From February 14th to the 18th, we celebrated the birthdays of our three youngest children. Our “February Fest” (as we call it) is a joyous occasion as we have three birthdays within 5 days: The 14th and Valentine’s Day is our precious daughter (the youngest), the 16th (our 4th son) and the 18th (our youngest and 5th son).
As I spoke with my daughter the day before her birthday, she asked me how I knew I was about to have her. I told her, unlike my earlier pregnancies, my water broke first.
I’d given birth to all five of my son’s naturally and with each one of them, I was already at the hospital when it occurred. However, the night before my daughter’s birth, she’d changed position from being head down to sideways. She was breach and had to be delivered by C-section.
One week prior, she was fully positioned in the birth canal. We knew the time was near because contractions had me in the hospital’s emergency room. But they stopped and I was sent home to wait.
As I recalled the chain of events that surrounded her birth, I began to realize she was not only the birth of a child, but also the birth of a promise.
For the sake of not belaboring the account (every pun intended), I will refer to points of which correlate to promises many of us are also pregnant with. And although the account has triggered some very poignant “Ah ha” revelations, time does not allow me to expound as I could.
Over the past several weeks, I have met many women who are facing major challenges. These are not the normal circumstances, which come and go with a phone call or a trip to the school. No, these are quite different: the child you were always there for, sacrificed days from work to attend court hearings and bailed out of jail is now blaming you for their life sentence. Or the husband that used to be at the church as soon as the doors opened has become bitter, distant and many times cruel regarding the things of God. Even to the point of disrupting the entire household.
The professor from H-E (Double hockey sticks) will not pass a single assignment you write and if you don’t have some divine intervention soon, you could lose time, money or more. The boss that used to adore you is now threatened by you and your very livelihood is now held in the hands of (who you are certain is) King Saul’s offspring.
Or the fatality that claimed the life of that loved one, and the trickling effect it has on your life being turned upside down, are only a few of the trials and tribulations many women are facing.
One painful and heart wrenching occurrence after another without any reprieve, you find yourself vacillating between what God has said about you, to you, or through you and what you are experiencing. You know you are carrying a promise. You want to believe, but the fight to push on past the present pain at times seems too much to bear.
Many women are feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day duties of the many roles they play. The balancing act of being a woman who works outside of the home and a wife and mother has all but consumed them. They’re working 2+ jobs, doing carpools, school functions projects at home, and caring for loved ones. They find themselves functioning, but in a daze. Life has become like the hamster on the wheel: They’re ever running faster and faster, exerting the energy and wearing themselves out, but cannot see the progress. When the wheel stops, they’re in the same place they began.
The domestic engineer whose home schooling the kids, managing the home, scheduling appointments for her husband, kids and tending to the things of the church; anything that is going on, she’s there. Everyone can count on her and does because (after all) she “doesn’t work” she’s a stay at home mom.
Each of these women is wearing the many hats, of which women are acquainted with. Many are having a difficult time managing. Many are screaming from within “Stop the wheel! I want to get off!” And if one thing in one area weighing heavy on you is not enough, another wave of situations and circumstances come at you like a Tsunami that leaves you washed a shore, depleted and grasping for something to hold on to before another wave approaches.
Six years before the birth of our daughter in ’95, I heard the voice of the Lord say to me “You are pregnant! You’re going to have a girl and her name will be Faith & Strength!” Again, I will not go into all the details but as you can already see, if my daughter is the youngest of my children and she has two older brothers before her, there is a lot that transpired between the promise and the promise being delivered.
I was pregnant with my 4th son at the time. Seven months later I actually went into the hospital on Valentines Day after being diagnosed with Toxemia during a routine Dr’s visit. Two days later he was born. Fast-forward to four years later, I gave birth to our 5th son on the 18th of February and 360 days after that, my promise was fulfilled with the birth of our daughter on Valentines Day.
I've discovered that when God gives us a promise, he doesn't spend time articulating details. This is where faith has its perfect work. The word God speaks into our lives becomes seed. We see time and time again that when God blessed anyone; it was his word that preceded the fulfillment of the promise. There will always be “Seed-Time & Harvest”
Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seed-time and harvest…shall not cease.”
So it is with us. Our cultivation of the seed is likened to a pregnant woman. The word becomes a part of us and we nourish it by believing what God has said and speaking the word of life over it: John 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
Between the time I’d heard the promise and actually gave birth to our daughter, there were several life changing events that occurred. All of which developed and strengthened my faith: Near death with the birth of my fourth son; a three-year wilderness (between the last two sons) in which we’d experienced everything from loss of all utilities at one point or another to having a child leave home; the death of my father, being criticized and ostracized by close friends and family and eventually leading to homelessness. Nothing in the promise of “You are pregnant," "You’re going to have a girl and her name will be Faith & Strength,” prepared me for any of that! Or did it?