One of my favorite books is Christy by Catherine Marshall. I’m going to resist writing a book about the…book, by telling you that if you are truly interested to know what I think of Christy, you can read my review here. (OK, so I’m just totally enamored with being able to linky to old blog entries!)
One of the concepts presented by the Quaker, Miss Alice, in the book, is to place claims on specific promises from God in the Scripture. She compares it to placing a stake in the land that you want during the homesteading days. Although I’m sure a Bible scholar could come up with some serious implications to this belief system, I find the idea to be a refreshing way to think and pray about God’s promises. I’ve “practiced” this concept before with Ephesians 3:20-21, and the results were amazing (follow the linky to see why!), but I have not thought about it much since. Until now.
You see, I’m due to have a baby in about 10 days. Regardless of whether or not the baby is on time, the odds are that, within the next three weeks, I will be experiencing childbirth in some fashion. That’s pretty exciting. I mean, this baby is certainly not an “accident”, so we obviously wanted one! But…
Childbirth is scary.
I know, it’s a natural thing that God designed a woman’s body to do, and I know, I’ve been through it twice already, but the fact is, I think no matter how many times I go through it, it will be scary to me. Scary for several reasons…
1. I don’t know when it will happen. Don’t know if you’ve figured it out or not, but since becoming a mom, I’ve developed a Type-A personality. I want to know when and how everything will happen before it does. The fact that I have no control over when a baby comes makes the prospect of childbirth a little scary to me!
2. It hurts. A lot. I have had epidurals with my past two births. This time around, because of our tight finances and because of how much better it would be for my body, I am considering a med-free birth if everything goes smoothly. Not making any promises there, I’m pretty wimpy! But I’m definitely considering it. And I know (first-hand, since I had the privilege of witnessing one of my BFFs med-free birth last year!) that it’s crazy painful to push a baby out! But, regardless of whether or not I have an epidural, I know that there is a lot of pain associated with labor, delivery, and recovery. And pain is a pretty scary thing to have to anticipate!
3. The possibility of cesarean. Even though I had two wonderful vaginal deliveries before, and there is no indication that I will need a cesarean this time around, there is always that possibility that we will end up with one. This prospect scares me because A) It is a major surgery, and I have no desire to have to recover from a major surgery and care for a newborn at the same time, and B) We want a big family, and I know that cesareans will complicate future childbirth. Even if I can find doctors who are willing to attempt VBACs, I would probably be limited to having the rest of my births at a hospital as opposed to a birth center or at home, which I may want to consider in the future.
4. Other bazaar things that can happen. I know that’s very vague, but it’s because, once you’re admitted to the hospital, there are tons of weird things, intentional or unintentional, that can happen to you! Right now, Josh and Izzy are sick. What if I come down with whatever they have right before delivery? Will they still allow me to deliver the way I want to? Will they try to pump a bunch of meds into me? Will I be able to breath through my nose? (Sort of important for dealing with contractions!) And that’s just one list of the unknowns!
So, anyway, as I said before, childbirth is scary. And this past week, I have let these fears get to me more and more. One day, during my quiet time when I was praying about it, a verse came to my mind. It wasn’t in my daily Bible reading, it just popped into my mind and wouldn’t go away. I wasn’t even sure of the reference until just now when I looked it up.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
(2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)
Although the context of this verse is encouraging Timothy in the ministry, I don’t think it would be contradictory to apply it to childbirth (since, in a sense, that is part of our ministry as mothers!) The spirit of fear (and, when it comes time to pick between epidural or none, timidity!) is definitely what’s got me down. Power, love, and self-discipline are all requirements for childbirth – in fact, I would venture to say that they are the three keys to a successful childbirth! And they come from God!
So, I’m going to take Miss Alice’s advice and stake a claim in 2 Tim. 1:7.