I remember the first time I was in labor and delivery. Since I was delivering a premature baby, they wheeled me to a nice-size room, so there could be a team for me and a team for my baby.
It was a wonderful having that team. They cheered me on, basically saying, “Come on, you can do this!” This group gathered around me and encouraged me…they were all for me. Totally engaged! I still remember some of their comments twenty-two years ago.
I feel like I have seen this around the altar. I’ve heard people call out, “Go on!”
The message is, “We’re with you! You can make it! Go on!”
Haven’t I experienced this? Years ago, one of my friends, Carol Epp, would stay right there as long as I wanted to pray. When I would get up from the altar, she would rush to my side, saying, “Don’t be discouraged!” She would encourage me to trust God and go through.
Then around nineteen months after my firstborn, I was once again in labor and delivery. This time was different. I had barely gotten to the hospital in time (My baby was born 15-20 minutes after I arrived). I remember some of the words the doctor said to me that day also. It seemed like he got in my face as he told me that I couldn’t stop.
He let me know that the life of my daughter was at stake. It was no place to stop! I had to go through!
I understand that feeling. You see someone that God is dealing with, and you want to tell them, “This is no place to stop! You must go through. God is stirring your heart now.” Many times there is a window of time where people are moved on. Just a window.
Something has happened that has stirred them…something in the news…a tragedy in the family…something. We see that the waters are troubled, and the person is taking steps toward God.
As nice as this is, it is no place to stop! They have to go through! They must or the opportunity will pass. We’ve watched people cool off and back up away from God and the church.
The last time I went into labor was different than the first two. I had already been labeled high risk with two premature births, and my doctor told me that now with twins, I would deliver even earlier. I had been admitted to the hospital to be monitored and just kept stable for whatever weeks I had remaining.
The night I realized that I was in labor, no one believed me (except Todd). They moved me to a different floor just to make me happy. I was not in the correct labor and delivery room. They had full plans to move me to a big room when I got to that point. There would be a team for me, a team for Baby A, and a team from Baby B.
But at this point, there was just one nurse who was on the phone, talking to someone.
I got to the point where I knew I was in trouble, and it was an emergency. I looked around at bewildered Todd and the distracted nurse, and realized, “I have no help. If I get help, I’m going to have to deliver myself! I’m going to have to push!”
I announced out loud what I had to do. The nurse never batted an eye or got off the phone. She seemed distracted. Busy. Disengaged.
One of the sweetest sounds in the world when you give birth eleven weeks early, and no help has arrived, is the sound of a baby screaming! Logan was born screaming and flailing his arms…definitely breathing!
He screamed so loudly, that the teams of doctors and nurses, who were supposed to be there, heard him from down the hall where they were running to get to us. (Maybe that nurse had summoned them on the phone when it seemed she didn’t care?)
Last weekend, this was on my mind. I really appreciate it when someone has my back, when I’ve told my need to those who care, and I find they are carrying me. I love those experiences when I have a team there, agreeing with me in prayer, calling out, “You can make it!” I would not trade experiences I have had praying with friends, those times when I knew I was not alone.
But what if the team doesn’t show up? What then?
Maybe people love you, but they are distracted with their own prayer requests, their own distractions, and their own stuff. What then?
Push yourself! Don’t stop! Maybe you realize, “I’m in trouble, and I have GOT to get out of the place where I am!”
You aren’t alone. There is God, and He has promised that if you will draw near to Him that He will draw near to you. That is a promise.