This pregnancy has been a struggle. An incredibly difficult struggle with anxiety, with trust, with belief. There are SO many unknowns, so many factors outside my control. I have never felt more overwhelmed and weighed down by my future than I have these past few months. I am not normally a worrier, which does not mean that I am good at handling fear. It actually means I am bad at it, because I rarely struggle with it. Trusting God has always come relatively easy to me.
Not this pregnancy. Not this season. Not this birth.
I have a lot to share about this, and hope to share more later, but it will take a long time, and a lot of (uninterrupted) thought, and a lot of words. So we’ll save that for another post.
The one thing I can say is that God has remained steadfast. His promises are true. Never have I needed to believe that more than in this season of my life. And it is true. He has continually, daily, sometimes hourly, taught my heart to know him more. I have learned SO many lessons and have journaled a lot, trying to savor the beauty of his grace to me. Last night, he revealed something else to my heart.
Keep in mind, this speaks directly to where I am coming from. I was trained as a homebirth midwife, and with that comes a whole set of ideals and idols that I had no idea were even in my heart. I have always been open to other people disagreeing with me, it’s not that I think everyone HAS to have a natural birth and that it’s a sin otherwise! Not that at all. It’s idols like: I want a natural birth for myself MORE than I want God’s will for my life (that was a rough lesson! lots of tears shed that day). And like he’s been dealing with me recently: I think that in labor the world should revolve around me. I’m doing this great work of birthing a baby, and I should be catered to. People in the natural birth community go further and say that birthing mothers are like goddesses, they are full of power and strength and should be revered! Of course I don’t hold to that view, I consider that blasphemy and would never say that.
However, what does it say about us when we expect to be served? When we expect people to cater to our every whim? Why do we expect that? Because we are in pain? Because we are working really hard? Having a baby is roughly the caloric equivalent of swimming the English Channel. And yes, swimmers in those situations surround themselves with a team that will support them and yes, the swimmer is the “star of the show”.
But the problem is with my attitude. To be brutally honest, I have realized that my thinking goes something like this: “finally! one thing in the whole world that is all about ME”. Finally, a situation where I don’t have to feel guilty for asking for (sometimes demanding!) whatever I want, putting myself at the center of my life.
So all of a sudden, in labor, these verses don’t apply?
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Phil 2:3)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… (Col 3:12)
Philippians goes on to say this:
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here’s what it comes down to. It is not all about me, no matter what difficulty I am walking through. I don’t have to try and force the people around me (my husband, my care providers, etc) to give me the “perfect natural birth experience”. I just need to walk in obedience to what God has commanded, and trust absolutely in his faithfulness and power.
I don’t know why this is so hard for me. I just know that I need a major heart change. I need the Holy Spirit to come and change me. I see that need, and I pray desperately for it. And I trust that he will do this work in me.
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thess 5:24)
P.S. I know that this post won’t apply to a lot of people. I also know that some people may not understand at all where I’m coming from and think I’m crazy. I accept that. I am just grateful that the God who sees my heart is faithfully correcting the errors in me, and will continue to make me more holy, no matter what weird ideas I have. :)