We wanted to become parents so badly. I wanted to be a work-at-home mom, just like my own mom was home to take care of my brother and me. When it didn’t happen the second we started trying after four years of marriage, I trusted God for his perfect timing. After a few months with no luck, I quickly got discouraged, especially when several friends announced their pregnancies. One after another, it felt like every week someone else had an adorable pregnancy announcement posted to Facebook. I wondered if maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mom. Although I was struggling, there were only two people who knew what I was going through. I had a difficult time sharing such personal feelings.

What felt like an eternity later — but was really only about four months — my “impossible” (written with sarcasm) situation finally happened (I realize that this is a very short time compared to other couples). We were overjoyed to learn that we were expecting a baby the following November!

That’s when the fear crept in. Never before have I dealt with such fear in my life. I’ve always been the brave, bold, walk-by-faith type, but I found myself constantly worrying about this tiny life I was now responsible for. What if I ate something that made the baby sick? What if I exercised too hard? What if our incompatible blood types caused problems? What if I really WASN’T meant to be a mom or lost the baby? What if I was meant to go through a hard time so that I could help others who couldn’t have kids? They were crazy thoughts for a first-time pregnancy with no medical history that SHOULD cause any fear.

I’m ashamed to say that these were often the thoughts that occupied my mind those early weeks instead of joy and excitement. Once again, only a few people know about the pregnancy because it was so early on, and as a result, it was hard to get excited about what was happening and reach out to my friends.

Looking back at my journal, on April 19, 2013, I wrote, “This whole experience has been an exercise of faith for me. Dealing with many fears and things that are completely out of my control. I guess this is only the start of motherhood.”

Recognizing that I did NOT want to pass on a spirit of fear to my child, I began to search for scriptures to pray over my tiny little one (she was the size of a gummy bear at the time!) and speak in faith for myself.

I spoke joy and peace into my life with Isaiah 55:12. I put my trust in the Lord with Psalm 16:5-8. And the scripture I most often prayed over my little one was Psalm 121.

“He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

“The Lord watches over you — the rod is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.”

“The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

I began to understand that God loved this little baby more than I ever could. He already knew what we would name her, and had a plan for her life. I could trust that he knew best and would take care of her as she was developing.

Every time I felt fear creeping into my heart, I would open my Bible and re-read these passages, sometimes with tears. The more I read them, the less fear I felt, and the more strength and peace replaced my worry. I even began to feel JOY by my second trimester! (Although I think the nausea going away also played a role.)

I am so happy to say that my pregnancy journey turned out great. I have a healthy, happy, and BEAUTIFUL (seriously!) baby girl with a head full of long, dark hair. I know that not everyone’s journey has such a happy ending, and I am blessed beyond belief. I also know that struggles during pregnancy aren’t usually discussed. After all, this is supposed to be a happy and glowing experience.

Are you a first-time mom? Or maybe you are struggling with fear in some aspect of your life? Reach out to a trusted friend and tell them how you are feeling, and pray scriptures over your life.

What scriptures have helped you to live in peace instead of fear?