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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 04! It was first published Tuesday, February 11th, on your favorite listening platform.
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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.
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Episode 04: HOW BEING CHOSEN AFFECTS HOW WE EXPERIENCE AND AFFIRM LABOR
While we can certainly learn of the childbirth process and prepare in a variety of ways, we also need to know how to apply this knowledge, while in the throes of labor. It can be easy to get lost in the moment, yet listen to this encouragement… to dig deeper in your language and use of words. Namely, these would be biblical affirmations which can greatly aide a mother’s mind and spirit in the midst of labor; But there’s more to this than we realize.
Words are powerful, and this is especially true for childbirth.The verbiage we use to talk about labor and birth affect how a woman views it; the verbiage used in the Scriptures which God speaks to us about labor and birth, should have even more pull in our view of labor. In fact, Scripture is rich with metaphors: the Old Testament often relates God to giving birth to the nation Israel (Isaiah 42), and the New Testament relates a spiritual rebirth by Jesus’ work on the cross (John 3).
With these examples in mind, how does the way labor is discussed in Scripture affect how we view our part in birth and the greater biblical narrative today? And further, how does this affect the way we speak about labor and childbirth in our everyday interactions?
Remember the premise surrounding Chosen; where we explore the intersection of birth and faith; Where we know in every fiber of our being that God called us individually, from our mother’s womb – He knew us, by name, hair color, temperament, shoe size, and all. If God went to such great lengths for us in the womb and today and tomorrow with the work of the Cross, Him who designed birth itself and chose us to be His vessels for new life, why should we not look to Him to learn more of birth and take an active role in the process?
Further, As Christian mothers and birth workers, we have the honor and privilege of being the vessel or support of a new life in this world… Why should we cheapen the experience by not planning for birth itself, the process which God designed?
Extending upon the previous episode, episode 3, we learn of birth. And in this episode, we affirm the process.
Know this: Planning to have biblical affirmations on hand, as well as coping techniques and specialized support, such as your midwife, doula, or partner, is key.
For myself, as a Christian mom, I knew I wanted to honor my faith during labor. And in order to have a positive birth experience, I knew that positive affirmations were needed. Praying Scripture and keeping affirmation cards and phrases handy was a perfect way to do just that.
Yes, birth affirmations are incredible tools for women to use in labor, and it’s vital as a Christian woman that you find a faith source, if you choose to use them. Because, in this fallen world we live in, there is a lot of verbiage surrounding birth which is New Age and other-worldly; That is the noise we must instead filter to find God’s truth.
To touch on some of the verbiage, we do not “trust birth itself” or see our bodies as a means to an end; Rather, we place our trust in God. For the Lord is our refuge and our strength. Not any method, plan, experience, training, or facility.
Listen to these next few affirmations: Do you hear the verbiage of inherent trust in ourselves and our bodies? Then pay attention to how I replaced the worldly ending, with a biblical take on these affirmations. Now we have a script to remember in the throes of labor, to point to Christ.
For my body is capable and strong…by God’s design.
I can do this… by the grace of Christ.
Fear has no place…because perfect love cast it out.
Even though I feel overwhelmed and mentally drained… Christ gives me strength to keep on.
I am in pain… but God has a purpose.
Even Isaiah 66:9 states, “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born.”
So we honor Him in our birth by affirming that we are Chosen for this moment, for this child, for this labor. In fact, knowing we are chosen completely transforms the way we experience and affirm labor, the process which God designed. Remember episodes 2 & 3: Because of Christ, we can have peace in the process, in place of anxiety. Because of Christ, we can feel awe of the process, in place of fear. Because of Christ, pain is seen as glory, and grace in that our bodies are working as God designed. And ultimately, in this, a new life enters the world.
We use and repeat biblical affirmations with simple truths while in the throes of labor; By doing so, we also keep our mind, soul and spirit in check with the Holy Spirit.
We boast in Christ alone, not in the type of birth we have. For He deserves all the praise.
Because while childbirth is unique for each woman and child, understanding the general process and finding ways to walk through the time positively – no matter the type of birth you are having – is proven to ease fears and anxieties in the unknown.
Having some key phrases and scriptures memorized is proven to be instrumental as an aide in labor; Prayer and the communion with God it brings ushers a peace into the moment which wasn’t possible prior.
Because you are chosen by God for this season, you can experience and affirm labor and birth, the process He designed, in a way which honors Him. By having biblical affirmations on hand or memorized, you can swiftly bring Christ into the labor room, and focus on the strength He gives you each moment, each contraction, each breath.
As a doula or birth worker, giving a mama the option of having affirmation cards for labor, and creating those together if she chooses, is such a gift. As a mother myself, I recall how important it was to be mindful and present in the throes of my surprising car labor (listen to episode 1 for the story!). It’s the reason each episode ends with a biblical affirmation – to stress the importance of the ways we prepare, which trickle into and paint our experiences, especially as Christian women and support.
// Let us end with a biblical affirmation for labor: When the process of labor seems uncertain, I rest in Your unwavering presence; You are the same yesterday, and today, and each minute; So are Your promises to me in this moment. This is based on Hebrews 13:9 which states, “Jesus Christ is the sane yesterday and today and forever.”
//*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 learn how being chosen prompts us to record and share our stories of birth, in community.