Monday, April 9, 2012

Preparing for Childbirth: 10 Scriptures of Comfort & Encouragement

As I count down the weeks to the anticipated arrival of our newest addition--Anna Elizabeth {Annabeth}--I am preparing for natural childbirth like I experienced with our oldest daughter, Kate. 

One way I am preparing mentally and spiritually for the exhausting and grueling demands of labor and delivery is by selecting and memorizing scriptures. God's Word does more than just provide guidance and direction, it also comforts, encourages, energizes, and lifts up the weary.

Here are ten verses from the Bible that I have jotted down on note cards to help me as I prepare for labor. I plan to meditate and pray on them during the different phases of childbirth, from the easy contractions early on, to the mounting, seemingly never-ending rushes of the latter stages of labor, to the challenging but exhilarating time of delivery, and finally through the beautiful moment of our daughter's birth.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."   
Deuteronomy 31:6

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

Psalm 91:4 

“Cast your cares on the Lord 
and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous fall."
Psalm 55:22 

[The Lord] "gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
 Isaiah 40:29, 31
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them."
Psalm 34:7

"He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young."

Isaiah 40:11

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:10 
"Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-23
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
 2 Corinthians 12:9

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
 Philippians 4:13

Doubtless I probably will not have these 10 verses memorized. Still, by meditating on them daily and having my note cards with me during labor, I believe I will be better able to endure and appreciate this childbirth experience.  

I have found that clinging to the Word of God during moments of fear, pain, and sheer exhaustion, during trials and challenges that seem insurmountable, has been a source of strength and hope, helping me to accomplish what I never could do alone. Knowing that my God will never leave me nor forsake me is a source of peace for me.

What are your favorite scriptures that help YOU through the difficult times of life?

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  1. This is fabulous! I had a natural birth with my daughter and plan on having another with our next child (whenever we are blessed with him/her). It most certainly was grueling yet exhilarating! I'm bookmarking this post so I can work on memorizing these as well. They'll be so useful for all the trials that come up in daily life and maybe I'll even end up using them while laboring in the future :) Congrats on your little blessing and I wish you the best!

  2. This is a wonderful idea Keri =)
    I worked as a midwife for a few years and know these will be so precious to you during that time (as you know from having your first little girl) =)
    I clung to Psalm 40 when I am going through a hard time and everything feels like a struggle.
    Much Love,

  3. Hi Keri this is my first time here, I blog over at Becoming a Strong Woman of God, I found you through my sweet friend Time-Warp Wife. What a great list to meditate on. You are right clinging to Gods word in times like this show us just how much we need Him through our walk!! God bless!!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Sonya. I agree completely. If it weren't the Bible, I don't know where I would be during the good and the bad. Glad you stopped by and hope you come again soon! Blessings to you.

  4. Thank you for sharing. These are beautiful. I hope bringing your little one into the world goes well.

  5. Oh wonderful I'm going to have to mark these as I prepare for October!

  6. Very timely! I am due >12 weeks with BabyGirl #2. Thanks so much!

  7. I have not been through labor yet, but I can see how wonderful this will be to have as a tool during the process. The Lord's word is powerful and He will give you the strength! -Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker

  8. HI, I really like this and I'm pinning it for future reference. I plan on trying to birth my next child naturally... but I'm super scared! but on the other hand, I know that God designed the woman's body to do this, and even though it will be painful it is something I want to experience to know the fullest that I can of that part of motherhood. These will definitely be in my list of verses to meditate on in that process. I'm curious... do you do water birth or anything or use a hospital or at home? I'm trying to decide what route I want to go because we are currently trying for baby number 3. I'm trying to prepare my mind in advance, lol.

    1. I completely agree that childbirth is something almost every woman is capable of doing. It's part of God's design and plan. Yes, a natural birth is not without pain, but the feeling of empowerment and accomplishment is incredible!

      I have never had a home birth or water birth, but use a midwife at a hospital. My sister-in-law has delivered all but one of her 4 children at home with no problems. I'm just a scaredy cat.

      Best of luck to you!

  9. This is great! For the my last two pregnancies and deliveries I went through a couple different pregnancy devotionals and I put scriptures on index cards in 3 different categories - pregnancy, labor, post-partum. For labor, I really only memorized a few, but they definitely helped, and I also put them up on the walls on regular size paper so I could see them easily. When is your little one due?

    1. Great ideas, Sarah! I love how you divided up your scriptures. I'm curious as to what pregnancy devotionals you did. I've never seen any.

      I'm due the first week of May.

    2. I did not use this list during labor but I am definitely meditating on these verses and encouraging myself with them in these days after giving birth. The Holy Spirit truly is a Help and a Comforter. Thanks for sharing, blessings on your family!!

  10. Keri,

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. Meditating on Scripture is an important tool. I've written each of these down on index cards and intend to dwell on them. I'm not due (I'm not even married), but when the time comes, hopefully I'll have established the habit of knowing Who to turn to and how to turn to Him. Thanks again!

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  12. Thanks for sharing this. A friend sent it to me and I find it very helpful. God bless.