So why did I take the time to write out my birth story? Am I trying to tell you that you should give natural birth a try?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, because giving birth is a beautiful and natural thing and I think being in control of our bodies as it happens adds to the over-all experience. I also believe that there is a culture of fear in today’s world with regards to giving birth that must be addressed. This stigma of a birth that ‘must be delivered at a hospital’ limits women’s options when it comes to discovering their own bodies and experiencing something out of the ordinary.
Most women that I’ve talked to cannot believe that I gave birth without an epidural. To be honest, after what I’ve gone through, I cannot believe why anyone would.
And no, because I understand that not everybody has the freedom nor the desire to give birth naturally. A myriad of reasons ranging from health to personal can keep a woman from doing so. Like what I’ve said in the beginning of this series, it is not my intention to pass judgment especially on such a personal matter. That is not my job and neither is it my right. All births are beautiful, period.
Before Maaya came into the world, before I became an advocate of natural birth and before I started writing about this experience, all of this was just a big question mark.
Natural birth was something that I wanted I to do, sure. My husband and I talked about it all the time but still, I had some doubts. At the back of my head, there was always that question: Could I really do it? Would I be successful doing it?
I didn’t have the answers. No one could tell me what was going to happen.
I had to go and take a “leap of faith.”
What is a leap of faith? Let us try to examine this often used (and misused) term. Is it reckless? Is it blind?
Let’s put it this way, if you don’t hear God’s voice telling you to do it, if it weighs you down or doesn’t fill you with peace, then yes, it is reckless, it is blind and more often than not, it also is not a leap of faith.
A leap of faith, is taking a step (or a jump, even) out of your comfort zone to do something that you are certain God is calling you to do. The big difference between blind reckless jumping and the latter is…God.
So how do you know if you are in step with God’s plan or if He really is calling you to jump? Here are a few pointers:
1) Keep in constant prayer. Prayer helps clear a muddled head. Prayer weeds out the noise and the extras. Prayer reveals the most honest you.
Now why is this so important? We live in a world where information is constantly being thrown at us from all sides. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is coming from God and what is not. For example, you have been given the gift of drawing or skills in art. You know in your heart that you want to pursue this God-given gift.
However, the world will soon start to discourage you by putting doubts in your head. People will tell you that there is “no money in art” and “Why don’t you get a regular job instead?”
Sometimes, the dreams that you are so passionately praying for are not even your own. They may be the dreams of your boyfriend, of your mother’s or even your friends’. And then you wonder, or worse, even blame God for not giving these dreams to you. Maybe you should be thanking Him instead?
Prayer is important because it keeps you on track, it reminds you of what God wants for you, as expressed and validated by your gifts, your passions, and no other else’s. In a world where everyone is trying to convince you otherwise, prayer helps you to stay true to yourself, and to God.
2) Meditate on the word. If prayer is your hotline to God, then the Bible is His hotline to you. How blessed are we to have God’s truth at our fingertips, accessible and available, 24/7? Yet why is it that we can’t bring ourselves to open His book and read His word? He is not asking for us to read an entire book. He is not even asking us to read an entire chapter. Sometimes, a verse contains all that He wants to tell us.
Are we afraid that what the Bible says isn’t true? Or are we more afraid of discovering that what it says IS the truth?
After all, truth staring you in the face tells you to change. Truth will tell you to step out of your comfort zone. Truth will tell you that the path you are walking in isn’t the path He had designed for you. We don’t like change. We like what’s comfortable, fuzzy soft and familiar. Truth is hardly comfortable and familiar. Truth is a thorn in your side. It throbs. It lingers. It hurts.
3) Listen to Godly counsel. Talk to people who have a strong faith in God. They will be able to help you when you are uncertain of the path you are taking is aligned with God. Some of you may say that you do not need advice from others, that you can hear from God directly and clearly all by yourself. If that’s the case, then it’s easy to have a distorted sense of self, as well as a bloated sense of ego. It is also very easy to cherry pick verses from the Bible so that it suits what YOU want to hear.
Friends, real friends, will be able to look at your situation from the outside in and with a balanced perception, as compared to you who may be too caught up or even neck-deep in the situation, and therefore can only see so far.
When these three things are aligned, then you know when God is calling you to take a leap of faith. When it is from Him, it is neither blind nor reckless. It means that when you leap, He will be right there, waiting to catch you.
Think of it this way. He not only catches you but he takes you in His arms, hugs you tight and then puts you right where you need to be, a step forward on your journey.
A leap that is not for God is just bungee jumping. Thrilling, sure. Exciting, yes. But after the leap, you are left dangling on a string. And when you are finally pulled up, you are exactly where you started from. You’ve gone nowhere.
What are you believing God for? A husband? A promotion? Freedom from an addiction?
What if God told you that these are already waiting for you? What if they’ve been there all this time? And what if the only way to them was a big, mighty jump from where you are right now?
Would you jump?
If you knew what was waiting for you….
Would you take that leap of faith?