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First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weakness Made Strong

Since I've turned to the Lord and been working to straighten my life to His plan for me, I've been blessed by so many experiences that strengthen my testimony of simple, yet powerful, Gospel Principles.  In my opinion, the whole birth process, and especially natural birthing (my opinion, of course), is probably one of the most condensed opportunities for women and their men to experience "full-circle" testimony building "mini-lives."  It certainly seems like it to me after this, my fourth, experience of such!

Lest anyone think I'm some sort of superwoman (cause I have long and, at least at the end, really painful baby-birthing experiences), I feel to share some of my weakness which will then illustrate how Father made me strong... at least, I hope you'll understand it as I do.  :)

I felt pretty good about everything and really didn't experience any "pain" resulting from contractions until more than half-way into the process of birthing Jimmy.  That means that the painful time started well after the arrival of my midwife, her assistants, and my friends to care for my girls (later than 10am).  I did need to breathe through the contractions starting around 4am, probably.  But they really were not painful unless I was totally caught off guard.

Even after they got a bit painful, they were manageable if I focused well.  And when I prayed while I focused, the pain melted away.  I was able to continue in that way until around 5pm, I think.  Maybe it was a little earlier or later, but around then I just got TIRED.  And with the fatigue came a lesser ability to focus.  And with that lesser ability to focus came the whispers of doubt.  Doubt about my body being capeable.  Doubt about whether the baby was faring well - even though I heard, for myself, his strong STEADY heartbeat!  Doubt about any and everything that I could doubt, really.  And doubt, you most certainly know, is only able to exist where Faith is lacking.  Faith and doubt, like Faith and Fear, cannot co-exist in the same mind at the same time.  And so I am weak.  You see it, I hope.  How my lack is weakness.

I've said it often enough, but I think, because it sounds like a joke, that people think I'm JUST joking.  I say:  "If I were one of Jesus's Disciples at the time of His ministry, we would not now say 'Doubting Thomas,' we would say, 'Doubting Tori'."  I struggle with doubt almost constantly... though not nearly as constantly today as a few years ago.  How is such a change as THAT possible?  Certainly not because of any strength I inherently possess, else I would've resolved my doubter's tendancy long before turning to Christ!  I know the only way to true and lasting Change is in and through Christ, Jesus.  Only His merits can save - redeem - change us!

So, while laboring...  I started to ask if I could go to the hospital.  Yes.  I did.  I only ever asked Father 'cause I was afraid my pain combined with the voicing of the question would cause Jess to faulter in his firmness and steadiness in supporting me.  Thankfully our Lord knows the end from the beginning and He told me very firmly and immediately after each request that I should stay home and everything would work out well.  Now... please note here that I asked more than once.  If I was a truly Faithful and strong woman, I would have asked once and trusted.  No, not I.  I asked MANY times.  I don't know how many 'cause I lost count after the third time in the haze of labor-land.  But even "just" three... seriously!??  I laugh, a bit hysterically and only internally, at my Faithlessness.  What a lame chick I am!  And I am weak.

What resolved the weakness?  Prayer.  Father.  I gave up.  I was defeated by myself.  I was defeated and weak and unable to continue any longer or go any farther.  And I told Father God all of it.  And as I released my effort, He stepped in to make me more.  As a result of His greater presence in me, I did things differently because I felt I must - I was led to do what needed to be done, I believe.  I walked.  I showered.  I sat on the potty.  And then I tried to take over and layed myself down in fatigue.

Eventually, I gave it all up again.  The second time around was when Karen directed me to the funny position.  But even then I didn't give up as completely as I should've until Jessie told me that after the next two contractions I would get up to do the position Karen had described.  He urged me and I obeyed.  I'm so thankful for His strength as my Patriarch and Partner during our labor for Jimmy!  So, I did rise.  I think I probably waited one extra contraction just cause I was being stubborn... but I did rise and stood in the funny position.  And I walked.  And I showered.  And then I told Karen that I had to lay down, she had to check me.  I knew the baby would come soon.  None of that effort was me alone.  Of course, I hadn't been physically alone the whole day, but I'd been relying on my own strength all too often.

Obviously, you know the rest of the story.  :)

I know one of the most important lessons from this "mini-life" of Jimmy's birth experience (and my birth into being a Mother of four) is that I must rely more fully, more completely, and with more trust, on the Lord.  How else can a girl get through this world with all its craziness and tread through the fear others would lay at her feet?  I know I am weak, so I cannot do it without the lifting Grace of God.  I am weak.  And as I recognize my weakness, He lifts me to be more.  To be made strong in and through Christ.

I believe we cannot progress well in this life with any semblence of peace, grace, or goodness unless we are supported from on High.  I believe this so strongly because I know both sides of the effort.  I was a non-believer - aetheist, then agnostic, then Christian, and then, as now, specifically Mormon Christian.  I know I cannot be in Peace and face the world.  I need the Angles (both heavenly and earth-bound) to bear me up lest I dash my toe... and as I recognize this, my need, and accept the help Father always provides in His time; my Peace, Faith, and Hope grow as I feel the Love of the Lord through the ministrations of His Angels.  And, OH!  SO many angels have been ministering to me and my family!!!  What a gift!  What a pleasure and JOY to feel so concretely the Love of our Father in Heaven!!!!

I'm so very grateful that the Lord sees fit to show me my weakness, that I can be fully broken, which enables me to be what I must be so that He can put me back together and make me strong.

1 comment:

rjlundberg said...

Tori, I totally understand what you mean by this "I know I am weak, so I cannot do it without the lifting Grace of God. I am weak. And as I recognize my weakness, He lifts me to be more. To be made strong in and through Christ."
And because we have fallen so low, He is able to lift us higher than we have ever known possible. And our love for Christ is stronger than ever!
Well said girlfriend!


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