It’s almost Eden’s birthday. How quickly a year flies! I have been thinking back on many of the things God has taught me through her life.
Several years back, I heard a session on prayer about “prayer anchors.” I cannot find that session or when it was delivered, but the general concept has stuck with me. The speaker shared about specific prayer requests that God had answered for her that she viewed as “prayer anchors,” or reminders that God answered her specific prayer requests in a way that showed only He could have done it! In October 2009, I sent these prayer requests to some friends, family and members of a ladies group to pray over regarding Eden’s upcoming birth. God answered every single one, and I know that I will always look to these as “prayer anchors” in my life. In red, I have specified how God answered.
In preparation for the birth of our new baby, Daniel encouraged me (and helped) to take a day away earlier this week and pray/think through Scripture and thoughts on giving birth. Many of you have mentioned you would be praying for me for our birth, and I thought I’d pass along some specific prayer requests that are the outflow of my “day away.” (And I am praying for you who are also “soon to deliver.” If you have specific prayer requests I can be praying for, please pass them along.)
The due date we have from our ultrasound is November 2, so we can “legally” and “safely” deliver our daughter at home any day now. We are planning to have her at home.
In preparation for our birth, I have been challenged to think along the lines of “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Although this now popular spiritual mantra has been applied to many potentially-wasted areas of life, I want to go into labor and through this birth experience with the desire for it to bring glory to God and to draw me closer to Himself–not wasting this as an opportunity. Of course, I also desire for it to go smoothly and without complication, and will pray to that end as well.
Labor/Birth Prayer Requests:
Please pray for…
- God to give me a steadfast mind throughout labor and delivery.
- The mental discipline to relax through contractions.
- The mental discipline not to give up/allow fear to enter my mind.
- The mental discipline to keep in mind the end result.
God answered this greatly, in each of those ways. (Of course it probably helped that it was less than 3 hours.)
- whatever pain and discomfort I experience to cause me to think upon Christ’s suffering for me with gratitude.
- to think upon the fact that God is with me through this all, but in Christ’s incomparable suffering, at the end He cried out, “My God, My God, Where are you?” because He was paying the penalty for MY sin. Because of THAT, I am guaranteed God’s continual presence, while in Christ’s time of greatest travail, He was not.
There were multiple, specific times that I was drawn back to that thought. In fact, I have a mental image in my mind of where I was standing when I cried out to God thinking about this.
- God to use the Scripture I have memorized and typed out to encourage and energize me throughout labor.
Again, God graciously answered this prayer. Daniel read some verses I had typed out, and I meditated specifically on Isaiah 26:11 throughout the labor as my mine was drawn back to that.
- God to grant a relatively short labor.
- Labor with Hana Kate was 60 hours if you begin when things started happening/around 45 hours from when contractions were regular and hard. (We were transported to the hospital after about 30 hours hard labor at home and had 16 more hours there.)
- Thus, I would love to have a labor of 10 hours or less, but am praying to be content with whatever God gives. 🙂
I had NO idea how short it would be. Less than 3 hours (though I had some contractions previously). I am still in shock about that, I think! 🙂
- our little girl to be born safely and without complication at home.
She was! Our midwife made it with 28-ish minutes to spare (thanks to her insistence on coming even when I thought we weren’t ready for her.)
- nice weather on the day of the birth.
- for walking and possibly delivering our baby in a pool on our porch (enclosed porch-don’t worry! :))
Sadly, I didn’t get to have a waterbirth because of how quickly things progressed. But indeed, even the weather was nice; it was just past midnight by the time she was born. But we did enjoy a nice family walk just a few hours previous.
- my attitude toward Daniel and my midwives during labor and birth to be gentle and kind.
I believe that God answered this prayer, though I guess I should fully confirm this with our midwife Amy. 🙂
- our little girl to nurse well, especially during her first few hours and weeks.
We did great!
- Hana Kate’s adjustment to her new little sister, and our adjustment as a whole family to being a family of 4.
The most traumatic part for Hana Kate was hearing little Eden cry. The first time she did, she herself began crying. I’ll never forget that precious moment. She really did adjust well, and we are thankful.
There are, of course, all sorts of reasons why we think God’s answering these prayers as we desire would be best for us and for God’s glory. But even better is for us to commit these desires to the Lord and to watch Him give us the desires of our hearts, both to grant us the desires we should be desiring and to grant us the specific desires as we have in faith besought Him for. Whether God grants us a speedy delivery with a healthy child, or whether God chooses to take life from this child before we even hold her; we rest confident in His perfect plans for our family.
This upcoming birth is one of God’s ways of stretching me in the areas of endurance, trust, and dependence upon Him. God designed and fashioned my body to accomplish this work, and the more I trust in Him to do so throughout this process, the more I will can grow in these areas.
Thank you for praying and sharing in this special time with us!
As we celebrate this year of life we’ve had with Eden and the events surrounding her birth, we can’t help but reflect on these answers God gave. How deep His mercy to us!