“I can’t do this!” she screamed. Her brow furrowed as she fell back in the bed, exhausted from pushing for over two hours.
I swallowed the ball of tears that was welling up in my throat and encouraged myself, “you’ve been here, you can help get her through this. Don’t be afraid.”
“Look at me, Mandi. You CAN do this and you WILL. You are strong. Now get ready and push as hard as you can. We’ll get through it together.”
Her eyes met mine and I began to see an inner strength replace her pain. I gently lifted her leg, took a deep breath, and began to count her through the next contraction.
My sister had her first baby this weekend and it reminded me so much of my own labor and delivery stories. I had the privilege of being with her through every part of the delivery and I was so proud to be a part of her story. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.
Child birth is such a beautiful reminder of what life looks like when we go through trials. There are five things I’d like to share that have helped me get through mine, in hopes it will be a source of encouragement for when you go through yours.
Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Trials will leave you feeling scared and weak, but if you remember who is with you, you have the power to cast fear aside and replace it with boldness and courage. He is made strong in your weakness. You will overcome any hardship when you put your trust in Him.
2. The result of any trial is wisdom and strength. Remember, there is purpose in your pain.
It was interesting hearing the doctor coach Mandi in the last half-hour of her labor. I’ll never forget when she leaned down to Mandi and told her, “I can tell you’re resisting when you feel the pain you’re pushing into, but that’s what you need to push through. That’s the body’s way of giving you a focal point. That’s what will get your baby out.”
I mean, HELLO? How accurate is THAT? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve resisted trials to avoid pain or suffering, when that’s exactly what I needed to push through in order to see the beauty on the other side. I realize this is God’s way of developing us, teaching us to lean harder on Him when we know we can’t endure it on our own. When we choose comfort over pain it prolongs the trial, or even worse, avoids it completely. When we boldly walk into the struggles of life, no matter how painful it may be, the reward is wisdom and strength.
3. Learn to rest when given the opportunity, to gather the strength to get through the next phase.
It was so difficult for Mandi to rest between contractions. For her, and most women, that’s due to a mix of adrenaline, pain, and hormonal shifts. But if I’m being honest, which I am, I think I have such a hard time doing this, in daily life. I’ve recognized that when I don’t stop and allow myself quiet time, to pray and get in God’s word, I become restless. I find that even when my day only allows for five minutes of quiet time (which, a lot of times, that means in the bathroom- am I right mommas?) I’m calmer and more prepared to take on whatever else gets thrown my way.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Your trial isn’t yours to carry alone, give it to Him and He promises to give you the rest you need to strengthen you. You aren’t alone, you can do this.
4. Remember that you were made to overcome whatever you face, regardless of how unequipped you may feel.
It was right at the end of labor that my sister needed help the most. Her energy was depleted, her spirit faint, and her pain the strongest. This was when she needed reminding the most. Esther 4:14 says, “…And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What a wonderful reminder that whatever we are facing, we were made for this moment, regardless of how we feel! Sometimes, we have to detach ourselves from how we feel so we can attach ourselves to reality.
Mandi had a choice to make, give up or fight. She chose to fight, even when she felt she had nothing left to give. And the result was priceless, a strength she’d never known she’d had and the birth of a precious baby girl.
5. When you overcome your trial, you are fully equipped to share your story with those who need to hear it the most.
I’ve had four babies of my own. My first two were c-sections and my last two were vaginal. Yeah, I did it in reverse. I’m extremely proud of my story and the strength I possess as a result of going through them. But seriously y’all, I cannot tell you how empowering it was to watch my story and my trials impact my sister go through hers.
Whatever you’ve faced, I guarantee you there is someone else out there who has gone through something similar. God desires us to share our trials to empower others to overcome their own. His intention is for us to connect with others by sharing our stories, to encourage one another and draw us closer to Him.
Proverbs 20:5 words it beautifully, “the purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”
You have a unique purpose that gives you an insight that no one else has. There’s never been, nor will there ever be another story etched in time quite like yours. This makes you invaluable, uniquely made, and more precious than gold.
Pushing past the fear of being known and sharing where you’ve been and what you’re going through is tough, but the benefits are great. Being transparent and authentic will yield a deeper relationship with the people you love and draw you closer to the one who loves you more than anything.
Allowing myself to be a part of my sister’s story added to the impact of my own. Sharing who we are not only benefits others, but has a residual affect on ourselves. I’m stronger because of her and I’m so thankful to have been able to be a part. I’d love to hear some of your own stories of overcoming trials and how they have impacted others! Your stories encourage and strengthen me along my journey! If there’s a trial you are facing, I would love to hear about it so I can pray for you.
Please share them with me by going to the contact page of my website and filling out the form.
If I don’t hear from you, hope you have an awesome week!