Despite my hopes and prayers, I really struggled to connect with God during my first birth. In the midst of the changes to my “birth plan,” my disappointment, and the intensity of labor, I couldn’t seem to figure out where He was.
Largely because I had put him in a box of how I wanted Him to show up and when He moved out of that box, I didn’t know where to look for him.
It was only in hindsight as I looked back on the birth that I realized all the places He had been loving on me and caring for me. His presence really had been there! I had just missed it in the moment.
I entered my 2nd birth with a greater openness and understanding of how to experience God’s presence during the labor, and the difference was night and day for me! I felt saturated by His love and presence through the entire birth! (watch the full story here).
That’s my heart for you as well! I don’t want you to “miss it” like I did during my first birth, so today I’m going to share six ways to encounter God during your labor. No two birth stories are the same and how God shows up is always unique, but these are some great places to start:
1. Through Others
Recognize that God wants to love you through those around you. Receive their love, their touch, and their encouragement as kisses from HIM.
During my 2nd birth, I felt saturated by God’s love as my doula and husband cared for me so well. They spent hours massaging me, holding me, kissing me, and telling me how beautiful and amazing I was. And with every touch and word, I felt so loved by God. This can be easy to miss. But let him love you through others!
2. Through Worship
Playing worship music throughout the labor can definitely help you connect with God and experience His presence. I encourage you to make two worship sets to have ready for labor:
- One with words. For this set, collect songs that bring you into God’s presence! If he gives you a theme for your labor, collect songs centered around that theme. Pick songs that fill you with peace, joy, hope, strength, and an awareness of God’s goodness and love!
- One that’s instrumental. At some point in labor, you may not want to hear any words. You may be so focused that songs with words feel distracting. So it’s a good idea to have peaceful instrumental music to put on at that point that can still create a heavenly atmosphere in the room. I love Bethel Music’s “Without Words” CD for this.
3. Amidst the Pain
I love books like “Supernatural Childbirth” and the testimonies of God giving women pain-free labors. So amazing!!! But what if yours IS really painful? Can you still experience Him in it? Absolutely! I know so many moms who encountered Him in life-changing ways in the middle of the pain.
- Tiffany got a whole new revelation of His love for her and the pain he went through on the cross to love her. She felt a connection and intimacy with Him at a very deep level in the midst of the pain. It was one of the highlights of her birth.
- At the height of her pain, Rachel asked Jesus to show her where He was and she saw a life-changing vision of his scarred hands reaching out to her, dripping blood. She encountered His love and presence in that moment in a way she’ll never forget. You can hear more of her story here.
- In the midst of her labor pain, Alexis felt God strengthening her and loving her. She had carried a deep fear of labor pain since she was a child (so much so that she considered not having kids to avoid the pain). But God lovingly walked her through the pain she felt, gave her beautiful strength to overcome it, and lovingly set her free from this deep-rooted fear.
She was elated after the birth! She felt so empowered and free. God had helped her conquer her fear and she now felt like she could do anything! She is so thankful for the pain she felt and the way God met her in it.
If you find yourself in a lot of pain during labor, ask God where He is and what he’s doing. Ask him to meet you and strengthen you and love you. You never know how He might show up and the kisses He’ll lavish on you!
4. The Still Small Voice
Often God will meet you in birth with a still small whisper if you’ll just take a moment to seek him and listen. I encourage you to take a minute in between contractions to quiet your heart, seek his face, and ask him where he is and what he’s up to. Here are two stories of how God beautifully met these moms when they did this:
- Melinda says, “I closed my eyes and had a talk with God that went like this: This hurts so much. What am I doing wrong or what can I do differently? I’ve tried everything I know and I want to be filled with your joy!
And silently I heard the response, “There is nothing you can do. I am the only One who can do this. So close your eyes during the contractions, look me in the eyes, and let me do all the work. Trust me to love (care for) your body.”
For an hour I spent every contraction looking into the beautiful deep eyes of Jesus. I did have a few times that He brought me places but most of the time we just hung out and he calmed me. I will always treasure the time I was able to spend with Jesus during the contractions!
- When Deborah’s dream of an all-natural water-birth turned into an induced hospital birth with an unwanted epidural, she felt weak and ashamed. But she looked to Jesus in her weakness and shares:
“There’s just something about Jesus looking at you and saying, “Wow you are so strong Deborah!” “Gosh do you look stunning right now.” “You are loving Judah so well by doing what the doctors are telling you to do.”
The truth is it’s easy to love myself when I feel like a rock star (which I was prepared for with this hardcore no meds water birth). But when everything goes wrong and I feel ashamed of myself and still I hear Jesus telling me how awesome I am, now that’s what will touch you in a deep place!
My birth experience was a total mess… but a beautiful mess! Jesus is so sweet and he loved me so well. If I could re-watch my birth through Jesus’ eyes, I would never call it anything but beautiful!
5. A Restful Knowing
At some point in labor, it’s important to turn your “thinker” off and to just be in your body. You want to switch off your mind and let your body take over. This will help your labor progress much quicker.
So that means you don’t always have to be praying or even thinking about God to experience Him. There can just be a restful knowing that he’s with you.
Like with your husband. He can be right there next to you, loving you and supporting you and going through the labor with you. But you don’t need to talk with him to connect through the experience. You can be in your “birth zone” totally focused on the job at-hand and just have a deep knowing that he’s with you.
So no pressure to feel like you have to pray or think about God a ton during labor. Feel free to turn your mind off, get in your “birth zone” and relax knowing that he IS with you!
6. After the Birth
Sometimes in the midst of the intensity and focus of birth, it can be hard to connect with God and to really see where he is and what he’s doing. And that’s OK! It doesn’t mean He isn’t there and isn’t working on your behalf.
It may just take some reflection time with him after the birth to recognize where he was and how he was loving you during the labor.
This was very true for my first birth! Though I couldn’t figure out where he was during the actual labor, once I journaled the whole experience later, I was blown away by all the places I realized God had been present and loving me. By the time I finished recording the whole story, I felt SO LOVED by God and so thankful for my birth story and how he blessed me in it.
So make sure to take the time to process the birth with him afterwards and ask him to show you where he was and what he was doing. Ask others who were at the birth where they experienced him as well. Because they may have seen a lot that you didn’t notice or don’t remember.
These are just six ways to encounter God at your birth, but there are many more! He is extremely creative and personal and loves to show up in beautiful, unique ways at each birth.
For more on how to partner with and enjoy God during your labor & birth, check out my Online Kingdom Birth Class!
Will you join the conversation and share some of the ways YOU’VE encountered him during birth? Your story may be just the encouragement another mom needs. Comment below with your thoughts and stories!