The pain was non-stop now as the contractions came one on top of another. I desperately needed to push, but the doctors said I couldn't yet without risking damage to myself or the baby. I was really starting to rethink this whole "miracle of natural childbirth" thing, and I started to panic. I began to focus on the pain, fear, and sheer magnitude of what was about to happen. I can't do this; it's impossible; I've changed my mind!! Then, I saw it: my husband's face, inches from mine, eyes wide in no-nonsense-listen-to-me fashion. "Jen, focus. Breathe. Look at me...breathe."
I remember that moment during the birth of my first child like it was yesterday. I remember it as vividly as I remember my first glimpse of my precious baby girl. And I remember the choice I made. My first reaction to his help was to tell him to go take a hike. He had no idea what kind of pain I was in. No. Idea. Who does he think he is telling me what to do?! No uterus, no opinion!!! Okay, okay, I had asked him to support me in my dream of natural childbirth. And, yes, I had asked him to get firm with me if I started to panic, lose it, or freak out. But that was before...
I had a split second to choose. Would I let him help me, or would I take control, ignore his wisdom, and continue on to flip out and try to do this on my own? I chose to listen to him. I fixed my eyes on his and huffed and puffed as if the fate of the world depended upon my hee's and hoo's. And do you know what happened? My fear abated, I was able to regroup mentally, and not 45 minutes later our beautiful baby girl was born, with the natural birth I had dreamt about and prayed for.
I was reminded of that moment just the other day when talking with a friend. Every day we are faced with split second decisions, like the one I faced that icy January morning. Someone shows us something we need to change ("someone" could be a husband, boss, friend, child, or the Lord), or even just examine in our lives. What do we do?
I don't know about you, but my first reaction tends to be, "Shove off, I know what I'm doing!" But how many blessings do we miss out on because of our stubborn refusal to accept correction, help, or even constructive criticism?
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Proverbs 10:17
The eyes of our children are watching us to see how we handle every situation. What a wonderful example to set for them, to take time to examine ourselves, our hearts and lives, when confronted with correction, or encouragement in a difficult direction!
Is there an area in your life the Lord is leading you towards correction, improvement or change? For me it's time management! How is He speaking to you? Let us hear from you so we can support and encourage one another on this journey!