Contractions don't End in the Delivery Room

Deep cleansing breath...

...in...out...in...out...in through your nose...out through your mouth...

...inhale...exhale...relax your grip...ease your face...

Let your pain be productive...Use this contraction....

...inhale...exhale...remember your focus...

ride the wave...you're coming down...it's coming to an end...

deep. cleansing. breath...exhale...and REST!

Motherhood's debut comes with intensity and no little anguish, doesn't it? I hope I didn't incite anxiety through my introductory contraction there, but rather just using a little recall to show that motherhood is a bit of trial by fire. It is when a woman enters active labor that she knows to anticipate meeting her child. It is the way most children are born...through birth pangs...contractions and a delivery. These seismic indicators attest to the fact that a new life is about to enter the world. And for the joy set before her (of meeting her child), she endures the suffering (or gets an epidural :)). 

Just as a baby enters the world with birth pangs and intensity, it seems the labor does not end in the delivery room--it just takes on a different form as you raise your child. You labor for them continually as you raise them: when they are ill, when they are struggling with school, when you are training their character or disciplining sin, when you see them in danger, etc. etc. etc. And you do it all--even though it is hard, because you love them with your very life.

As children get even older the labor still remains, but again the form changes. You may soon realize when dealing with young adults that your opportunities for instruction have diminished. Your time for rearing them is drawing to a close. Seemingly overnight you have become someone who doesn't know what you are talking about. You have been given the title "parent" which to them categorically makes you unqualified to be a voice of reason and wisdom, for a time.

God bless all of the children who continue to respect their parents' through their launch to adulthood. This honors God. But perhaps there is still some level of struggle. I have become convinced that some of the conflict that naturally occurs in this season of life is by God's design and that it is not all bad--though it can be unsettling. It gives young people a reason to launch. They have a drive to go out on their own and make their way. And this is one way they do it. We do still need to instruct them in the Lord and coach them through trials--being willing to have the fights when they are needed. Having conflict does not mean that God is not being honored. Alternately, a peaceful home may be dishonoring to God if the peace comes through compromising God's word.

As the parent of an older child, you may quickly find yourself sorting through unforeseen conflicts and emotions. Circumstances can quickly be put upon you and you may be left reeling, but still needing to respond. Here is some good advice I have received: Stand firm on the truths of God's word. Trust God! Let your children see you trusting God. Do not be shaken. Keep a long-range view. And finally Pray! 

If your tools seem limited, you have a great and mighty weapon in prayer. Honestly I have learned that in such situations, there is no better balm than God's word and prayer. So again, just as you labored for that child as he or she entered life, now labor for that child in prayer.

Deep cleansing breath....

in....out...in...out...Breath your Holy Spirit into this situation God....

Soul, Faint not!...Keep on in love...Don't quit this labor....bear down in prayer...

...I am Seeking you, Father, for the life of this dear one...

...Ward off the enemy who aims to kill and destroy...

....Make this pain productive....

...Let it drive me to my knees before you, my God.

Inhale....exhale....I leave it with you, God!

Deep. Cleansing. Breath......I REST in You. Amen.

 

In Christ's love, erika