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As I publish each episode of the podcast, I will also be sharing the text as an article on the site.
In this article, you will find EPISODE 01! It was first published Tuesday, January 21st, on your favorite listening platform.
You can also listen on your favorite podcast player:
Hi, and welcome to the CHOSEN podcast, where we explore birth + faith with a doula lens. I am your host, Katherine Newsom, writer + doula at Simple Natural Mama.com.
Make sure you never miss an episode by pushing the subscribe button below. [on your favorite podcast player, linked above] This podcast is made possible by listeners like you, and I greatly appreciate you! Now, let’s get started…
Episode 01: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CHOSEN FOR CHILDBEARING?
Let us start with a story…
I gave birth facing backward and squatting in the passenger seat of our car, while parked in a grocery store parking lot. I felt invincible, empowered, like nothing could stop me. And although the situation and timing en route wasn’t ideal, I was as prepared as I could be for childbirth, studying birth and preparing my body throughout my pregnancy, for this sprint-like marathon. I felt close to God, a sweet juxtaposition of the not-yet and here-now which occurs in a pivotal moment of transition: moving into new roles for myself, as a new mother of two, and for my newborn, earthside.
It surprised me, what happened, but my unexpected car birth didn’t surprise God. Before each of us take our breath, or wake up each day, God goes before us and knows our steps. He chose us for the tasks before us. This includes childbirth. He knows the details of your pain, your labor, your baby; all of it. He is there, in the labor room (or car!)
Birth is a powerful, transformational moment in a mother’s life, and it does us good to learn of it. No matter if you are to give birth in nine months, maybe someday, or had ten or more years ago in the past; And no matter where and with whom you choose to give birth, be it a hospital, birth center, at home, or with a midwife or doctor or nobody else at all; The concept of birth in the Biblical narrative is a powerful illustration which can transform your view of God and shed light on how He dwells within and around us: How he chooses us, and how this changes the way we view childbirth.
We are chosen for the season of childbearing. And by our willingness, or perhaps despite our anxiety of the discomforts which can come in pregnancy, God creates new life within us – we become conduits for His creation. As Christian women – birth workers and mothers alike – to learn more of God, we must learn more about what He creates, and we must understand our role as conduits, vessels for His creation of a new life. This includes the process of labor and childbirth.
We learn more of birth, we learn more of God. For He created us in His image, and in order to step fully into the role He planned for us, we create, also. We are hardwired to create and reflect His image. So we learn about His design of the process of birth, and we learn about our role as His chosen work of art in His greater story, the facet in which a child is born into a family. Into His family. We are conduits for His creation, and in childbirth, we step into the greater biblical narrative. As He creates new life within, we reflect on how the process mirrors our own experiences in pregnancy.
Have you ever thought of that, creating being similar to pregnancy? The morning sickness and saltine crackers, the heavy days, the living being inside of you, all as conduits for creation? God created the land and the seas, and we humble ourselves in pregnancy and become the vessels for new life within. We trade everyday comfort for sickness and pain, in an effort to be the vehicle for more of God’s glory and grace in the world – We are the created vessel, the conduit, for God’s design. A new life, made in His image. Yet dig deeper, still…
God created us. And He invites us into the creation process by giving us the gift of pregnancy, by choosing us to be vessels for His creation, His masterpiece: new life in the womb. We humbly (and sometimes in agony) accept. The juxtaposition between not-yet and here-now which occurs in childbirth, the sweet transitional moment when your baby crowns and the heavens groan in glory – He walks beside you, and He walks before you, and meets you there.
You are CHOSEN by the Most High, mama.
Moreover, if your birth was tragic, unexpected, or covered in loss, know that grief and thanks can coexist; Grace meets you here. (We will talk more about this in episode 6)
Childbirth is theological; God chose you for the season; And you do well by learning more about God and what He says about birth, to fully step into your role. Birth isn’t something that is done to you or just happens to you. It is an invitation from the Almighty to become conduits for His creation.
Yes, us mothers are in fact chosen for the season of childbearing, and God uses this season to bend our hearts toward Him as He creates new life within us. Let us continue to redeem the fear-based cultural knowledge of labor and birth and replace it with purpose and truth, by what God reveals to us in His word. Let us celebrate our part and purpose in childbirth, no matter the type of birth had, and for every outcome; Whether you plan to have a natural, medicated, or cesarean birth, you give birth to new life which God knit in your womb, and this is a beautiful part of God’s design for us.
The concept of birth in the biblical narrative is a powerful illustration which can transform your view of God and shed light on how he dwells within and around us; how He chooses us, and how this changes our view on childbirth and the greater biblical narrative.
// Let us end with a biblical affirmation for labor: I trust my body and the innate capabilities You designed it with, God. I trust You in this birth, that You know what will happen each second, and that You walk before me to prepare a place. This is based on Deuteronomy 31:8 which states, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be dismayed.”
//*outro music* Mama, I’d be honored if you hit subscribe, to be sure you never miss an episode. If you long to take this conversation further,You can text the word CHOSEN TO (202) 410-4202 TO BE UPDATED ON NEW CONTENT VIA EMAIL, as well as to download the rest of the biblical affirmation cards. Or, join us in the CHOSEN podcast closed Facebook group, which is linked to my blog, for exclusive bonuses for listeners, specific to each episode. Just search Simple Natural Mama on Facebook, or go to www.simplenaturalmama.com to learn more. I appreciate you! Talk to you next week, when we will explore how the gospel transforms your pregnancy, and learn how this further cements that you are chosen for this season.
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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