Lies Versus Truth!
I thought we were very prepared for the birth of our first child. I paid close attention to what I ate, I exercised up to the morning I went into labor and took natural childbirth classes. We were educated and prepared mentally and physically. Sadly, I had not given a single thought to the spiritual aspect of labor. When I got into active labor, fear unlike anything I had ever experienced set in. Nothing could calm me down. Being in the water did help, but by that point I was so eager to get the whole process over with that I got out of the tub, thinking it had stalled labor. The fear and panic did not go away, but was masked by my midwife's order of a narcotic shot in my leg. It stopped the panic but I was barely lucid. Sadly, I remember very little of my son's arrival and the early moments with him. I was not even able to talk about our first son's birth for over a year afterward because of the fear and shame I felt.
When I became pregnant with our second child, I felt compelled to meet with two women from church to talk and pray about this baby's arrival. From the first time we gathered to pray the Holy Spirit began tearing down strongholds and confronting lies I had believed about myself, childbirth, and God's role in birth. Time and again, He used these women and the book, "The Christian Woman's Guide to Childbirth" (out of print) to bring Scripture to my attention that renewed my mind. The following are the main lies I believed and the truths that He taught me:
LIE: Birth is mundane and common. God doesn't concern Himself with such insignificant things.
TRUTH: Each time a human baby is born, another image bearer of God is brought into the world, thereby making each birth a very spiritual event. Birth may be a commonly-occurring experience, but that does not make it common, mundane, or insignificant. It is miraculous. Isn't that how God is sometimes? Even His own son's coming to earth seemed "insignificant." A baby born in a stable to a poor family is far from the regalia appropriate for our Messiah, the Son of God. It almost seems like He chooses to allow Himself to be "hidden" in the most obvious of places.
LIE: God isn't interested in my "woman issues." That's what midwives are for.
TRUTH: God Himself made my body. (Psalm 139) He is the designer and builder of my reproductive system. He could have made any other way for humans to propagate, but this is the way He chose. This became such a comfort to me that I began to take quite seriously that "He is our deliverer."
LIE: I was on my own for childbirth.
TRUTH: This was where He overwhelmed me with Scripture. Joshua 1:9 says He will be with me wherever I go (even into the delivery room!)
Psalm 29:11 says that He gives strength to His people and He blesses us with peace.
Psalm 46 says that He is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in
Psalm 62 tells us to trust in Him at all times (with no fine print or asterisks!)
Psalm 94 is a testimony of God's faithfulness during a time of anxiety.
Isaiah 26:3 says that He will keep us in perfect peace as we trust in Him because He is everlasting strength.
Isaiah 41 says not to fear because He is with us, not to be dismayed because He is our God. He promises to strengthen and help us, and uphold us with His righteous right hand. Just imagine that strong hand holding and supporting us in labor!
Isaiah 43:1-2 brought such strength and comfort to me. "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
And there's more!
John 14: 1, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." And verse 27. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
1 Peter 5: 6-7, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
At nine days past my due date, I went to visit my midwife, knowing I would be threatened with an induction. I heard two songs on the radio that ministered to me and gave me confidence once again that He was with me. One song assured me that His name is a strong and mighty tower and a shelter like no other. The next song reminded me to cry out for God be near to me. The appointment was uneventful, showing no contractions. Luckily, I was able to buy a few more days and return home. Just a few hours later I began to have contractions that intensified significantly in a short time. Eight blessedly peaceful hours, after being told I was having NO contractions, I was holding my healthy, second son in my arms. It was intense, hard work. But there was such an atmosphere of PEACE throughout the whole process. He was my strength and my Prince of Peace. Glory to God!
I often read five psalms each day according to the date. Our second child was born on the 15th of the month (15 x 5 = 75) which meant I was reading Psalms 71-75. Several of those Psalms spoke to me about the events of the day and the life of my second son. In particular Psalm 75:1 made me smile, remembering my time of worship on the way to the midwife's office that morning: "We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; Amen!"
Alpharetta, Georgia, USA