Jun 12, 2015

What Are You Looking At?

Your Focus Makes All The Difference

I’ve delivered 4 babies but only had 1 really great labor and delivery nurse.  She assisted me when I was giving birth to my third daughter, 15 years ago.  I had false labor for weeks and a few embarrassing visits to the hospital only to find that it wasn't time yet.
When the day finally arrived my water broke so I knew for sure it was time.  My labor went on throughout the day and compared to my first two, seemed very slow.  By late afternoon I suddenly went into full transition mode catching everyone off guard.  The nurses went into action calling for the doctor and getting everything ready.  This baby was already making her appearance so it was too late for any type of pain medication.

I remember being in the worst pain I’ve ever experienced when I heard the doctor say it was too late to have an epidural. I panicked!  I looked square into my husband’s eyes and boldly announced, “I’m not doing this, let’s go, I’m going home right now!”  Poor guy, what was he supposed to do?  We still laugh about this.

At that moment my nurse came quickly to my bedside, leaned right into my face and said, “Look into my eyes, don’t look anywhere else!”  “You CAN do this!” She then proceeded to calm me down, she told me when to push and how to breathe.  She walked me through the entire labor, which thankfully lasted less than 10 minutes.  I know, don’t hate me girls, it’s just the way God made me.

With that kind of constant help I was able to get through what I thought was impossible.  I wasn’t thinking straight and it never crossed my mind that women have been having babies since the beginning of time.  I’d even forgotten that I had already had two babies.

Fear can do that to us!  It distorts our thinking and makes us forget the truth.

My angel nurse didn’t leave me on my own, she was right there to help and keep my focus on her and through this I ended up learning a very important spiritual lesson.

We all go through tough times and sometimes they catch us off guard and send us right into irrational thinking.  My first reaction is usually, “how can I get out of this?”

In the beginning of one of my trials, that whole birth experience came to my mind during one of my quiet times with God.  I remembered how that nurse told me to look at her and nowhere else.  I knew I had seen something similar in scripture and I knew what I had to do.

Proverbs 4:25 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.

Just like my nurse told me not to look anywhere else, God tells us the same thing.  He wants us to look at Him, to trust His guidance and help through our difficult times.  If we’re focusing on our problem we’re going to get overwhelmed and afraid, we’re not going to think straight.  Our temptation will be to quit, to run away, to give up.

Technically I couldn’t have left the hospital but we all have a choice in day to day life.  When trouble hits will we stay and focus on what God has for us?  Will we look to God?  Will we trust Him to show us how to get through our seemingly difficult situation?

It’s been fifteen years since that hospital experience and I’ve had more trials then I care to count.  Back then I never would have thought that I would become a stronger person because of hard times.  Some days I just knew I was going to crumble and fall apart.   I would never have thought that I would trust God the way that I do now but He’s been faithful.

I’ve learned that by fixing my eyes on the Lord, and not my problems, He will walk with me and will get me through it stronger and filled with more peace than I ever thought imaginable.
Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

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