Birthing Time is Here - Get Ready
Are things tight in your life right now? Do you feel you're being pressed in on every side? Are you in an uncomfortable place? Then great, because that's exactly what happens before giving birth. Things get tight and uncomfortable, but it's this pressing that causes the birth.
With each month that progresses in pregnancy a woman gets more and more uncomfortable, until finally the contractions start - the pressing, and that's when it starts to get real. With every contraction the pain intensifies, causes the woman to stop, double over and catch her breath.
Then comes the labor and that's when the pain starts to become unbearable. I remember during my daughter's pregnancy I had read up on natural childbirth and I had decided that I wanted to go natural. I told my doctor I wasn't going to take any epidural. As soon as the words left my mouth he smiled and let out a soft laugh. Slowly and matter of fact he said, "Julie, you're going to want the epidural. It's perfectly safe for the baby. It's there to help you with the pain."
But I was convinced natural was the way to go. I shook my head, "No, I want to go natural." After all, I had read up on this and they said that natural was better for the baby. All nine months he kept insisting I get the epidural, and all nine months I insisted I was going natural. That was until those contractions hit and somewhere between dilating between four and five all that natural crap went out the window.
"Get me my epidural!" The doctor smiled real big. "I told you." Once I got that epidural I didn't feel any pain pushing her out. What a snap that was.
Then during my second pregnancy my sister-in-law at the time was also pregnant and she had delivered a few months before me. During her delivery she was screaming, "Get it out. Just cut it out!" I had been teasing her about this. I would call, "Get it out. Just cut it out!" She didn't think it was very funny. I thought it was hilarious.
It was all funny until I was in the delivery room and they told me my contractions were too far along to give me an epidural.
Lord, Jesus! Get it out! Cut it out!
I'm not even Catholic and I was doing Hail Mary's and asking my mom to pray to Mary - anybody I thought might listen and be able to stop this pain. Labor pain is no joke!
Then came my third child, Hawke. I got an epidural, but I could still feel that pain and no matter how hard I pushed he wasn't coming out. Finally, the doctor said, "If he doesn't come out soon we're going to need to suction him out."
I knew someone who had once had this done and their child had brain trauma after this. The thought of taking that risk with my child wasn't something I wanted to do, but this pain....
My brain was telling me to do whatever necessary to make this pain stop, even if it meant taking a risk with my child, but the motherly instinct in me took over.
Keep pushing. You're almost there. Lord, help me get this baby out.
I pushed one more time. He was out.
You're one push away from seeing the promises of God in your life. You're so close you cannot afford to give up now.
This past Thursday while at the prison, one of the guys who comes in monthly to teach taught on Hannah. If you're not familiar with the story of Hannah she had been barren for many years and she desperately wanted children.
What made it worse, her husband's other wife, Peninnah, was popping out children left and right, and she made sure to rub it in Hannah's face. The only thing worse than desperately wanting something and not being able to get it, is to have to sit and watch others (who don't seem so deserving) get blessed with the thing that you want.
It can feel as if God's being unfair and as if He has forgotten you. It's painful when people overlook you, but when it feels like God's forgotten you, that's a whole other level pain, kind of like labor without the epidural.
But, no matter how much Hannah prayed and wept because of her rival's provoking, Hannah stayed barren. Did God not hear Hannah? Was He being unfair? Not at all. In fact, it says that "...the Lord had closed her womb." (1 Samuel 1:5)
Why would the Lord close her womb? Didn't the Lord say it was good to be fruitful and multiply? Then why would the Lord close a woman's womb? Isn't this contradictory to the Lord's word? If you only look at the closed womb one would think that, but you can't stop there. You have to look at the purpose of the process.
The tight, closed, barren place eventually caused Hannah to pray a prayer that she otherwise wouldn't have prayed and to surrender something she otherwise wouldn't have surrendered.
"And she made a vow saying, 'Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant, but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life...' " (1 Samuel 1:11)
Her barrenness had purpose. It was the barrenness, the womb God had closed, that caused her to pray the prayer that gave God permission to do His will for her life. The desperate prayer birthed one of the greatest prophets to ever live - Samuel. After she dedicated Samuel and gave him to the Lord, she went on to have five other children.
After Dan finished teaching on Hannah I left the prison and decided to swing by this tanning salon. They had sent me a coupon for a free week of tanning. I don't normally go tanning, but since it was free and I was heading to Nashville for the Rock 'n ' Roll Half Marathon the following week I decided to get my tan on.
I had gone earlier in the day to tan, but they told me since I had been there the previous evening I had to wait 24 hours for safety issues. My initial response was to feel a slight irritation that I had wasted my time driving there, but I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to chill and reminding me that all things work together for our good, even those things that seem like we "wasted" our time on - that it's all leading somewhere.
So, I shrugged my shoulders, resolved to come back after the 24 hour safety rule. So, later that night after leaving the prison I walked back into the tanning salon and noticed the name on the nametag of the woman checking me in.
Hannah. How fitting.
They had a lot of rooms to tan in, almost 30. She put me in room nine - the month of birth. I knew there was no way this was coincidence. As I walked back to room nine I was also reminded of one of my son's spelling words that week - labor.
The Lord was letting me know, it's delivery time. There will be no more delay.
The week before I had been on the phone with a friend of mine who's one of many who has been in one of these tight places where the contractions have been hitting. I shared with him that right before we spoke I had a vision of all these dominoes lined up. They were set up in this massive, circular array awaiting for the first one to be tipped.
The Lord told me, Nothing you've been doing has been wasted. All the things that at the time may have seemed insignificant have been dominoes being lined up. Get your ducks in a row because when I open the door the blessings are going to fall like dominoes, but wherever you haven't prepared it will be like a missing domino. It will stop.
I shared this vision with my friend. Later that night I got on the site Elijah List. I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw the prophetic word that had been released earlier that morning from renowned prophet Cindy Jacobs.
Her word was this:
The Lord says, "When I am in it, I will do it suddenly. When I am in it, all those dominoes are going to be released." Maybe you have seen those pictures where dominoes are set up, then somebody just touches the first one, and everything falls and makes a pattern.
This is what the Lord is saying to you: "Do you trust Me when I haven't touched the first domino yet? Do you trust Me when you don't see the pattern? I am setting up the pattern, and you will come into a moment of extreme acceleration. You will come into that 'suddenly' moment, and all the pieces will fall together. Trust Me. I know where all the pieces are. Trust Me that I know all the situations that have to happen to make your dreams come true."
(To read the rest of the word: http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=21820)
God was confirming His word. Trust the process. The pain you are feeling are contractions. No one likes the pain, but it's a sign that you are closer than you think. The pressure is necessary to push out of you the promises of God. Without the tight place you would never birth what God has created you for. And just like Hannah's sacrifice of Samuel resulted in five more children, so too are your sacrifices going to result in multiplication.
Do not quit now. Do not try to avoid the pain by taking a risk that will cause you to bring trauma to this baby you've been carrying. It's delivery time for the promises of God for your life. One more push and you're there, and the promises and blessing are going to fall like dominoes.