I shook my head again and again. “I can’t do this,” I kept saying – only internally, because the pain wouldn’t let the words leave my lips. Wave after wave of uterine contractions. One hand gripped the bedrail, the other clutched onto my husband’s poor hand. I searched his eyes, begging for help. He encouraged and said all the right things, but I just wanted to run away from myself. The baby was coming, nonetheless, and I could only be delivered from the pain by embracing more of it. I had a job to do . . . liberate a baby from my body-cocoon, but I was in the dreaded “transition” and I had run out of resolve. I had done this one time before, so I knew where I was, what was coming, and that the memories of the pain would fade. Regardless, I was in that frantic, feverish state, just wanting someone to deliver me.
Any woman who has ever delivered a baby knows that you have no choice in the giving up. You have no power to stop that baby from coming. And you don’t really want to. But you do. Because childbearing is one of the most taxing things you will ever do for the good of another life.
But the urgency for deliverance doesn’t end in the delivery room, does it?
The last couple of days, I feel like I have been in emotional transition in this childbearing phase of life. Delivering those babies of mine was only the beginning. If you are raising children, you know, you are giving up your body, mind and spirit every. single. day.
Because when that sippy cup is dropped on the hardwood floor for the twentieth time and the sound reverberates and the very vertebrae of my spine rile, I need to swallow that “contraction”, pick up that dropped cup, maybe say, “No, no” and let it go.
Every time the contraction of arguing with Firefly about whether or not to wear leggings under that dress, or wearing her brown sneakers instead of her adorable black boots, wears upon my soul, I need to take a deep breath, be the parent, not react, maybe let her decide, but definitely direct her heart.
Every time the contraction of seeing those toys on the floor that I just picked up (not three minutes ago) comes around, I need to stifle my murmuring and hold tight to the One whose grip will not let me go.
These are just the little contractions of motherhood. But they are constant. The seemingly little things can wear a mother thin, dissipate any semblance of confidence in her abilities, and make her want to run away and hide from the very things that she treasures with all her heart.
Load after load of laundry.
Crumbs continually on the kitchen counter.
Toothpaste in the bathroom sink again.
That afore-mentioned sippy cup battle.
Battles of the will.
Another dirty diaper?
Knocks on the bathroom door when you’ve only been missing for 30 seconds.
“But I wanted such and such for dinner!”
Forgetting to stash the diaper bag.
And the wave after wave of giving yourself up for these simple tasks, directing a child’s heart, or the overwhelming desire for just a little break, is enough to make a girl wonder if she was cut out for a 24/7 job like this.
But I keep thinking on this passage:
“And women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” 1 Timothy 2:15
What on earth does that mean?????
I wonder if it means more than just physical labor and delivery . . . do you think it means childrearing? Because I certainly feel like motherhood helps me see more and more of my need for His cleansing sanctification than anything else.
I desperately need to have faith that he has given me enough strength and will give me enough wisdom to raise these two beautiful, little lives.
I desperately need true love for these two girls of mine. Love that guides, disciplines when needed and helps me lay my own wants and desires down at the foot of the cross.
And I desperately need a holy propriety in daily living with my children. All too often, I’ve been known to yell, become frustrated too easily, react and give in to plain, old grumpiness.
Oh, dear Father. Rescue me from running away from true deliverance. Because the more I fight to have more “me time”, or quiet, or a spotless home that bears no resemblance to one housing a busy, living family, the more the contractions of motherhood take the breath of your Spirit from me.
Please, yet again, bring life to my limits.