to produce a desperately desired result. It’s amplified the fact that I am not in control. It’s pushed me to turn to God over and over again and surrender my pregnancy and the baby I love into His hands. It’s taught me to trust in the goodness of God in all situations instead of in the good things of this life. It’s exposed some really hard questions and strengthened my faith even in the unanswering.

And it’s shown me that a childlike faith really is one of the strongest, most beautiful things we can chase after.

Jesus himself said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). And now, I think I understand a little more about what He meant.

It means choosing joy and anticipation. It means believing that what you’ve been told will happen, will happen. It means having hope despite past disappointment.

And so I’m working on being more like my children—to choose childlike faith over my own fears.

I will choose to rejoice in the current moment and thank God for the gifts He has given me. I will anticipate His goodness no matter the outcome, no matter the situation. I will believe in His promises to never leave me, to use all things for my good, and to one day, wipe every tear from my eyes during an eternity spent in His glory. I will hope despite past disappointment, taking every fear and anxious thought to Him in prayer and trusting Him to carry me through.

I will choose to have faith like a child.

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