It was quite a night, after some contractions that had stopped 2 days before, the saying that, "every pregnancy is different" was indeed true for us this time as previously in little ways. This time it was as if The Lord was throwing us a curve ball to see if we were paying attention to Him! We were all ready to meet Rachel face to face that Tueday but then everything stopped and we were completely puzzled and so we didn't quite know what to do and so we just waited and waited and went about with life like normal, until Thursday evening, where after work I came home and after dinner and Bible time and saying goodnight to the rest of the kids, and then all of a sudden we were trying to decide on whether to try and make it to the birth center which is about an hour's drive away or to ask them to drive like maniacs to our place, and we ended up opting for them to come here because it didn't seem like we would make it there in time.
Pretty soon after, we were pushing and my heart was pumping and Rachel's head was coming out! There were moment where my life and Rachel's life and Becca's life were flashing before my eyes and my spirit was uttering in groans and sophisticated theological cries like, "Jesus, help me! Jesus help us, Jesus protect Becca and Rachel! " Just goes to show that when it comes down to it, at least my cry to Jesus in times of trouble is very plain and simple and basic!
I remember that when Rachel's head was out and the midwives were on the phone talking us through that it all kind of faded into the background and somehow I assume it must have been the Holy Spirit, I just became away of the Lord's voice saying, "Trust me, trust me." And then everything came back into hearing and focus and Rachel was coming into my arms, there was rejoicing all around that the delivery was over!
The midwives arrived 10 mins later and checked Becca and Rachel out and took care of us and made sure we were okay and we were able to catch our breath a little. Becca will fill you in on her side of the story but needless to say it was quite a special delivery for us both, happening with our family, a trusted friend from our church and Jesus and the midwives by phone. I think next time we'll opt to stay at home! As I think about and mull it over and process it, I think of the following scripture which I think was brought to life in a very tangible way (special emphasis on the first part):
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:1-5 NIV)
It's pretty clear that there are blessings and rewards for following The Lord, however as I meditate on this Psalm it becomes more and more clear that this is more to do with Him than with us, we are truly the recipients of grace upon grace (John 1:16), not because of merit, or hard work, or our own righteousness but simply because The Lord so chooses to build the house, watch over the city, bring children as blessing, not by our mighty works or our own right hand, but by His power and strength and wisdom.