Thursday, May 26, 2011

Who Has Been Destroying Birth?

When we look back through the past 100 years or so of the history of childbirth, we see a drastic change from where it used to take place, who used to be in attendance, and what was available for the laboring mom.

We tend to be quick to point fingers at who is to blame for this great shift in normal to institutional childbirth. Was it men, who wanted to control even this part of women, who made it into something that was "managed", instead of "experienced"? Or, was it women, eager at the idea of no longer having to endure the fear of pain and suffering in childbirth, and begged to just made unaware of what was taking place?

But this argument is focused on the wrong area. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) To understand fully what women face when they bring new life into the world, we have to understand what is so wonderful about the whole thing.
Satan fell because of his beauty. Now his heart for revenge is to assault beauty. He destroys it in the natural world wherever he can...He wreaks destruction on the glory of God in the earth like a psychopath committed to destroying great works of art.
But most especially, he hates Eve.
Because she is captivating, uniquely glorious, and he cannot be. She is the incarnation of the Beauty of God. More than anything else in all creation, she embodies the glory of God. She allures the world to God. He hates it with a jealousy we can only imagine.
And there is more. The Evil One also hates Eve because she gives life. Women give birth, not men. Women nourish life. And they also bring life into the world soulfully, relationally, spiritually - in everything they touch. Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). He brings death. His is a kingdom of death...And thus Eve is his greatest human threat, for she brings life. She is a lifesaver and a life giver. Eve means "life" or "life producer."
- from, Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge

So, you see, we need to stop placing all the blame on the things we can see. That is just the human motions of a spiritual destroyer. Instead of fighting this battle with just our words and our threats, we need to take our fighting to the base of where this destruction begins. We need to take this fight on our knees.

We need prayer warriors to start a movement to bring beauty and life back to where God placed it. We need to fight this as we are told to fight spiritual battles. Every day we need to don the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, Sandals of the gospel of peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. These are how we fight this battle. This is how we heal this great wound we have allowed to open and fester. Pray for women. Pray for birth. Pray for those who attend women in birth. There is a battle that is being fought, that has been fought for thousands of years. And it is not going to end until we figure out who we are fighting, and how he can be defeated.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Letting the Lord in my Birth

It is very hard for me to openly speak my testimony. I know that God has given this to me to share... but I have not figured out a way to explain it without coming off as, "I told you so!" or, "This is the right way!" I haven't figured out how not to sound like that because everything inside of me wants to shout, "There IS a better way to birth than what you're doing!" Everything inside of me wants to explain the difference I have seen between trusting the world with my labor and birth and trusting the Lord instead.

My first birth story is one I am still slowly figuring out. Many things happened to me and my baby in that hospital and now that I am a doula, I am finally finding the tools to explain to myself why my son almost died and why I was never able to initially bond with him as his mother. When I was first starting on my doula journey last summer, I met with other doulas to get to know them and ask questions and when I would tell them this birth story, it would not make sense to them. The lies I was told by my health care team about what happened did not make sense to women who see birth sometimes daily. It hit me like a silver bullet. I started researching and am slowly piecing together the truth. It has been very healing and I am so thankful. God has given me this doula journey not only to bless others with, but through it, He is blessing me with wisdom as I grow closer to Him. I am so grateful.

The truth is, God was nowhere in that birth story. I believe very much that it is a testimony I can now use to understand why His presence in birth is so important for women. I did not call to Him during my pain. I did not ask Him for strength. I was incredibly lonely and I did not ask Him for comfort. I did not consult Him in decision making and every decision I made was for the worst. I trusted the doctors to have my health in interest and they did not. I trusted them to take care of my son and me and they did not. I trusted my family to meet my needs and they were unable. If I had trusted the Lord for it all, what would things have been like?

My second birth was much different. By this time I had be born again and I was at peace with my coming labor. I trusted the Lord to take care of me and I had even witnessed His might in my sister's birth experience. (Which ultimately was the reason behind my decision to become a doula!) Her testimony filled me with trust for God.

This time I asked Him for help. I prayed as much I as remembered to. I was convicted to get through my labor without relying on medical pain relief and I successfully did. There were instances in my labor where I was scared of the hospital staff but Jesus was quick to act through my husband for support. My second birth was beautiful, powerful, and I loved every minute of it! I loved pushing my baby out... I loved how in control I was of my body. It felt good to get right out of bed after my placenta was delivered to eat a piece of pizza while I held my new gift and nursed him. We were healthy and needed nothing but each other after the birth. I worshiped the Lord after my birth in joy and thanksgiving, and fully give Him all the glory for that day!

The difference here is the presence of the Lord. Hands down.

"The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous." Proverbs 15:29

But how do I explain this in a way that teaches and comforts others.... I am still figuring that out. I never want to be a "Bible thumper" but everything in me says the smartest, most beneficial, and healthiest way to bring a baby into this world is to know where your life growing gifts have come from and trusting in the One who will bless you if you only would ask.

"When you call, the Lord will answer. 'Yes I am here.' He will quickly rely." Isaiah 58:9