This past week has taught me much. I gave birth to my firstborn son on Tuesday, March 9, after 22 hours of labor, including 6 hours of pushing. My birth looked much different than planned and included a hospital transfer instead of the homebirth I’d hoped for. Recovery has been difficult, and while we’ve had the best of medical support at every step, some things just take time to heal. But every bit of pain and trial has been worth it for my darling baby boy. Sometime I’ll write up the whole story.
For now, because time is brief and I have the most precious little newborn to nurse and snuggle, here’s a few rambling thoughts.
First, it is safe to trust God with your story. Yes, I prayed for some specific things over my birth. Some of those specifics were answered. And some were answered in a higher, ultimately better way. Even now, I can trace God’s hand through even the smallest of details, and see how He arranged and went before us on things we couldn’t have known. Our Lord is sovereign and good, and in submission, trust, and obedience we find perfect peace. This birth did not “go wrong”, He just arranged it differently than we expected. And so, with open hands, I can be grateful for each element of it, even the excruciatingly painful parts of it. We have been uplifted by the faithful prayers of the saints at every step, and God has faithfully heard and answered those prayers. He is worthy of our trust and all the glory belongs to Him.
Secondly, God uses suffering for His glory and works all things together for good – including (or maybe especially) trials. In the process of delivery, I sustained some injuries that are now being addressed with chiropractic care. In the meantime, I’ve been unable to walk without extreme pain and am mostly bedridden. We were released from the hospital to stay with my parents, so that they could help Erik care for me and Charlie while I recover. We’re not sure how long it may take, but we’re extremely grateful for their help and support, and they are loving all this time with their first grandson and nephew!
It is humbling to rely on others for everything, to have privacy stripped away, to be unable to even change or dress my baby. And yet I see God stripping away my pride and sanctifying me, showing me new and beautiful things in my loved ones, healing relationships and bringing reconciliation in ways that I didn’t think I’d see for years, opening opportunities for being a witness of the Gospel, deepening our trust in Him, and so much more. None of it could have been possible without this unusual suffering. He is bringing beautiful things out of it, and now I wouldn’t change it.
Thirdly, it matters who you marry. I thought I loved my husband before, but oh, how I love him now. My respect and appreciation for him has grown immensely this week. I knew he was a man of character, a man I could trust with my life, a man who would keep his vow to love me as Christ loved the church. But I have seen it in action so fully this week. To any not-yet-married girls reading this, please, marry a man who:
-lets you lean on his strength and is your rock, no matter what it costs him
-studies and knows you so well that you can freely trust him to make even the smallest decisions on your behalf
-lays down his needs and wants to serve you, and never makes you feel like a burden for needing him
-is the person you want to share all of life with, from the highest peaks, like welcoming your baby into the world together, to the lowest moments, like rushing to the ER in the middle of the night because it looks like something has gone dangerously wrong
-tells you that you’re beautiful, and means it, when you’re just days postpartum and look like you’ve been through the wringer
-prays for you, washes you with the Word, reminds you of truth, and points you to Christ even in the hardest moments
-speaks life over you when you need the encouragement, holds you silently when words are unnecessary, and handles the hormones and tears in stride
-praises your calling as a mother and blesses you in it
-no matter how strong and tough he is, kisses and cuddles his baby with the tenderest care
-is a man you’d be proud to have a son just like
Words are insufficient, but I have been so very blessed in my Erik. He has been exactly what I have needed this week and this blessing and trial have brought us together in the most beautiful ways.
Charlie, your daddy is a good, godly man. A man who you can imitate as he imitates Christ. A man who will be your earthly hero. I’m excited to watch you grow, excited to see you develop into an “inter-continental ballistic missile” (as V. Bauchum says) for the kingdom of God, and one day, be a husband and a daddy like your daddy.
God is faithful. I’m immensely blessed in these two guys of mine, plus everything else besides. May our little family bring much glory to His name.