In the days and weeks leading up to the birth of my second baby, I began to experience PTSD. My first labor, emergency C-section delivery and transition to motherhood was traumatic and shame filled for me on many levels, affecting me more deeply than I had realized.
I’m going to share with you how God showed me about the real culprit behind my trauma, how I learned to win this time, what to believe for in this delivery and how to experience the peace Christ left for us in unknown moments.
Through this pregnancy, I didn’t pray as much or visualize the birth or even my baby. I had prayed, believed and hoped so much with my first pregnancy and was met with suffering and shock. I felt I needed to keep a looser grip this time around…or maybe I didn’t know what to believe for.
Two weeks before birth, I discovered that I would not be given a sedative or anti-anxiety before the scheduled C-section surgery. This was my wakeup call that I needed to press in and figure out how to pray and what to trust God for.
After 22 months of trying to get healing from the bitterness and anger from trauma and disappointment, God came through with the revelation I needed. He enabled me to go into this delivery with a 180 degree transformation.
One night as I was reading my Bible, I came across Ephesians 6 that talks about putting on our spiritual armor so we may be able to stand firm against the enemy’s schemes. I know this scripture so well that I can easily gloss over it. This time, it was popping out at me like fireworks.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Maybe the suffering and pain I went through wasn’t from God, maybe it was from the enemy. Maybe I’d fallen into his trap believing God withdrew from me.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
I wasn’t standing firm after the battle. So much was exposed in me I didn’t know was there. I lost my bright eyed faith (acting and thinking as if I believe God is good) and have began experiencing anxiety and anger instead of peace. Although I talk about believing and meditating on the Truth, I haven’t been doing it in my inner life.
Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.” He was tempted and tested in the desert. This is exactly when Satan tries to allure us with lies that look true.
I felt tested through the shock and trauma from my last labor, delivery and all the life events that followed over the next year. During this time, I believed, hoped and prayed so hard that surely Satan would try to crush me and my faith.
He was partly right. It stole parts of me like childlike wonder and innocence. It made me harder, a complainer, scared to ask or believe for more, for good things from God and to believe that He is always kind versus being a punisher.
I’m not the first woman he has targeted. As a matter of fact, my suffering wasn’t about me. It’s about a war between Satan and women.
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this… I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Genesis 3:13-16.
I had it all wrong. I was mad at the wrong person. What I experienced is the result of a war between women and Satan and their children.
No wonder there is so much trauma, shame and tragedy surrounding conception, pregnancy and childbirth.
I’d wonder why women die during childbirth if God created us to have babies. Why couldn’t I deliver my baby? Does it make me less of a woman to have my baby surgically removed? Why was my body insufficient to deliver? If this is the natural way, why does so much tragedy and trauma occur in pregnancy, labor and delivery? Satan.
But wasn’t the curse reversed at the cross? No. We were reconciled back to God and given authority in Christ. Our new commission is to be co-laborers with Christ in the ministry of reconciliation. We co-labor with God to reconcile what was done in Eden until heaven is brought to earth. Co-laborers in this work include modern medicine, doctors, surgeries and C-sections.
Having a C-section delivery is the work of God co-laboring with his people to undo the work of Satan. Since Satan isn’t creative, he uses this good thing to make women feel shame. We carry this shame into motherhood and it becomes an underlying belief that we are insufficient as mothers from day one.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:11
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:9.
We will face trials and tests of many kinds. Eve shows us the cycle that Satan uses to crush our faith and destroy us:
Deception – Distrust – Disobedience = Disconnection and Disorder.
Like Eve, I was deceived into believing God had given me false hope and abandoned me. This led me to subconsciously distrust Him. Eve’s distrust caused her to disobey and eat in the forbidden fruit, which in my case was swallowing the fruit of bitterness. And this led to disconnection from God and the disorder that followed.
My eyes were opening. It’s a risk to rest in trust. Trusting enough to actually enjoy and receive goodness can feel like we’re teetering on the edge of a cliff! Worry or doubt gives us a false sense of control. But belief releases the peace that transcends understanding.
Now I knew what to believe and pray for on delivery day. This time, it wouldn’t be about what I hoped the circumstances would be like. Instead, I wanted to ENJOY God’s blessing by staying in supernatural peace no matter what happened. The question was, how do I do that?
The night before, I fell upon these gorgeous verses:
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
That’s it! The key to experiencing supernatural peace and joy before and during this surgery with no anti-anxiety medication was to trust and believe in God’s goodness. Trusting Him would allow the peace of Christ to be my sedative and for joy to overflow. This became my strategy going into Thursday morning. This was my meditation:
Lord, even though I had doubted you and I don’t deserve your mercy, lead me not into testing or temptation in this delivery. Don’t give the devil permission to intervene this time. Let me beat him right now at his attempt to steal my royal inheritance to abide in your peace and joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength! God is my rock, what can man do to me? I will not be afraid. I roar back to the lion who prowls at my door. He will not get me because I am not easy to devour. I am on guard with my weapon of faith and truth. I am a warrior queen who has been immensely blessed by God. I will enjoy His blessings and the life Jesus died to give me. Jesus’s death will not be in vain in my life. I am confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord. God fills me with joy and peace as I trust in Him.
Part Two coming next week…