Let Go...Let God...Returning to Joy
It was a long birth. All through pregnancy I could hear my beloved prior midwife's voice in the back of my head: "Don't bring unresolved issues to birth."
I tried. Nine months of pregnancy led to a climax of trying to find the courage to lay down a deep wound and find healing. I was physically feeling ill from the effects of deep rooted bitterness that I had not realized was still there. And in His love, God sustained me. He spoke to me gentle solutions to my physical sufferings along the way, clearly guiding me in a way I had never experienced before. One day I would feel extremely thankful and amazed but other days find myself questioning Him even in His goodness! "Why am I struggling with this again? I have ideas on how I could alleviate these physical symptoms, if only You'd do it my way... Why is your way taking so long?" To make matters worse I allowed the enemy to whisper lies that made my heart faint. I failed to share them openly with even my husband for fear someone might confirm they were true. My greatest advocate and prayer partner was excluded from my deepest fears.
I started to feel more frantic as the due date began to close in. I laid down whatever came to mind but I had buried so much it simply couldn't be unpiled that quickly.
Two weeks past my due date (normal for me), labor truly seemed to start after weeks of false starts. It was Monday. A friend and midwife showed up unexpectedly and I thought, Surely we will have this baby soon since God (YHWH) directed her here. My closest friend was a couple hours away and I suggested at her inquiry she might not want to dawdle on her way to my place. The contractions were closer, stronger, and more regular.
I put the children to bed expecting things to really pick up after that - my norm. The weather was in the teens and I hate the cold. I bundled up anyway prepared to do the work set before me. Since movement helps labor in every way, we went for a walk, paced up and down the barn stairs, and returned. The contractions stopped completely. Odd.
Feeling bad for now having an audience, I apologized and decided we might as well get rest while we could. I crawled into bed. Within a few hours I was awakened with super strong contractions. My husband gathered the women who had come to labor with us. He started to inflate the brand new birth pool. It had a hole somewhere! The contractions ceased.
Sigh. Now what? It was the middle of the night and really, really cold now. Such unusual November weather for Tennessee. My best friend mentioned that a family we knew well was out of town and had offered their larger space to us. They had a large tub suitable for birth and more room for walking and stair climbing indoors. We decided to go. The warm van ride was only twenty minutes long but it kicked up some more contractions!
We arrived and I went back to walking in circles and doing stairs. Again, the contractions stopped... and EVERY time thereafter I did the things that would normally make labor go easier and more quickly, they stopped. Oddly each time I decided to rest, they would start back up with great strength.
Tuesday went by slowly and I was super frustrated by the stops and starts. Should I just go home? Maybe I was making all this up and it just wasn't time. But by the afternoon they really began to kick it into top gear. I clearly hit transition but it too came and went. By Wednesday morning, I was getting exhausted. I was humbly going through some maneuvers recommended by our long distance midwife. I got frustrated with my husband and we got into a little spat. We recovered well and ended it by crying out in prayer and asking Him for wisdom. I laid out some of my deepest fears to him in complete honestly and asked YHWH to forgive me for different attitudes I had exhibited and ways I had questioned Him. Now we were going to get somewhere surely.
But somehow I had trouble shaking the guilty feelings I had in my heart. It was as if I couldn't receive the love I knew should come from Him when having a confession and release of this sort.
Wednesday went by in a blur. After experiencing transition again - a feeling I know well from previous births - I was surprised to when the midwife said the baby was not down as far as I thought. Was I mistaken on where I'd felt him descend or not remembering correctly how this works? After all nothing was going as it normally did. I was experiencing back pain like I have never had. It was defeating because of the intensity and my inability to figure out why it was occuring. Nothing would relieve it. I would lay down on the bed, flat on my back, the most terrible position to birth a baby, yet which was bringing forth some of the strongest contractions... and cry, in earnest prayer, "I am not in control...You are, oh God!....YHWH, You will have to deliver this baby. Everything I know to do and that I know about birth is failing. Everything that shouldn't bring on contractions is. I can't birth a baby this way... You will have to. " I heard myself say something I told many mamas, something I had witnessed before in miracle births and believed -YHWH makes a way for every baby. I held onto it as fact but was being challenged to my core if I'd let it apply to myself. My fears, although confessed, still haunted me.
My beloved spirit-led midwife got on the phone with me at the prompting of my close friend who had been keeping her posted. She questioned me and my birth attendants. Finally she gave me gentle but firm reproof, told me she loved me, and then gave both Adam and I sound advice.
The reproof and reaffirming of her love helped clear my heart. It is such a picture of Yeshua's (Jesus') love and forgiveness to me! I realized I had laid down the confessions of questioning Him but I hadn't taken captive and rejected the lies the enemy was whispering in my ear.
We laid down on the bed, exhausted, reminded that labor at this intensity was not going to quit but to get a little rest in between was important. Adam prayed over me and I crashed. It felt like hours had gone by when I woke up, but they told me later it could not have been more than twenty minutes.
I purposed to get up and not let the back pain (and fears of the enemy that came with it) intimidate me. Prior to now, every time I pushed it would subside but the fear of the unusual back pain would cause me to fear and to stall out. I had a good contraction by the bed. I walked ten steps out of the bedroom and had another. I said, "The baby's coming! I feel the head! " Not sure whether to really believe me, the midwife kindly said, "Let's see," then an excitable: "Here it is!" Everyone was there except my best friend. Her husband had just called. He was with a friend and they had just cried out together in prayer for us. She came running from where she was and put the phone on speaker. They were able to vicariously be apart of the birth! Third contraction and the head was out! The back pain was gone. I was determined to get this baby out without waiting for another contraction. Push... not coming. I went from standing to my knees - something that always works. Still the baby didn't slide out. No surprise really. I mentally remembered that nothing "normal" had been working for me this entire labor. I knew at this point I would have to stand back up - with a baby's head already presenting! My friend asked, "How are you going to do that?!" I laughed and said, "I have no idea, " but mentally, I knew I had to. Without having to ask, my perceptive husband plucked me up with ease back to standing. Still, not waiting for the next contraction, I tried pushing the baby out. Nope. A thought flashed through my head: I couldn't possibly stand here for an additional day w just a head presenting! YHWH quietly and calmly spoke to my heart. "I'm going to deliver this baby...WAIT on Me..." Relief filled me! I will trust Him! The Creator of the birth process who has sustained me this far! So wait I did. The baby gave a small cry! This made me cry! They discovered he was coming out with his hand next to his head (thus the back pain). The next contraction hit - and out he came!
A boy! We were all super thrilled!! Within thirty minutes my utterly exhausted birth team with the exception of the midwife and my ten year old daughter lay asleep in various positions and locations. Adam woke up to cut the cord. My daughter helped get him dressed. I couldn't believe it was over.
I purposed in my heart to order the missing essential oil needed to create a blend my long distance midwife had wanted me to use Wednesday morning. I had been frustrated at the suggestion. I didn't own the blend or the ingredients to mix it. I wasn't even at home during the labor when she urged me to use it. But she says things for a reason. Five weeks later I made my first bottle and sent it to her. As I applied it myself I instantly felt overcome by tears. Strange. Memories of a difficult time in my life came flooding back almost too quickly and certainly unexpectedly. I didn't really think oils could work like that. I was certainly already emotionally open to courageously letting the Father show me the depths of my heart. I prayed through it and then reached for a more grounding oil blend to apply!
In response to giving my midwife the first bottle of "Let Go...Let God" she sent me this little story. It goes something like this: A child brings his broken toy to his father to fix. The child complains about how long it is taking to fix it. The FATHER replies by saying, "How am I to fix it when you never really let it go?" So it reminded me to fully leave the things I need the Father to fix at His capable feet without my interference as it only delays the process!
Funny. I had said almost those identical words to Him on and off through out this pregnancy. "Why is this taking so long (for physical healing)? I have a few suggestions on how I could probably help You fix this faster..."
I LOVE that our Creator has always made our brains able to return to joy from difficult and traumatic memories! It's amazing that essential oils have the ability to help unlock them! Unlike the other four senses, the sense of smell is hard wired directly to the emotional part of the brain first and secondarily to our intellect. According to David Stewart, this means the oils activate the emotional part of the brain like a librarian searching a card catalogue, looking for the physical places our bodies has stored emotional memories, often creating illnesses and making us sick. With prayer and courage from the Father, we can return to joy from any trauma. Can oils work on some level alone? Sure. Can prayer work without oils? Definitely! But what a powerhouse to be able to combine the power of them both! After all, YHWH is the Creator of these magnificent oils!
Father, give me the courage to allow You to uncover all of the depths of my heart! Expose the painful memories and my wrong responses in believing what the enemy wanted me to in each of them! Give me a pure heart that seeks you like King David of old!
Psalm 19:13 & 14
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Some of my favorite resources:
The Life Model:Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You By James E Wilder
Joy Bonds (Audio or DVD) by James E Wilder
The Pineapple Story by Otto Koning
Born In Zion by Carol Balizet (out of print)