the steps we take, the relationships
we build, and the life we create
we build, and the life we create
By Alyssa Calloway
SCRIPTURE TEXT 2 Corinthians 12:9 & 10
KEY VERSE “But He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” (v.9, AMP)
“You CANNOT push! The doctor is on the way and I can’t deliver this baby!” As the nurse’s eyes met mine, I saw the anxious plea that echoed her words. Behind an oxygen mask and through labored breaths, all I could say was, “I’m not trying to, I’m sorry!”
My mind was spinning, and my body was exhausted. The natural progression of my labor had been on track, but within minutes the situation drastically changed. My blood pressure had become dangerously high, the doctor wasn’t on site, and my baby was at risk for meconium aspiration syndrome. I was afraid. I was vulnerable. I was weak.
Never had I been in a place where my mind, body and soul were more vulnerable. This child, Addi, had been a promise from Heaven to our family five years prior. Why was her life being threatened and chaos being allowed to reign? Kyle, my husband, was flying in trying to make it in time for her birth. Did I want to deliver her without him there? My body was ready to deliver, and yet I was being told to stop that process. Did I have the ability to bring her into this world safely? I was at a point of desperation I had never known. I felt as though I had nothing else to give.
The door swung open and the doctor rushed in. “Let’s have a baby!” I was ready to get her here safely, but I had no strength left to match her enthusiasm. Blinding lights were turned on, instruments prepared, and it was now or never. “Let’s stop the epidural and get this baby here now,” the doctor instructed the nurse. Everything that I had planned was changed and stripped away. Yet, coming from beside me was the sound that hushed the chaos around me—prayers going to heaven. My mama had not stopped praying, and I knew the Holy Spirit was present. Through the exhaustion and an onslaught of emotions and thoughts, my heart could only cry out, “Help me do this, Jesus.” At 5:47 on July 16th, Addilyn Belle was born, and God’s promise that He had made five years before had been fulfilled.
Have you ever felt as though you were in a place of survival and suddenly you’re called to a place of vulnerability—a place of birthing. How do we find the strength to push past the exhaustion and unfathomable pain to see the promises of God revealed? Where does the power to persevere come from when our mind, body and soul are at the weakest state? When these questions come and they’re louder than the truth, it’s in the secret place we find our resolve.
In this place of intimate communion with Jesus, He imparts His power. Being vulnerable with our Creator is how we begin gaining the strength to push again. Psalm 62:8 and 1 Chronicles 16:11 remind us to pour our hearts out to the Lord and seek Him and His strength always. Being vulnerable is scary. Being vulnerable is hard, but fighting the fear and pushing through the chaos births beautiful things.
Birthing requires a strength and resilience that has transcended time, cultural barriers and socioeconomic status. It’s a place where our vulnerability gives way to the most tangible expression of powerlessness. And yet, we were designed and graced for power. It’s here that trust and intimacy with the Father shifts the course of our life. We partner with the Holy Spirit and birth forgiveness. We push and begin living in community with other women. We labor and birth restoration in our family. We birth a deeper and sweeter relationship with Jesus.
No matter our weakness, He wants to work His best in us (2 Corinthians 12:10), and His power is at work in and through us. When Eve referred to God in the Garden of Eden, she called him Elohim. She called him God the Creator—distant and powerful. However, after she had birthed Cain, Eve says “I have gotten a man with the help of Jehovah” (Genesis 4:1). Jehovah was personal—the God who has relationship with His people.
In spite of her mistake, in the midst of her weakness and vulnerability, God gave her a renewed strength and purpose. She had created a deeper intimacy with her Creator and power was being restored to humanity. The plan for redemption–Christ Himself–had been set in motion (Genesis 3:15).
Labor and delivery is one of the most vulnerable places women find themselves–mentally, emotionally and physically–but it is also in this moment we are most powerful. We are graced to be vulnerable, with Christ and each other. We are graced to push, even in the chaos and uncertainty. We are graced for power, for it’s in hard places that we are truly able to see His strength revealed within us.
GOING FURTHER Read Isaiah 30:15-18. Consider the chaotic and vulnerable times in your life. How does this passage reframe your thought process about difficult circumstances?
THINKING FORWARD Think about the last time you felt most vulnerable, how did you respond? What was ‘birthed’ because of your willingness to push forward in what the Lord was asking you to do?
We want intimacy with Jesus but the chaos of life often takes precedence. What area of your life has been empowered by pushing back the urgency of what’s around you to make time for Him?
As a writer, Regina draws from her experiences with her own family, her work in education and her love for her local church family. The author of two books, Who Calls Me Beautiful and Designed by God, Regina was also a regular contributor to Our Daily Journey, an former online and print publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Regina has also written for Discovery Series, contributed to devotional compilations (God Hears Her, God Sees Her), and published with Church Planter Magazine as well as The Quiet Hour Devotional.