THE BIRTHING PROCESS
As a midwife I often see parallels between the natural and spiritual birth. We have seasons of abundant revelation and specific direction which brings us hope and builds our faith. These seasons are essential as Proverbs 29:18 shows, “When there is no vision, the people perish”. Initially when we go in these directions it often feels easy and exciting. We see promises align and this is much like when you first find out you are pregnant. There is the initial excitement and you notice physical changes to your body. As the bump grows the baby kicks as a constant reminder of what is to come!
As time passes and things take longer or look different to what we anticipated, we often have lots of questions; are we still in God’s will? Did we miss it or has God forgotten me? We ask God what am I meant to be doing now and what is next? Often in those times we don’t hear new directional revelation. We wonder if we can even hear Gods voice and what happened to the ease we once felt.
This waiting is very similar to how a woman feels as she approaches full term. She becomes very uncomfortable and those last few weeks feel like forever! It feels like all you are really doing is waiting. Habakkuk 2:3 says “If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay’. These are the moments when you draw near to God and remember what He has taught you. This is when you learn to be thankful and worship Him even when you don’t understand. When you don’t hear the current word of God speaking to you, read the Word of God because His promises are not based on circumstances.
A skilled midwife can often tell the stage of childbirth within minutes of watching a woman in labour. During early labour, women often smile and there is an overall excitement even though the intensity of the contractions are increasing. Likewise, sometimes in spiritual birth there is a temporary excitement as you see the end in sight before things start to feel even more challenging. These are the moments when we pour out our anguish to God. Just as the Psalmist says in Psalm 142:2 “I pour out my complaint before him”. It is in those moments when you realise you do not have the strength to do this on your own and you remember the promise that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). You were never meant to carry this burden or do this on your own.
This parallels so much with what is known as ‘the transition stage’ of labour. It is when the baby is almost ready to be pushed out. The most common sign of this is when a woman word for word usually says “I cannot do this anymore”. This is when you quickly make the final preparations for the birth. The birth partner who is watching all this unfold is often confused and sometimes worried why you seem to be ignoring the pleas of their partner as you hurry to prepare. This is because they do not understand the process, and that you know things will happen quickly and this is actually a very good sign.
The midwife’s response to the woman’s plea will always be “yes you can!”. I believe this is Father God’s response to us. Usually a midwife in labour will not talk that much, because the woman needs to concentrate, and too much information can be overwhelming. A good midwife will give enough information at the right timing to guide the woman through each stage. The same is true with God, the next stage doesn’t always make sense until you’ve completed the current stage and He may not give you new direction when you think you need it.
When things get really hard, when we are really pressed, when we have no idea what to do anymore, He says “I have not forgotten you”, “I love you”, and “You are beautiful”. Labour and birth do not feel like glory to glory as Paul promises in 2 Corinthians 3:18 but it is. One thing for sure is that the moment the baby is held by the mother, there are smiles and often tears of joy and overwhelming amazement that the baby has finally arrived. Then the woman often looks to the midwife and thanks her as she realises she has been there by her side the whole time. Even if the woman’s eyes were shut, as is common in labour, or if the midwife was not talking much, the midwife was there to help her through. In the same way Father God will not leave you or forsake you as you birth the promises He has destined for you before you were born (Ephesians 2:10).
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