A lesson in desperation
Updated: Apr 7
In a world where we have access to so many professionals, so much information, and so many resources, we can almost always find a way to get what we need. And while it’s great to have these provisions, they often disguise how helpless and desperate we really are.
Just like I was eight weeks ago.
Ellie was born on Feb. 11 at 2:48 a.m., 18 hours after I began labor. I laughed when I found a piece of paper labeled “Calli’s Birth Preferences” a few days after we got home from the hospital. While I’m thankful God allowed the deliverance of my perfectly healthy baby, I don’t think He consulted my birth plan.
A healthy Ellie was about the only thing on the list that was achieved. And at the end of the day, that was really the only thing that mattered. But still, I liked my plan way better.
Prior to having Ellie, everyone told me that the pushing phase was the best part. They felt like the end was in sight and they could take a more active role in the labor and delivery process. It felt like a workout or even a competition, they said.
I couldn’t wait for that part, especially after spending the entire day in the hospital room being taunted by the giant bag of popcorn I wasn’t allowed to eat.
Around 11 p.m., I could sense the time was coming. I was confident and ready. I had my mom redo the braid in my hair and I joked with her that it was like warming up to run the 4x400-meter relay under the lights at the end of a track meet.
Then I read and recited the Bible passage that has carried me through this last year:
“Every part of this plan,” David told Solomon, “was given to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.” Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.” 1 Chronicles 28:19-20.
I was ready to do the work and I was excited to meet my daughter.
Long story short, having a child is NOTHING like running a 4x400. I would gladly run every single leg of that relay instead.
While I was so thankful for Chance, my mom, the team of nurses, and my doctor, they could only do so much for me, and trust me, they all did a lot. But it was up to my body to do the work and finish the job.
But my body was exhausted, depleted, and ready to give up. I would cry and then cry out the name of Jesus. I alternated between, “I can’t do this,” and “Jesus help me.” And I can so clearly still hear my mom say, “Yes, Jesus is here. He’s right here with you.”
I still cry when I tell this story. I’m crying right now as I type it.
On my own, Ellie would’ve never made it. I had nothing left. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has truly taken on a deeper, richer meaning in my life.
I’ve never had to truly rely on God like that before. I’ve prayed and asked Him to help me through nearly everything in my life, but I’ve always felt like I at least did some of the work, like I was at least sort of responsible for the outcome.
But when you have absolutely nothing left to give, when your only hope is simply repeating “Jesus” out loud through fearful and desperate cries, you realize just how powerful that name really is.
Ever year I think Easter means more to me. This year, it is exponentially more important.
I’ve been doing a study through Hebrews and I’ve learned more about how Jesus replaces the high priest and the old covenant that required sacrifices yet still left believers distant from God. Jesus was the ultimate high priest and His death was the full and final sacrifice, abolishing the need for any mediation between little me and my big God. I can go directly to Him, any time, any place.
Without Jesus, without His sacrifice, I wouldn’t have a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. I wouldn’t have been able to call on Him in such desperation yet with such confidence like I did in that hospital room.
Thank you Jesus, for dying a powerful, victorious death so that we can live powerful, victorious lives.
Praise God for Easter.