I am now facing the home stretch of this pregnancy. With only about 8 or so weeks to go, my heart and mind are consumed with a sense of awe and contemplation. With every childbirth, I find myself sobered and peaceful, quiet. I know in every fiber of my soul that what I have to face is an incredible feat. The birth of a child, an eternal soul, into this world and time is the closest I’ve ever felt to God’s presence in this life.
This is a vulnerable time that I must face.Just me and the Lord. The baby I’m carrying is almost ready to arrive. She sits quietly, solemnly, as she waits for the moment when she is to appear. Movement seems less excited and more thoughtful, as if she understands the importance of this season we will enter soon.
As I plan for my sixth baby to be born at home, I can almost compile my birth kit with my eyes closed. It’s just a small collection of things I’ll need – thermometers, plastic sheets, and such. Seemingly insignificant paraphernalia, yet every time I’m putting it all into a basket for the midwife, I find myself irresistibly pulled into the present. This baby, this pregnancy, is real. I am on a freight train that has no brakes, and I’m headed for this mountain climb no matter what. I look through all the microscopic socks and hats, ointments and umbilical cord clips, tiny diapers and baby gowns, and am drawn into dreams of my precious baby. Double-rinsed towels. Birth certificate. Postpartum tea. Something about all these items stocked up together in my room makes me want to run away from the intensity of the moment, while at the same time running towards it with open arms.
I embrace it with my soul, this amazing thing that I must bear in my body. I know instinctively that it is good, right, and necessary. But this kind of power overwhelms me. It takes over my thoughts, my heart, and my emotions. I know that it is completely up to me whether I choose to do this at home or not. I can choose. Many women before me did not have a choice, and many women now do not know they have one. There are two very different paths I can take. The temptation to go and surrender my body to the well-intentioned instincts of others is difficult to overcome. What would it be like to fast-forward the experience? To not feel a thing? What price must I pay to walk the divinely-ordained path that I know God intended for me, when I could easily circumvent it now even without realizing it? It would be so incredibly easy to forgo the mountain climb, the furnace of refinement. It is a high price. However, I believe that in the end if I choose to seek out the narrow, rocky path I will find that what I paid not to have any regrets will far outweigh anything surrendered in the beginning.
The raw reality of my body being taken over by a woman who lives in me but rarely shows her face is very intimidating, almost to the point of making me not want to face her at all. But she is there all along — waiting, watching, preparing for her moment in the spotlight where she will draw every ounce of strength in my will to bring my baby forth. She is a force all her own. She knows it is her job and she does not hide from it. She rises up with an almost superhuman vigor, forcing my body to go where it does not want to go. She takes the gentleness of a whisper and the might of an army – combining them into a life-defining moment where my will is forced into submission and God’s is set on the throne.
The desire to find a dark, safe place for this process is all-consuming. When my thoughts wander to my birthing time, I picture it as I want it to be — me by myself, coaxed by the breath of Yahweh Himself, delivering this baby into the arms of my husband.It’s dark, quiet, undisturbed, holy, sacred beyond anything. In this place, we see the birth as it was meant to be, a spiritual experience which transcends time and actually takes place in the heavenlies where we only get to glimpse the awe of His presence in this way at this time. He doesn’t offer us any other “easy” ways into His throne room. We will never see Him this way except when we are partnering with Him in a creative work such as bringing forth life. Is there anything more sacred to the Father of Life? It is tragic for us to muddy the water with fear and anxiety, the hustle and bustle of distraction. There is so much incredible beauty for us to experience in this time, if only we will open our eyes.
I picture that time when I was laboring with my twins. I was sitting outside in the back yard on my deck, rocking on my exercise ball. The sky was overcast, the breeze was chilly, and there was a slight mist in the air. It was quiet and peaceful. I’ve never experienced anything so sublime in my entire life. Abba knew what I needed. I wish I could go back to those moments and plant them into this season when I often find myself unsuccessfully grasping for a bit of peace and serenity. He knows what I need now as well.
When I see my birthing time, I see my husband standing right where he should be — at the door with sword drawn, ready to destroy an enemy that would want to mar even the most insignificant feature of this beautiful experience. He is on guard, ready in his spirit, and prepared to lay down his life for his family. He protects me as I labor on in my holy, quiet place. He watches, waits, and prays. Yahweh strengthens him as He strengthens me. My priest guards this holy house of Yahweh’s presence. He understands what my body must go through, and he girds my heart with Scripture, serves me and ministers to me. He does not leave me to the wisdom of others, but takes his place as my head. I trust his protection over me, as it is a very real picture of Yeshua’s passion for His own bride.
To bring forth life — what higher calling? What higher status of woman? To create with my husband a family, a community of heart and home combined – to pour love on the dear heads of my little ones and serve them with everything I have until they fly on their own wings into experiencing God for themselves. I give my whole being to this nearly invisible place of service. Washing feet is a way of life for me now. I bathe their faces, brush their fine hair, tell them stories, nurse them when they are ill, look into their beautiful big, innocent eyes and see little pieces of me in them. I speak the truth to them – the gospel, the words of our Savior. See them grow. See them blossom almost in spite of my often clumsy ministrations – perhaps because of them. My little brood of ducklings, chattering and following my every move, clustered at my feet at all times. What more precious time is there than this? If I blink, it will be gone.
And it all begins with a birth. That’s it – just a simple, straightforward dying to the flesh and willing something so much bigger than me to be brought forth by the hand of God. It begins anew my journey of service to this brand new soul — this beautiful soul in my womb. Eternal being fashioned in the secret place – the place where I was knit together myself, and the place where I will thrust her into the world. May my service be pure and found worthy when I stand before my Maker.