Question: Father Andrew, your blessing. I’ve been pregnant for 20 weeks already. I didn’t plan to have a baby and I wasn’t prepared for it. The last couple of years was challenging for me both mentally and physically. I even had a nervous breakdown and suffer from panic attacks. I graduated from a university this June and decided to quit my job and spend a year dealing with my health issues, and then move on. Suddenly, I got pregnant in July… I didn’t want to get an abortion because I know that it’s a sin. However, the sin still persists in my soul: I can’t accept my baby. In an attempt to avoid feeling desperate, I went to church and asked for a permission to come and help other people, just to find something to distract my brain. However, I saw many ill people in the church, and I felt uneasy. What do I do with all that? Darya.
Answer: Man proposes, God disposes. We plan one thing but the Lord has something else in mind. We have to accept what He gives us. We have to struggle with lack of faith and the doubts that destroy us from the inside.
What are panic attacks, really? They are a sin that oppresses a person. They are rooted in self-pity, cowardice, fear, and disbelief. We’ve got to ward it off. You shouldn’t remain like that because it has a direct influence on your baby. The thoughts of not having the baby, while you have him or her already, also impact his or her life. You are responsible for that.
Thank God that you’ve been strong and smart enough not to get an abortion. Your life could have taken a completely different turn. It seems to me that your health will improve after you give birth to your baby. What you need to do now is pull yourself together, carry your baby, and resist panic attacks. I recommend you to take the Body and Blood of Christ during pregnancy. Don’t feel uneasy seeing that there are so many ill people in Church. The Church is a hospital. Naturally, there are extremely large numbers of ill people there. In fact, we all are ill.
Look for help and support from God. He is an indestructible pillar. You should thank God today. Imagine what a shame it could be when your baby is born and you see his or her Angel-like face and the smile and the outstretched arms, and you’ll recall how you planned to murder him or her… That’s why you should forget yourself now and get down to thinking about the human being who lives inside you and who you are responsible for. Your panic attacks will go away. Make it your habit to thank God for your baby, and for the new day, and for everything that you have, every morning as soon as you get up. If you manage to bring yourself into the correct mood, you’ll be able to organise both external and internal aspects of your life. May the Lord help you.
December 24, 2018
St. Elisabeth Convent