Eclampsia and other life problems

(Spoiler alert: This post references certain key plot elements of Downton Abbey, season three)

Downton Abbey a couple weeks ago certainly was heartbreaking.

If you didn’t get even a little choked up when Sybil died of eclampsia shortly after she gave birth, you have a heart of stone.

I had never heard of eclampsia before I saw that episode, so I looked it up online. It’s typically not a problem if the mom has prenatal care, but it is definitely a risk of pregnancy. A mom might be fine right after she has the baby, but she can have seizures, then suddenly stop breathing and die up to six weeks after birth.

Pretty scary.

It seems ridiculous to think that in this day and age, someone could die in childbirth like Sybil or that a baby could be lost, but it happens every day.

I’m obviously not pregnant and am 100% sure I won’t be anytime soon, but pretty much everything you do in life is a risk, whether it’s getting pregnant, picking up the phone to call the girl you like, moving to a new town to go to college, or even just getting out of bed.

We could fail at everything we try. We might even die because of it, and some people are so afraid of that risk that they never take it. It’s easier to just sit back and let life go by, safely.

But if you could trip on the rug, hit your head and die just by getting out of bed, why not get pregnant and risk death by a rare disease? The odds are almost the same. And why not step out on a limb, regardless of how big or small the risk? Most likely, the limb you’re on won’t break.

You should especially not be afraid if you know Christ. He’s taking care of you. Not even one sparrow will fall to the ground without him knowing, and we shouldn’t be stupid about the risks we take, but we also shouldn’t try to keep ourselves safe. We ultimately can’t control what happens, anyway. Why not just trust him to take care of it?

Maybe things will end up for us like they did for Sybil.


But chances are, we’ll end up like Mary, who gave up a financially secure marriage to be with the person she loved, even though she wasn’t sure she would ever actually be with him. As of now (because things can change quickly on that show) she’s pretty happily married because of the risk she took.


This Bible verse might be a little cliché, but that doesn’t make it less true:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6