Today is my due date! And while I’d really rather be in the hospital giving birth at this moment, I am perfectly content with where things are at. I have come a long way over the past nine months, and today I can honestly say that I am at peace. I trust God’s timing. I know that this baby will come when she is ready.
In the meantime, I am enjoying the sense of mental and emotional preparedness that I am feeling within. It is a gift. And so much of it, I believe, can be attributed to the time I have spent over the past few months preparing my heart, soul, and mind, for the task of labor and delivery.
Some women, it seems, face this undertaking with such boldness and confidence. I was not one of those people. I was hopelessly afraid of it. Pain is scary; and even scarier when it is inevitable and comes along with a huge dose of the unknown! But as you know, I have been on a journey to overcome fear this year. And so, over the past few months, I have been determined to address my fears surrounding childbirth.
My main tactic has been to take my fears to God during my regular quiet times, and listen to what His Word has to say about them. I just finished a fabulous 6-week study called “Breaking Free From Fear” by Kay Arthur, which had a great emphasis on how the fear of the Lord is the key to overcoming all other fears in life.
In addition to that, back in October, I started a new journaling project in which I have been working through various passages of the Bible and reflecting on how they can specifically offer me encouragement throughout the process of labor and delivery. I plan to keep this journal nearby when the time comes, with hopes that the encouragement I have found in these powerful verses will help me to remain focused on Jesus when the pain is at its worst, rather than allowing myself to give in to fear.
And, since today is a special occasion—my due date—I thought I would share a few of my favorite findings with you here. I’ll share a few verses, each with an excerpt from my journal below. These journal entries are specific to my fear of labor and delivery, but perhaps you will find bits and pieces of truth that you can apply to the fears that you are currently facing in your life.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” – Isaiah 26:3
For so long I have been looking for “peace” in my life—yet the recipe is so simple. I don’t know how I have missed it. Perfect peace is granted to those who steadfastly trust in the Lord. God will give me peace through the pain and challenges of childbirth if I continue to trust in Him!
It all comes down to this: trust God. He will be my peace. He will be my rock. He will take good care of me. I want to grow in trust for Him every day of my life and I can’t wait to see how the experience of childbirth will grow my faith!
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
To be dismayed means to be completely broken down and depleted of courage as by sudden danger or trouble. I can write out all these great points in this journal to prepare myself, but at the end of the day, labour will come on so suddenly and I will most likely experience fear. A lot of it! In these moments, I must take time to calm down and remember what I know. God is in control. He is with me. He is bigger and stronger than my fears. He is my God, and I do not need to be dismayed.
Being ready for labor and delivery is not about feeling strong enough on my own. It is not about how many exercises I have done, how much red raspberry leaf tea I drink, or how much I have sat on my exercise ball. I’m sure those things don’t hurt, but they are not the point. Being ready is about being surrendered. Being ready is about trusting God that He will go before me and with me—that He will be my strength, my help, and my rest. This gives me so much peace! I feel ready!
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” – Psalm 34:7
What a powerfully comforting thought—to have the angel of the Lord encamped around me, ready to do battle with any enemy who means me harm! I desire to grow in the fear of the Lord. I believe that I do fear Him, but not unendingly so. I still fixate far too much on earthly fears. But the fear of the Lord will see me through childbirth. I need to regularly ask God to increase it in me.
I must keep my eyes fixed on the Lord at all times. The way to curb other fears is to grow in the fear of the lord. I believe that praising, thanking, and worshiping God throughout labor and delivery will not only be important, but an essential piece of the puzzle for me. It will help me to trust in His provision and goodness to get me through!
Psalm 23 teaches me to trust in the Lord God, because He is deeply invested in my well-being. He is a good shepherd—and a good shepherd not only watches over his sheep, but actually loves them, knows them, and truly cares for them. My God feels this way about me, and as such, I can know that He is with me and be assured by His presence. It doesn’t matter what I’m going through or what hardships come my way, God can handle them all. He does not get anxious or freak out like I do, but He remains steadily faithful through all of life’s trials. He can always see the way through the darkness. So I must trust Him to deliver me when darkness comes. There is truly no safer place in the world to be than in the flock of the Good Shepherd.