By Dianna Hobbs
The first time my doctor recommended Lamaze classes, I didn’t really know what they were. When she explained that some first-time moms choose to educate themselves to ensure a healthy birth, I figured it couldn’t hurt.
Since my husband and I lost our first baby in my second trimester and were devastated by that miscarriage, learning all we could about the process of successfully bringing a child into the world seemed like a good idea.
We weren’t sure what to expect, so we tried to be open-minded. The experience proved interesting. We watched videos, listened to lectures, heard stories, learned breathing and pain management techniques, and toured delivery rooms.
One night, during a Lamaze session, the parent educator told our class, “When contractions get painful—and they will—the best thing to do is try to relax and breathe through them.”
I remember thinking, how can I possibly stay calm when something hurts so badly?
Even though I didn’t verbalize my question, our teacher gave me the answer. She said, “Try to remember that the pain is a good thing. The contractions help push the baby down into the birthing canal, which is necessary for you to give birth.”
When my delivery day came, I rehearsed all the things I was taught. When those contractions hit hard, I wasn’t quite ready for that level of pain, though. Still, I closed my eyes, breathed and reminded myself that the pain was helping create a positive outcome.
My pain had purpose.
Though that didn’t make the brutal contractions hurt any less, that reminder did help me not to panic. In moments when I felt like I was dying, I mentally rehearsed the wisdom of my instructor and finally, after more than 20 hours of labor, and nearly two hours of pushing that required oxygen to keep from blacking out, Kyla was born.
That was 18 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. On February 4, 1999, when my doctor said, “Congratulations, it’s a girl!” and held Baby Kyla up for me to see, everything in the room went black. I could not see anything. My heart rate had dropped so low and I was pretty sick. But I made it through.
Before that triumphant moment of giving birth, however, things weren’t looking good. You see, the umbilical cord was wrapped around Kyla’s neck, which can be very dangerous, because it can potentially cut off the baby’s oxygen.
I recall the urgency I heard in the obstetrician’s voice when he told me, “Alright Mrs. Hobbs. This is the last time. If you cannot push the baby out, we’re going to have to suction her out or do something else. We need to get her out of there.”
The sound of Kyla’s heartbeat got slower and slower. I was frightened, but I was also doing the best I could. My Lamaze classes didn’t prepare me for this. I was doing everything right. I had kept calm. I breathed through the pain. I pushed whenever the doctor and nurses told me to.
So why wasn’t this working?
As the monitor reminded me with every dragging pulsation that our baby was slipping away, it was a terrible feeling. I felt helpless. At one point, Kyla’s heart rate dipped so low, the doctor ordered the nurse to turn the volume down so I could no longer hear it.
After pushing for nearly two hours and facing grave circumstances, things got scary, but I wasn’t going to give up. I had to pray and dig deep, even when I thought I had nothing left in me.
I was worn out and barely breathing myself when I was informed that the circumstances had taken a turn for the worst. But I forgot about being tired, weak, weary, scared, frustrated and worn out. Somehow, someway, by the grace of God, I summoned the strength and will to push again.
Kenya told me I had been fairly cool, calm and collected up until that point, just the way they taught me to be in Lamaze class. But when I gave that final push, he said I let out the loudest scream and gave it all I had.`
When I heard Kyla crying, I was relieved.
Drained, but relieved.
That experience taught me that life doesn’t always go as planned. No matter how much you think you know, how prepared you feel, or how persistent you are, there will be curveballs thrown at you. Despite how hard you pray, things won’t go the way you prayed, hoped, or expected they would.
You will try your best and things will take a turn for the worst sometimes. The harder you push, the more life will push back and force your back against a wall. Those against-the-wall moments take on many forms.
The struggle is great, but God is greater. He’s going to demonstrate His power and turn things around for you!
You lose a job and no one else will hire you. You get sick. You miscarry. Your loved one goes astray. The diagnosis is bad and the prognosis is worse. Someone you thought would always be there walks away or dies unexpectedly. Your finances take a hit and you’re forced to move back in with relatives, suddenly losing your independence. Your home goes into foreclosure and you don’t know where else to go. Someone you trust fails or betrays you. You are devastated emotionally.
Life happens, like it did to one of the leaders of a local synagogue in Jesus’s day. His story is found in Mark 5:21-43. This man’s daughter was dying, so he hurried to find Jesus. When he got to the Savior, he told Jesus what was happening and asked Him to heal his precious child.
He did the right thing by putting his confidence in Christ. But Jesus got delayed while healing the woman with the issue of blood. During that time, the little girl died.
It was too late, or, at least that’s the way it seemed.
But Jesus showed up when it appeared to be hopeless. Everybody was crying and grieving at the home of Jairus, the father of the girl. It was a funeral.
Unfazed by the mourners, Jesus said the girl wasn’t dead, but sleeping. He took three disciples into the girl’s room, held her hand and uttered these words: Talitha koum.
That meant, damsel, arise. In other words, the Master told her, little girl, get up!
At His word, she got up and started walking around. Folks were overwhelmed and utterly amazed at this turn of events. Jesus told them to give that child something to eat.
Just like that, He turned the situation around.
Friend, I know from personal experience that God is able to instantly shift circumstances by only speaking a word. Right now, He is speaking a word over you. New life is being breathed into situations that appear dead in your life. He is opening your womb and you’re about to give birth to His promises. He is going to show you through this trial that He is sovereign, all-powerful and completely in control.
Prepare for a shift, like the one Jairus experienced when Jesus healed his daughter after everybody said it was too late.
In Greek, the name Jairus is a form of the Hebrew personal name Jair, meaning, “Jehovah will enlighten.” Through this cup of inspiration, God is enlightening you. He is letting you know that this situation is not too big or too hard for Him. It’s not too late.
Prepare for your shift.
He knows you’ve been pushing, striving and struggling. It appears that the outcome will be negative, but the Lord is about to step into your situation, just as Jesus did Jairus’s house, and turn things around in your favor.
His way is not your way. You hoped He would have done it sooner. But it’s not too late for a turnaround. Things aren’t too far gone for a shift to happen. Watch what God does.
To help you get your expectation up, I’m stirring the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 19:26 NIV into your cup of inspiration, which says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
God is about to show forth His glory through your life. You already have the victory, even though you’re staring a great enemy in the face. The God we serve is a mighty conqueror and nothing is too hard for Him.
Expect the impossible to happen in your life.
It’s not too late.
It’s not too hard.
The conditions are just right for a miracle.
I’m telling you what I know.
Prepare for your shift.