Author: Becky Kamese
I like to be in control, and I know it.
I need to have everything figured out in my head at all times—to know just how it’s all going to end. Only this time, I didn’t.
Lying on the doctor’s table at 35 weeks’ pregnant and hearing the doctor say ‘I can’t find his head’ left me feeling very out of control. Our entire reason for visiting this particular doctor in the first place had been for a second opinion—a voice of reassurance amidst the onslaught of unsettling opinion. “You will need a C-section,” he declared. My heart sank.
We had previously been informed by our last doctor that my pelvis was too small and that our child could not deliver naturally and would need to be born via C-section. This was not the way I had envisioned my son’s entry into the world, and so we had sought out another opinion. And now this. Did it ever end?
The medical system in Mexico is, in many ways, broken. It is widely known that C-section delivery is pushed superfluously upon every expecting mother, not out of necessity, but out of the financial gain for the doctors. It’s a lucrative and dangerous business. There is no end to the inane excuses that are created to scare expecting parents to the operating table.
I felt in my mother’s heart that my child was perfectly healthy and able for natural delivery, but the system was working against us; and when the system is against you, what hope do you have? Even worse, what if I was wrong and really was jeopardizing the health of my child?
I was tired. Tired of fighting for my desire and right to have this baby naturally. Tired of battling against senseless reasoning. Tired of late nights worrying about exactly who was the best person to receive my son into this world. Tired of worrying that I was making the wrong decision. Tired of wondering whether or not I would be able to express my desires in the moment of delivery in my nonnative language. Tired of wondering if my desires even mattered.
No matter which way I turned, I felt my world spinning more and more out of control. Then I finally realized that was exactly where God wanted me . . . out of control. Why? Because when I’m out of control I finally turn to Him. My favorite verses came into my head:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
That’s when I realized, I knew these verses. I have shared these verses countless times with countless others; yet, right here in this situation when I needed them the most, I wasn’t applying them! I wasn’t trusting. I was trying to lean on my own understanding, and my paths didn’t feel directed. Right then and there, lying in my bed, I decided to surrender, to trust, to acknowledge Him, and to let Him be in control.
After all, this was His baby! Didn’t He want the best for Him? It was there that I found peace.
I also decided to go a step further—to pray daringly, to ask for something more. I prayed that in the moment of labor, everything would happen so quickly that there would be no time for a C-section, no time for excuses, no time for unnecessary pain relief.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:21
Fast forward a few weeks. The anticipation had been building and the unknown lay ahead, but when my son would make his grand entrance, I could only guess. And then it happened . . . at 3 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday my water broke—the worst possible timing, the only day I had hoped he wouldn’t decide to come because it is the only day that the doctor didn’t work.
But once again, God knew better.
Things progressed quickly from there. The contractions started immediately. They came harder and closer together. Harder and closer together. The doctor said, “Wait,” but I knew I couldn’t wait much longer. The pain was getting increasingly harder to bear. Then the desire to push struck . . . but I was still at home lying on the bathroom floor!
“Lord, get me to the hospital in time!” I pleaded. I made Donald, my husband, call the doctor again. “Let’s go,” he finally said. The relief!
We arrived at the hospital right before the doctor. He checked me immediately, and I was fully dilated, the baby already starting to move down. “There’s no time to call the anesthesiologist, this baby is coming out in 10 minutes!” he exclaimed.
I couldn’t believe it. It was happening just as I prayed. No time for excuses or pain relief. We had made it!
Sunday—the best day—the day when the doctor was off! The day when there was no time to encourage a C-section. “On the next contraction push as hard as you can,” I heard the doctor instruct. It seemed like an eternity, but then it came. I pushed with all my might, once, twice. I let out a scream and then was met with a beautiful cry. My baby had made his grand entrance, and God had orchestrated it just as I had hoped and prayed. Just as he had always planned it.
Baby Benjamin Donald Kamese was born via uncomplicated, natural birth on Feb 28th at 6:54 a.m. weighing 6 lbs 13 oz and measuring 50 cm, less than four short hours from the commencement of labor. God is good, indeed.
His Grace met me right where I was. It always does. I had doubted that He was really in control, doubted that He really cared for me, doubted that He knew what was best for me and my baby. Now I realize that God didn’t care only about the outcome, whether this baby entered the world naturally or not. He cared about the process.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
He cared about the lesson that He needed to teach me. He cared about honing my ability to depend upon Him and to trust Him in all things. He cared about teaching me to let go and let Him. When I insist that I be the one in control, I am insisting that God is not.
I know this lesson doesn’t stop here; it will be ongoing. As I learn to adapt to motherhood in a foreign country far away from friends and family and as I navigate the unknown waters of medicine and doctors in a language where my vocabulary doesn’t stretch too far yet, I know that He will teach me, guide me, be with me. Always.
He is in control, not me. My family is in God’s capable hands, and that’s the safest place to be. Thank you, Jesus.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30