I know it has been a little while since I have posted - it is not that life has been too busy, but rather that I have been working on some material for a series of posts that I am really excited about for February! I don't want to say too much now, but let's just say that I am really excited and you are going to get to hear from some different people too on a very important topic!
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Last year, when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Kaleb, a C-section looked likely. He was breech and there is only one doctor I know here in Peru who would even consider a breech birth under certain conditions. When I had visited her when I was pregnant with Joel, our second child, we hadn’t seen eye to eye. But, feeling the leading of the Holy Spirit, I returned to see her 8 months pregnant, and this time we really connected. (The first time I had been to see her, I had been on the defensive and she had responded likewise to my lack of trust.)
I felt at ease with the doctor and when I went into labour, she did all she could to help me have a natural breech birth, but when Kaleb failed to descend, she felt that there was a reason why, and we should consider transferring to the hospital for a C-section. Mark and I prayed and at that moment I saw in my mind a path which forked. One way was a dead end blocked off, and I felt like God was saying that we had no choice, or rather we did – life or death!
Kaleb was born by C-section a few hours later, the cord round his neck so short that he was unable to descend. He would have most likely died if we had forced a natural breech delivery.
Now I don’t know exactly why God decided a C-section was the way Kaleb should be born. It was definitely not for lack of prayer – I was so desiring and determined to have a natural birth. But I do know that His perspective was bigger and at least part of the reason was to guide my friends through a similar situation a year later.
But leading up to the day of Kaleb’s birth, I refused to consider a C-section. I called it faith, but I now recognize it as presumption. When I opened my Bible, I read verses such as “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22) and “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) and I tried to muster up as much faith as possible – praying these verses and believing that it was God’s will for me to have a natural birth, especially seeing as that was His natural design for birth.
But the truth was, I was stuck in presumption. I never asked God His will for this situation because I presumed it would be the same as mine. I was also stuck in fear – I was unable to hear any answer other than a natural birth in my mind. Many of the reasons I was so against having a c-section were because of bad experiences with medical personnel, and general lack of support for the early mother-baby bond here in Peru. (Babies are separated from their mothers for hours post-delivery and encouraged to be fed formula in the nursery so the mother can ‘rest’. You have to be very firm to want to breastfeed your baby, or keep him or her with you after the initial compulsory separation period.)
What I hadn’t realized is that those fears were actually stopping me from trusting my Heavenly Father. And because I couldn’t trust Him, I couldn’t hear His will.
It is very difficult to hear God’s will in our lives if we are only prepared to hear the response that we don’t fear. And I wonder if the natural birth had actually become an idol to me and I was unwilling to lay it down until the end. I don’t know whether if I had laid the natural birth down earlier willingly whether God would have changed the outcome, but I do know that I would have been able to have walked into the C-section with a lot more preparation and peace than I had.
And so, as he has graciously healed my heart, amongst other things, with regards to medical situations, I have realized that I can hear His will more – even when it doesn’t make sense to me, because I can trust Him. I am open to hear responses from God that sound ‘wrong’ (like Old Testament Elijah being told to break purification laws to climb on top of a dead boy’s body, or David and his friends eating the sacred bread), and trust that He knows best and that His perspective is bigger.
And so, when I hear preachers generalizing God’s way of healing (do this and the person will receive their healing…etc), it makes me wonder if sometimes we just want a magic formula, but that God despises that. He hates it when we use his Presence to get what we want. He wants relationship with us and it is only when we can trust Him, that we can fully hear what he wants to say to us – and that takes time to mature as people and is why we need the body of Christ to help us weigh the things we feel we are hearing from God.
Lord, please forgive us when we try and use your Presence for our means, or when we presume Your will because of our fears. Please help us to trust you and really hear what you are saying in each situation, laying our fears at Your feet. Let us not presume your will, but knowing your heart, know that whatever the outcome, You are Faithful and Good and always will be.