Recently in my life:
Our house is in a state of excitement as we have begun preparing for the arrival of our fourth child.
I can hardly believe that I’m in week 36! It’s truly the home-stretch!
I’m enjoying the process once again. Packing hospital bags, writing the birth plan, little gifts and cards from friends and family are everywhere (thank you all!), newborn diapers, and bassinets, and sleepers, and boppy pillows are being brought out. There’s so much to be thankful for!
I know that there is one big day, one big hurdle still standing between this time of preparation and the time when I’m holding, cuddling, and nursing this new sweet little one….
As I sat down last night to write my birth plan, I felt the need to pray and ask the Lord to help me in these decisions. I have been praying for the past months about this very thing. I need His help! Help for wisdom, help for peace, help to trust in the freedom and mercy He has given, help to not be a “people pleaser”, but instead to make decisions that are right for us.
I know that ultimately, even as I write a birth plan that I am on His plan. He knows exactly how my birth will go; when it will be and what will take place. I can rest in trusting Him and knowing that all His ways are good…. even if they are not what I would have chosen.
I have felt a great peace to know that He has placed me in a position to be able to make educated decisions concerning our birthing choices. He has given us options, and I’m thankful for that as I know this isn’t the case for many.
Natural or Not?
I like natural things, but I don’t feel married to them. At the end of the day, the only thing I feel passionately joined with is Christ, and that is how it should be.
I struggled when I first got pregnant with this one wondering if I was required under Biblical obligation to do this birth (and all future births) natural, the way I did with the last. When I really searched the Scriptures what I came to was that, no…. I didn’t HAVE to do it that way. I felt a sense of relief because to be honest, although it was a good experience, it was also an experience that I don’t really care to repeat unless I have to. I know that others have their own preferences on childbirth and what they feel “called” to, but this is my preference. And since it is not clearly laid out in Scripture, I feel freedom to choose medication this time around.
Fearing What Others Think…. and Yes, this fear is sin.
I almost felt that there was an unsaid expectation from everyone that once you go natural you can never go back to a medicated birth.
Unlike this past birth when I was fighting the sin of fear (lack of trust in the Lord) of the pain and the unknown, this time I was fearful of what others would think of me. I wondered, if I decided to use some form of medical pain management will people think badly of me? What will my friends who are passionate natural birth advocates think, will they judge me or think less of me? What will people who tried to talk me out of doing it natural last time think, will they scoff and think they were “right after all”?
Freedom from Fear once Again
The Lord has been so good to show me through His Word and His Spirit that this sinful fear I had been having stems from two major heart problems on my behalf that needed serious repenting of.
1. Pride, wanting people to think highly of me.
2. Not resting in my security and freedom in Christ that He has graciously given me.
With my last birth I was convinced that the Lord had called me to a natural birth, and I still feel that He had. I didn’t view it as a requirement as much as I viewed it as an opportunity for growth. It definitely was that! It was a good experience for me, a hard one, but a good thing. You can read that birth story here. I have no regrets that I went natural with my last.
The sinful fear I fought when preparing for the natural birth stemmed from a lack of trust in Him to sustain me through the pain. I had to pray through that, repent of that, and entered into that birth fully trusting in Him. And He was gracious to meet me and care for me the whole way through! Even when I thought I couldn’t go on, He gave me the strength I needed to do so.
But this time, I don’t feel so convinced that He is calling me to do it that way again. I feel that I learned what the Lord had for me during that time, and that He has something else for me this time. I trust the Lord, and if it works out that this is another natural birth then I know it was what He wanted and I will rejoice in that, but as I write my birth plans this time around I feel free to enjoy the mercies of the Lord by allowing me access to modern medicine. Without fearing what others will think of me.
The Lord’s approval is the only approval I need!
He has approved me because of the works of His Son fulfilling the law and becoming the sacrifice atoning for my sin! And I don’t need validation from others, my security in Him is more than enough!
Isn’t it amazing how sanctifying birth can be! It reveals our sins of fear. We can repent. He is faithful and just to forgive!
Oh how my heart rejoices at this!
Dear Expecting Mom,
You should not walk in fear! Fear and anxiety are signs that you lack trust in God to be enough for you in all circumstances.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” -Matthew 6:34
Perhaps you are preparing for childbirth and you are fearful of the pain, possibilities of complications, the unknown. Sister, you must trust the Lord! Childbirth is not a time for pride and self-reliance, that will only leave you fearful! it is a time to depend on Him to be your strength and to trust in His perfect design for birth and trust in His plans for you that He will use them for your sanctification and joy. Cast your anxieties on Him!
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” –1 Peter 5:6-7
Possibly you are like I have been this time around and needing to take thoughts captive in regards to what others think. Fear of man is an idol! Get rid of it! Feeling obligated to make certain decisions that you don’t really HAVE to because of what others would think is worshiping the opinions of people. We women are pretty prone to this as God has placed a desire in us to please our husbands (which is right and good), but let me encourage you to examine your heart, when we care too much what others think it is always because of pride. It stems from a desire to be lifted up, and truthfully our pride will always have the opposite effect.
One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. -Proverbs 29:23
“The fear of man lays a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
Many seek the face of a ruler,
but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.” -Proverbs 29:25-26
Remember beloved sisters, no pain, no trauma, no loss, no disapproval of friends or family, no slanderous words towards us from the mouths of people, nothing…..can separate us from the love of Christ!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:3-39
For your further Pursuit:
* Isaiah 41:10 * Philippians 4:6-7 * Psalm 56:3 * 2 Timothy 1:7 *
* Psalm 34:4 * Proverbs 12:25 * Psalm 23:4 * Psalm 27:1-14 *
* Psalm 118:6 * Romans 8:1-39 * Isaiah 26:3 * Matthew 10:28 *
Photos by Sunkissed Smiles Photography