I've noticed this with each of my pregnancies: when I'm pregnant, I get bombarded with awful thoughts. Thoughts of my kids getting hurt in awful ways. Thoughts of me being hurt and my kids sitting around all day without someone to care for them. The fear that they would have if their mommy wouldn't 'wake up' becomes alive to me. It suffocates me. I can't sleep. I can't relax. I just panic a lot when I'm pregnant. Maybe it's just those protective mommy instincts kicking in.
Usually, these awful thoughts will affect me for a minute or two, but then they leave me alone. I can then think of other things, brighter, happier things. I can calm down fairly easily by myself. I can usually shake it out of my head, as if I'm kicking over a projector so that my big screen is nice and white again. But the other night that wasn't working. My head was flooded with this one awful thought and wouldn't go away. It was so upsetting that I started to cry. I must have been really boo-woo'ing because Ben comes running up the stairs wondering if I'm ok. I told him that it was just a thought that wouldn't go away. He suggested that I read Psalms. (That's been his go-to solution for each and every trial I've faced since we've been married. And it works. Every stinking time.) After about 20 minutes, I was calm again, strengthen by God. Not sure why it worked. I assume that God protected my head. I think when you start down that spiral, it can overwhelm you. As soon as you relax, reality is allowed to set back in, and you can recognize that there's no immediate threat or danger.
I remember praying a lot. I would say stuff like, "God, I know you can make this stop. You can help me calm down. You have the power to keep thoughts like this from tormenting me. Please don't allow this thought to torture me any further. Help me to not worry about things that aren't happening and likely never will. If Satan is the one wanting to put these thoughts in my head so that I will be fearful and cower, please stop him."
The next night something happened. I was tempted. Tempted to do something that I love to do, but that I know isn't what I'm supposed to do. I know better, but honestly, I give in way too much to it. God's been banging down my heart recently about it too, but the night after the awful thoughts and the desperate prayer, I was about to give in and just do it. Then the thought occured to me, "Last night I begged God to keep these awful thoughts out of my head. So why in the world am I considering giving in to this stupid temptation? It will only give Satan a foothold over me. Why would I tell God to hold Satan back and then turn around and invite him in?!"
I didn't give in. The temptation died down. And I had zero disturbing thoughts that night. I was able to rest. God is so good at that. He recognizes when we're trying. He doesn't miss it. He always notices. He knew that I had heard His message loud and clear and seemed to reward me for chosing the right path. I'm not saying that everytime you obey God, you get what you want. The Christian life doesn't necessarily look like that. But for that one night, my faith was increased. My thoughts were protected, and I received rest. I'm so grateful that that still, quiet voice will poke and prod me when my thinking gets out of whack.