Domestic Church: Facing Fear and Difficulty

0418katie

by Katie Sciba

I had over 20 tabs open online, all of them for rentals within a 50 mile radius. We needed a three-bedroom house for the seven of us, that would accept a dog and our single, modest, self-employed income – hardly a desirable situation for any landlord. House after house we were turned down, not because of finances or even our four-legged family member, but because of the number of children we had. “Five kids? Sorry, they’ll tear up the property.” At one point our options were whittled down to neighborhoods that were shady at best, places that fit our income but squashed our need for safety. I had spent three months exhaustively combing local real estate to find a home for our odd-shaped family. After coming up empty over and over, I was tired and afraid. Our clock was ticking and our finances were limited.

It was just months before when, expecting our fifth child, Eamon, I was diagnosed with a rare pregnancy disease that had a strong chance of claiming our son’s life without notice. There was no cure and no treatment; the only option we had was to deliver Eamon by C-section at 37 weeks gestation, and not a moment sooner. The symptoms were difficult enough to cope with, but the real agony was the helplessness we felt waiting for our baby’s birth, praying he would survive in my body until we could get him out.

The circumstances were our own, but how many of us can claim similar feelings of hopelessness and fear? In desperate situations, faith feels like a gamble to see if God will pull through or leave us high and dry. Sometimes it seemed as though Heaven had turned a deaf ear and we were left to fend for ourselves. Panic-stricken, sometimes the only prayer I could offer was a tearful “Do you see us?” I was terrified of what would become of our family and whether my husband’s new business would sustain us. I was afraid of life without our fifth child and the profound pain losing him would bring.

One of my favorite verses for times of fear comes from Psalm 143. “I remember the days of old, I meditate on all that thou hast done; I muse on what thy hands have wrought.” Right there in verse 5 is the hope for our present distress. When we recall past trauma, pain or trials, we can see how God pulled us through it and how He carried us when we had no strength. In the face of difficulty, it’s easier to worry than it is to remember God’s past faithfulness, but the fact is hope comes with knowing He has seen us through every adversity leading up to now. My husband told me hundreds of times in those months, “God has never abandoned us and He’s not going to start now,” his own version of the Psalmist’s sentiment.

We’re almost a year past these events and I’m sitting in the living room of our wonderful home with my healthy baby boy asleep down the hall. The Lord provided as He always has and always will. Life turns out problems and pain that to human eyes would seem impossible, yet to God who knows our fears, they are calls to trust in His mercy. •

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