Her bedchamber had been a place of rest at the end of a long day’s work, a sanctuary with cool evening breezes fluttering the curtains. Now, the July heat was stifling, the room heavy with the scent of ether. She struggled to release the little soul within her, attempting to catch her breath between labor pains as her midwife cooled her brow with a dampened cloth. If God’s favor rested upon her on this hot July day, both she and her unborn child would be among the survivors of early 20th century childbirth.
In early America, childbirth was both wonderful and filled with dread. Every mother- to- be knew the risks they faced, and every live birth brought jubilation. While this bringing forth can only be experienced by a woman becoming a mother, every servant of God will experience birth pains when He brings forth something new and beautiful in their lives, but the pain has a purpose that is always for our good:
“In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.” Isaiah 66:8
When we feel the pain of change and we know that it is God working to birth something new in us, we can withstand the discomfort knowing that there will be something new and beautiful at the end of the journey. Like a mother stretching out her arms to receive new life for the first time, we can stretch our arms, and our faith towards God.