“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22 NIV
In the Spring of 2014, God revealed to me that I would get pregnant during my first year of marriage.
I felt it in my Spirit for weeks. I kept waiting and asking for God to reassure me that what I was feeling was just stress and that it’s normal for a cycle to run a bit late. The truth is I didn’t feel ready for my life to change.
It brought me to my first affirmation.
God is not surprised by anything. What He allows is for his glory. His glory matters more than my comfort or the story I want to tell.
I was working 5-6 days a week at the time and my schedule directly coincided with my time span for morning sickness at 3-4am. I felt bad for no longer “working with a spirit of excellence” because I constantly needed breaks, to do less of a workload, and run to the bathroom every hour.
I prayed for a job that would allow me to worship God all day (play worship music, set my mind on wholesome things, work with a christian staff), have schedule flexibility, within my grace zone, and sustain my family. I didn’t want to feel bad about taking care of my body whether that meant 2 naps on the middle of the day, eating 6 meals, or simply taking a mental/physical break. 2 months later I was offered the very job I prayed for.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
I heard tons of advice over the course of my pregnancy. I solicited a lot of advice from women I love and trust. I also heard about how being vegetarian can put my baby in danger, whether or not I should raise my child how I planned, whether the size of my stomach matched the baby’s gestational age etc. I resolved to take my personal convictions to the cross and continue to love those people with their good intentions. I learned to trust that God chose me for the task thus he would equip me and correct me. But ultimately, if he was pleased or okay with my decision-making, then so was I.
I will have the pregnancy God wants me to have. I will have the gender God wants me to have. I’m walking in God’s preference and will for my life.
The amount of scary stories are endless concerning pregnancy. My husband and I decided to trust the Lord and not read too deeply into “what ifs” and worries. We decided to keep the gender of our baby a surprise. We didn’t find out until the day I delivered. I had to surrender my undying desire for a girl and say “God handpicked the gender so whatever the outcome, it’s perfect for me and our family.”
I will have the baby in God’s timing.
My original birth plan was a completely natural birth. I didn’t want any Pitocin, Epidural, or any kind of pain relief. I believed that God made my body fully capable of doing what it needs to do without medical intervention. My due date was May 26th. So in May, the week of the 15th, I planned to cook tons of meals and freeze them in preparation for post-childbirth. I had a lot of other things on the to-do list and it was all coming together.
Monday morning (May 16th) my water broke and contractions began. I deemed them manageable. I was admitted into the hospital where I reiterated my birth plan to everyone I saw. Overnight God began to speak to me. I felt overwhelming peace that we would ultimately follow His plan–so whether or not mine happened, it would all work out. Gosh, I’m grateful for the presence of God and a relationship with him where worries are laid aside to reveal His master plan.
The weight of birth (and my life in general) was not on my shoulders. The weight, the load, the responsibility and glory all belong to God alone. For that I am forever grateful.
I had to share this gem I discovered. When people are single or dating, search for tons of things like compatibility and attractiveness. I decided years ago to allow God to bring me to my husband whenever God was ready to do so. I didn’t care if it was that year or 15 years later. My schedule was full, my heart was full, and my mind was focused.
While at the hospital I used a bed pan once. William woke up from his sleep, emptied it for me, attended to my needs, and said he loves me and how beautiful I am before heading back to sleep.
My thought process was:
“What? You just held my pee in your hands. My. Pee.
I can’t remember the last time I did (or washed my hair). I didn’t expect my water to break today so I didn’t put any effort into how I looked before rushing out the door.
And dude… My. Pee.”
The lesson is this:
Most people want a lifetime commitment. Most people want to date someone successful, well off financially, funny, impressive, tall, with long hair etc. What God gave me was a man with bedpan commitment. A man willing to stay up all night even while I slept through contractions. A man who relies on the Lord for his strength and guidance so I don’t have to be his teacher– I can simply be his wife.
So TRUST (really trust) in the Lord. Just as I waited in the hospital, the entire world awaits a view of God’s people. They are looking to the church for direction, whether or not they realize it. They are looking for examples of relationships that are pure (and worth it), marriages that last, households that allow God to sustain their peace during storms, people who trust in the Lord when all hope seems lost, and a people who cling to the cross as though they were just saved earlier that day.
Oh, that we might love and trust God today as much as we did the day we realized that we need Him.
William Elijah Coles was born May 17th at 12:54PM. He is one of our greatest joys.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.”