I didn’t do any freezer cooking this week (got some jam made though!). The farm and the gardening have just taken up too much time. Instead, I’ve been trying to focus my energy on preparing myself spiritually for birth.
Several weeks ago, a friend and I were talking after church about childbirth. both of us were expecting our second child, so the conversation turned to things we wanted or needed to do differently this time. I knew that I felt like I failed hard spiritually during my first labor and delivery, but was very surprised to find that my friend felt the same way. Upon reflection, I suppose it shouldn’t be that surprising. If we’re honest with ourselves, we know that we will always fall short, and need to keep striving toward greater spiritual growth and dependence on our Father.
A mutual friend and much more experienced mother joined our conversation, and spoke about how we need to keep in mind that we are ambassadors for Christ, even during labor. This is so different than anything I’ve ever heard before. What, labor doesn’t give you an excuse to snap at, and be mean to your husband?! Of course, I know that, but to be honest, it never really occurred to me to be mindful of my roll as a witness to my husband and midwife. After all, they’re supposed to be helping me, right?
Of course they are, but that doesn’t void me of responsibility.
So what are some ways to be a witness to those around me during labor?
Simply doing what we should be doing no matter what the situation. Calling on the Lord for help.
Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
It can be difficult to remember to do that when your experiencing a level of pain that, until then, you never knew existed. It was for me anyway. This time around, I’ve asked my husband to help me to remember, and have a list of helpful scripture verses on my ipod for easy reference.
Speaking of scripture verses, meditating on scripture during the days, weeks, and even months leading up to labor, can’t be anything but helpful.
Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Psalms 55:16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee.
I recently borrowed my mom’s Nathan Clark George album. If you’ve never listened to Nathan Clark George, you are definitely missing out. Many of his songs are written directly from the Psalms, and, while I usually find having a song stuck in my head, I’ve been enjoying the lyrics taken from Psalm 121 rolling around my brain.
I lift up mine eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth…
The music and lyrics are beautifully done, and I expect to be playing that album during labor.
I think that we women often overlook an opportunity during pregnancy and birth to grow in the Lord. We’re all at different levels in our walk. Me? I’m starting at the bottom level, but I’m hoping not to completely waste this opportunity the way I did in the past.