I called God a bad name the other night…as I was praying to him.
I was sitting in the hospital room while my SIL, Leah, was well into her 2nd hour of pushing. She had gone into labor almost 20 hours earlier. In addition to contractions, she had a fever due to an infection and had thrown up off and on all day. She was extremely tired from the illness, contractions, shaking, pain, and her early morning. Now it was almost 11 at night and she was expected to keep pushing this baby out, who by all reports had a giant head. She was pushing hard with little progress. It was looking like she might have to have a C-section.
Now this is a girl that lost her mom to cancer when she was just 20 years old, completes triathlons, and is married to a Stenson (that isn’t easy.) Leah isn’t a wuss. She knows how to do hard things. And to see her in this vulnerable state was humbling and endearing and sad and frustrating.
We were all getting worried because Leah’s fever was up to 103 degrees and the baby wasn’t moving down and his heart rate was too high for our liking. My mom turned to me with a very worried look and said, “Start praying.”
I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and was surprised by what came into my mind.
“You b……. With all your power and knowledge, you couldn’t think of a better way to do this?” I am not sure what I said after that and I am not sure it matters. Pretty sure God wasn’t listening to much after my intro statement.
After my rant, I went over to my SIL and gave her a pep talk. I said something like, “Leah, you give this your all. You push like you have never pushed before and then if you have to have a C-section, it’s okay. You can know that you did your best. You can look back with no regret. I don’t want you to ever wonder if you could have done more.”
(I have had 4 C-sections.)
Shortly after that the baby finally began to make progress. In that last hour of pushing, Leah summoned courage and strength I have never witnessed before. Through pure exhaustion, her pushes became stronger and stronger and the little (big) guy and his giant head came out. It was a euphoric feeling for all in the room.
I still don’t understand why God makes it so hard on us women. Maybe its because he wants us to appreciate life more. Or maybe its because we tend to value more what we have to work harder to get. Or maybe its because he wants us to learn the doctrine of sacrifice. He wants us to know on a deep, personal level that sacrifice is giving up something of value for something even better. And when we better understand the doctrine of sacrifice, then we can better understand Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us. And maybe it has to do with the fact that sacrifice breeds love. And moms sacrifice so much to get kids here that an intense love is formed. And watching Leah sacrifice so much in that delivery makes me love her more today than I did last week.
I guess I better go tell God I am sorry for calling him names and thank him for giving us our sweet little Swede.