More than a few people told me that the birth of my son would change my life forever.
They were right.
On August 21 at 2:24am, Silas Abner Chamberlain was born. I can already see that my life will never be the same. And for the record, the pain and agony of pregnancy, labor, and delivery was totally worth it.
But one thing I never expected was for this process to change how I view my faith.
From the moment labor began until now, my faith continues to be stretched and grown in ways I’ve never seen before. God has used the life of my sweet son to draw me closer to him.
Here are 3 insights that have stood out to me.
1. New morning mercies can be small.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Birthing a child is no small feat. It’s absolutely amazing that women do this every day and have been doing so for centuries. It was the most painful thing my body has ever had to endure—by far.
And yet, with each moment, I could see God’s steadfast love for me.
One of my greatest fears going into labor was the complications my right hip might bring. Years ago, I had dislocated my hip in a dirt-biking accident. Towards the later stages of pregnancy, it began to be one of my greatest pains and discomforts. And when it came time for labor, sure enough it was a huge discomfort.
Combining this with my restless leg syndrome, enduring contractions while laying in the hospital bed became nearly impossible. My legs would shake uncontrollably during every contraction. The only way for me to endure them was to stand up and death grip my husband until each contraction passed.
But here’s what I didn’t know until after the fact. The specific medication the doctor gave me to induce labor was the only drug I could have received without being bound to the hospital bed. It’s only by God’s grace that I received the one medication that wouldn’t leave me bedridden during labor. I don’t think I could have endured that.
Sometimes we think the daily mercies we receive from God will be easily recognizable. But that's not always the case. We need to pause and reflect on the ways God's mercy has been poured out on us each and every day. Click To Tweet
It might seem like a small thing, but it was so clearly God’s mercy towards me. There have been so many small moments throughout this journey that I can pin to God’s mercy and steadfast love for me.
Sometimes we think the daily mercies we receive from God will be easily recognizable. But that’s not always the case. We need to pause and reflect on the ways God’s mercy has been poured out on us each and every day.
Since the birth of Silas, I’ve become far more attentive to seeing God’s mercy each and every day. I’ve been overwhelmed by God’s steadfast love for me. And it’s not that God had withheld anything from me in the past. I’ve just become far more aware of it. And that makes my faith so much sweeter.
The steadfast love and new morning mercies we hope for are there, if we only take a moment to stop and see what God is doing in our lives each and every day.
2. Embrace your season.
As every parent knows, the life of a newborn consumes every moment of your day. So for someone who wakes up with a to-do list and enjoys checking things off that list, it’s a difficult transition to switch to a lifestyle of getting seemingly nothing done.
But the last sermon I heard at church before the baby came was a foretelling of exactly what I needed to hear once Silas was born. The sermon was all about embracing your season of life and not trying to rush out of it into your next season. It centered on the wisdom of Ecclesiastes.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
It’s so tempting to rush out of certain seasons of life. I can certainly relate. I was eager to rush out of the season of pregnancy. And I now can see the desire to rush out of the season of the newborn-not-sleeping season of life. Yet this is the season that God has given me. It’s the season I must embrace.
My purpose in life, at this very moment, is to care for Silas. And that consists of planning my entire day around his schedule. And that’s okay.
So every time I grow frustrated because Silas only slept for one hour and it’s 2am, I pray for God to help me embrace this season. Caring for Silas is my season of life and I need to embrace every second of it. There will be a new season that comes soon enough. But I’m called to embrace this one, regardless of how difficult its moments might be.
It doesn’t matter what season you’re in, or whether you’re enjoying it. God has put you there. He’s calling you to embrace your current season and trust him in the midst of it. That may be easy or difficult depending on what your season is, or even the particular moment of it.
But embrace it. Don’t rush out of it.
3. Weakness is okay.
I’ve never had to depend on others to care for my physical needs the way I have in the last few weeks. There’s no way I could have endured labor without my husband and aunt in the room. My husband physically held me up for the last four hours of labor.
There are many things I haven’t been able to do for myself since Silas was born. I’ve needed people so desperately to help me. It hasn’t been a matter of allowing people to help me but having no choice because I’m actually unable to care for myself.
This has been very hard for me to accept. But it’s through my weakness that God has used the many people in my life to care for me. I’ve been so overwhelmed by the love and care that friends and family have shown me through this large life transition.
It’s really easy to rely on yourself when you have a certain measure of independence. So it can be really hard to let go of that and allow other people to help you. All throughout scripture we read how God’s glory shines the brightest in our weakness, but it’s hard to see what that tangibly looks like.
I’ve learned it looks a lot like people helping and caring for you in your weakness. This is what God wants for his people–for us to be there for one another and to care for each other. If we never allow ourselves to sit in our weakness, then we’ll miss out on what God meant for his people to be for one another.
Regardless of what season life brings us, we should always look for ways God is using it to grow and stretch our faith. It’s in these matters of life that God draws us closer to himself. Sometimes they’re ordinary moments and sometimes they’re massive life transitions. But in all these things, God is at work. His steadfast love endures forever.