He who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his name.
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD,
as we put our hope in you.
I have been letting these words sink into my soul, knowing that this season I am currently in, this all consuming season is one where the Lord is searching my heart-bringing to my mind more and more things in me that need to be burned away. It's a maturing season & a refining season. An often times painful season.
I haven't thought much about the baby actually, I've been too busy trying to figure out how to have the baby... which has made me feel a lot of guilt. I haven't thought about the baby's sex or his/her name, or how to arrange the nursery. I think in the back of my mind, once he/she is here, I'll be able to enjoy the baby and I'll be relieved that the preparation process of praying, reading books, watching woman give birth, taking the classes, eating properly....all of that will be over and I can focus on the baby...finally. The fruits of my "labor" will be enjoyed. In this process of preparing for the baby, I feel exactly the same way I've felt every time I've trained for a marathon. All of your thoughts, what you put into your body, your whole day is centered around making sure you can get your run in to make sure your body is trained for the race ahead. I am looking at my birth with that same determination. It's not obsession, really, I'm just so focused on the race that I can't stop thinking about it.
When I think of labor or watch videos of woman laboring and delivering their babies, I admire their strength because what they're doing is work. Although it is beautiful and awe inspiring, there is nothing fairy tale about it. I don't believe cute, fat little cherubs are dancing around their heads as they're squatting-giving birth to a baby moaning loudly, almost animalistic sounding! (Imagine what that would sound like if every woman in a hospital labored naturally and all you heard when you opened her door was a loud orgasm sounding moan....I think that would make a lot of people VERY uncomfortable!) It doesn't look glamorous at all. It looks like work. When I was in labor, I don't feel like I was doing "work." I feel like I was clenching my jaw at the pain & didn't know what to do. I wasn't prepared or trained to know how to give birth (as strange as that sounds.) I wasn't confident and excited. I was unsure of myself and scared.
Although my husband has been super-duper supportive, prayerful and sensitive to me in this process, he has made it clear that after watching FOUR birth documentaries, he's seen his share of pregnant, naked, birthing woman's satellite dish nipples! I think he's over it. Hahaha! Poor Dustin! Whatever, I think it's beautiful! I just really can't get enough of it! I want to know everything I can about it because as a woman, I was never taught about it. It just seemed to make more sense to do what everyone else has done for so many years and not question it. It's what my mother did, my aunt did, & what I DID- lay in a bed, wait for the drugs to kick in and dialate me, numb the pain of contractions when I couldn't stand them any longer, once the drugs put the baby in distress,"thankfully a surgeon was there to operate and save his life" OR I'd push the baby out. It seems easy enough! There's certainly nothing "wrong" with it. Many woman do it with great results. I'm not knocking their great experience, I just didn't have that experience myself and can't put my faith or trust in it.
My fear with doing the same thing over again expecting a different outcome is exactly that, doing the same thing over again with my next birth, expecting something different.
I share this because I see how difficult birth is, and I've been reminded that it's not by my great strength that I can accomplish anything. It is by my weakness, surrendering to the great physician (Jesus), the great comforter, the one who gives me the ability to accomplish more than I could even imagine to do, it is not by MY strength but by his. I keep reflecting on this truth and praying these verses over myself & it brings me great peace.
I also have been encouraged and sharpened by this great blog community of strong woman who have shared their wisdom and experiences with me. I can't thank you ladies enough for your advice & love.
I love her.