Pregnancy, Julie Andrews, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet

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Exhaustion. So tired the thought of walking from one room into the other to go and lay down is as painful as running a marathon. You look at the clock, and it’s only four thirty, and the thought of at least four more hours of being awake brings tears to your eyes. Hoping a little power nap will help you become less of a lovelorn phantom of the underworld, you follow your husband’s outstretched hand to your inviting bed and fall into the nest. Minutes tick by, and through your closed eyes, you have visions of chaos dance through your mind. Eyes now squeezed tightly, you try desperately to think of happier things. 

Aisle after aisle of baby things swim through your vision from your overwhelming trip to the store.

Paperwork and unmade decisions of importance threaten the comfort that your bed offers.

Eventually, fear, worry and anxiety shake up and mix into a cocktail of turmoil in your chest and you wildly clutch your husband’s hand hoping it will all just go away. But it doesn’t

I struggle with fear. Not just your average anxiety or Sunday blues… but extreme fear. More than anyone I’ve ever known. It’s bad enough that I sit nearly paralyzed with worry about my day. My mind will start to imagine all sorts of scenarios where I am alone with the fear, and that makes it worse.This has been me since I can remember. As a child, I would hear family members talking about me and saying that I was “too afraid” of things and when I was faced with simple challenges, I would wiggle out of them because I was just too scared to try them.

As you can imagine, pregnancy brought a whole new level of fear along with it. I fight everyday not to become my fear and to keep it under control for my son. I don’t want him to pick up that fear from me, but rather, I want him to be like a courageous lion, ready to explore, discover, and protect. I want to see him laugh and splash at the beach, and not be terrified of the jelly fish that might sting him. I want him to stand up high in the tree house and go down the the zipline with a shout of pure joy, and not stand pale-faced at the top looking down with images of himself bruised and battered in the pine needles below.

My mother also struggles with worry and fear. She would always stroke my hair and urge me to meditate on Philippians 4:6-9.

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, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I would try to think hard about them, but I remember being confused by the “things” we were supposed to dwell on. Did it look a little bit like Julie Andrew’s “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music? That couldn’t be right… There had to be more to it. True things. Honorable things. Right Things. I was pretty sure those things were more than raindrops, kittens, and kettles (as much as I do love the song). But how did one go about dwelling on these things if the things weren’t understood?

The answer has not been clear to me even to this day, and it wasn’t until midway through my daily nap time tossing and turning next to Daniel when the words that led to understanding were out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying.

“I just want to listen to prayer.” My eyebrows were furrowed together and my heart was racing. But I knew if I could hear his sweet voice offering up intentions, petitions, and thanksgiving, I could be still. Mind, body, and soul. It wasn’t just the act of hearing the words that I needed. I needed to pray myself, yet I was weak. I was scared.

Daniel grabbed the rosary beside the bed and immediately began praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. His soothing voice was like a balm and the words were food for my soul as I focused on the prayers.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Whatever is true.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Whatever is honorable.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Whatever is right.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Whatever is pure.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Whatever is lovely.

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

whatever is of good repute.

“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

It finally connected with me.

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Those “things” aren’t just physical things that you think about and they magically make you happy. They’re spiritual things. Prayer is one of those things, even when you’re too weak to actually form the words on your lips. Your soul craves it. As I listened and meditated on the prayers that Daniel prayed, my spirit was calmed, and the forces that raged against me were shut out. Peace came, as was promised.

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2 thoughts on “Pregnancy, Julie Andrews, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet

  1. Oh my goodness. I have missed SO many of your posts. I didn’t realize how much you’ve been writing! Which is totally awesome, I just feel like a crummy friend that I haven’t even read your posts.

    First of all: BEAUTIFUL WRITING. Seriously, I feel like you should do creative writing as a career or at least publish a book. No pressure. 😉 I know exactly what you mean about fear. I am constantly crippled by “what ifs” (especially in my situation of choosing a job in which I won’t be working over the summer), and often feel like something is crushing my chest when I feel especially anxious about something, which can be as serious as finding a job or as stupid as whether or not to buy a new shirt. I have found that saying the divine mercy chaplet lifts that weight from my chest and gives me SO much peace. I’m glad to hear it helps you in the same way! This post has reminded me that I need to focus on that more…I’ve been in a weird funk where I don’t even want to pray…I have no idea why. I just would rather do anything than pray. I guess that means I need to do it all the more!

    • Haha, well now that I actually have some more time on my hands, I’ve been dedicating myself to a little structure and accountability on the blog front.

      Oh gosh, you are so sweet! I don’t think I have enough material to think about writing a book, but I appreciate your encouragement and kindness! If life had taken a different turn for me, Creative Writing was actually something I was seriously considering! But I’m really happy where I am in life now and this blog is such a great outlet for my creativity. I feel so tremendously blessed!

      That is such a common feeling to me too–prayer being the last desire of my heart… Such a tough struggle, but a worthwhile struggle nonetheless! I was thinking recently that I have more to say in my life about fear than I do about anything else. Maybe it’s the theme I’ve been given to conquer and to use to help others, you know? I look at myself, and I see this silly girl that’s afraid of everything. But I also see that I’ve come a long way in my life and maybe I’ve been given fear to keep me close to God. Maybe if I didn’t have the frightening feelings during my experiences that I’ve had, I wouldn’t be where I am now… Some people have specific struggles, and I know fear is mine to bear. The divine mercy chaplet is so special, I’m glad we share that!

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