A fellow “waiting” mom wrote this and gave me permission to share:
“I coached my oldest daughter through natural labor and childbirth on Wednesday night. She stayed at 9cm for 3.5 hours.
Towards the end she looked at me and said ‘I can’t do this, I’m not strong enough!’
I looked at her and said, ‘You can because you have your husband and me right here with you to give you our strength.’
We held her up while she rocked back and forth moving her little guy down into position.
While I was holding my daughter through such physical trauma I thought about how God held me up after the loss of her sister.
I didn’t have the strength to stand. I felt like I couldn’t do it.
But He held me.
He didn’t take the pain away but He held me up when my strength failed me.”
Her words brought light to my heart.
Here was a mama who has faced life and death and learned something she was willing to share.
Her experience reminded me of this Brene Brown quote I had read months ago:
Faith isn’t an epidural. It’s a midwife who stands next to me saying, “Push, It’s supposed to hurt.”
As I reflected on my friend’s words and this quote, I realized there were some lessons here-for birth, for death and for grief.
A midwife does not deny the pain.
It hurts to give birth. It hurts to say good-bye. It hurts to carry grief everywhere I go.
When someone comes alongside and denies the truth of my pain, I shut down and stop listening.
But when they enter in and acknowledge my pain, I receive courage to continue pushing.
A midwife does not offer false hope.
She knows that there is no way through but through. A midwife bears witness and lends strength but she doesn’t pretend it will be easy.
There are no shortcuts to birth and no detours for grief. I can only face the sorrow, missing and hurt and keep going.
But the journey is easier when someone is willing to travel with me, to listen and to help bear the burden.
A midwife understands that though the pain is great and the process long, it will end.
It hurts. But it won’t hurt forever.
She doesn’t throw that truth in the hurting mama’s face. She whispers prayers for mercy.
For the profound wounds of life, there are no quick fixes. There is no easy healing.
We endure because God through His Spirit lends us strength.
We make it through because Jesus promises to redeem and restore.
And because friends remind us with their presence that God is near.
What a gift are those friends who stay near when life is hard,
who choose to stick it out when pain makes us both uncomfortable
and continue to love and lend their strength when mine is gone!