This has been one of those weeks packed full of the faithfulness of the Lord. I was reminded a time years ago as I waited the arrival of our fifth daughter. I began to pray asking God for His strength and presence to help me as we began our journey with a midwife and our first homebirth. Our hope was for a natural labor and delivery, without interventions but full of the peace of the Lord. In the years that followed God was faithful as He answered that prayer for me over and over as our last four daughters were all born at home.
This week I had the privilege to witness my daughter labor and deliver our third surprise. Evelyn Grace was born Feb 12th after more than 16 hours of active labor. Mary and her husband chose a birthing center and a midwife with the same hopes as we had so many years ago. As my daughter and son-in-law worked tirelessly as a team to bring Evelyn safely into the world, God was their source of strength. They had filled out their birth plan weeks in advance. Their hearts plan was to rely on the Lord as they had an idea it would not be easy. They chose worship music as a focus, they chose to stay committed to their choice of natural childbirth even as it began to be overwhelming, giving their baby the best possible start in life. Mary knew the sacrifice it meant for her personally, yet she never wavered on her decision. Labor is such hard work, the work cannot be passed to someone else but only endured one contraction at a time. In those moments as my heart was overwhelmed for my daughter or when Mary felt she could not do it anymore, her husband would speak the word of encouragement, I would pray for God’s strength and I would hear Mary whisper, “Jesus, Jesus.” God would meet her right there, in her moments of uncertainty and exhaustion, and He would fill her with strength again to face the work ahead.
This young couple, a beautiful example of such love and self-sacrifice for the life of their unborn child, making its way into their arms. They had purposed in their hearts to labor and deliver their baby without interventions, because it was best for her not best for them. They chose the harder path to hold their new baby.
As I watched them work so hard, I was reminded of a discussion that my son-in-law had recenty. We discussed that we live in a culture of convenience. We are unwilling to wait and we tend to choose the easier path to get what we want. But what I was witnessing and what I have learned while walking with the Lord these last 34 years, God teaches us the most through the very difficult times, the most painful, the times that are definitely not convenient or easy. Jesus is our very example, as He chose to accept ridicule, torture and even death on a cross, sacrificing His rights, enduring agony and pain for us. Watching my daughter endure labor, such pain and discomfort for endless hours and yet at moments weep and worship God thanking Him for His presence and strength, brought tears to my eyes and allowed me to worship God too. Thanking God for being ever present in that room hour after hour, never leaving, surrounding Mary, sustaining her and her husband who never left her side except for a quick bathroom break or the one time he inhaled a bite of food, God was there!
Our granddaughter was born in God’s presence, His strength, His faithfulness, His love. I am praising God still for being a witness to it all. To be asked to be a part of the birth of our third beautiful grandchild. A gift straight from the Father’s Heart.
May we seek Him in all the moments of trial and uncertainty in our lives. May we cling to Him and allow Him to be our enough. May we trust Him to meet us right where we are, especially when we are hurting. May we lean into our God, moment by moment, focusing on His promises of strength, comfort, peace when what we are facing seems too hard to endure. May we trust Him to show Himself faithful in the moment and in the days ahead.