What Giving Birth Taught Me About God

Natasha image

Giving birth was the most painful, yet beautiful experience of my life (besides my wedding night). God granted all my prayers: that I’d have our baby at the birth center, my husband would be there through it all, that I’d have a Christian midwife, that she’d be available for my birth, that baby would come before his due date, that I would have the pretty sea-themed room, that I’d have a speedy labor—but one He denied: a pain-free delivery.

Six hours is definitely a short labor, especially for a first time mom, but with diarrhea speeding up contractions, coupled with vomiting, I was definitely in serious pain and quite weak by the time it was time to push. And O, did I have to push. It took an hour for our 9lb 1oz, 22 inch long baby boy to enter the world, and with each failed attempt, I grew more and more discouraged. In my mind, I begged God to let him come out already. I was so tired, so discouraged, just wanting the pain and pushing to end already. It took five different birthing positions and several tries. I asked God why He was doing this to me. The baby’s head had been crowning for some time and I was beat. But God’s grace was sufficient for me, and His strength was made perfect in my weakness. Finally, on February 19th at 1:21am, Arrow Jotham Sapienza made it through the birth canal and into my arms.

A day or two after I gave birth, before entering my time of praise and prayer, I read/prayed this passage over myself and Jonathan:

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭14-19‬ NKJV)

I began my intimate time with the Father by thanking Him, and as I was thanking Him, these words flowed from my heart:

Father, I thank You for the pain. I thank You for the opportunity to be conformed to Your suffering.

I confessed that though that was six hours of intermittent agony, Christ suffered far worse for more than nine hours (and the pain was consistent). During my labor, I was just focused on me; my suffering, but Christ was looking forward to the joy set before Him. He was focused on the Father and on saving us. His love for God and for mankind was what kept Him going.

God answered my Ephesians prayer, and He used my temporary suffering to teach me a beautiful and invaluable lesson: a greater understanding of His love.

My pain was nothing compared to His, but to get a tiny taste of what it was like is an honor and a privilege because now I grasp just a little more how great Christ’s love really is.

My prayer is that God willing, next time around I’ll be thinking of the joy set before me: a child that will be dedicated to God, my gift to Him for all He’s done for me, rather than focusing on myself. [Yes, I plan on going all-natural again at the birthing center. I absolutely love that place! They love you and baby and treat the birthing process like it’s something sacred. And giving birth is. God said the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring].

I don’t know what you’re suffering through, but may you likewise come to this place:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-5‬ NKJV)

May our understanding of God’s love continue to grow so that we can become complete in Him.

Praying for you,

Natasha

I’m A Christian, But I Don’t Want To Be “Just” A Wife And Mother

My sister in Christ who is in a relationship and preparing for marriage shared something with me this morning that the Lord is working on in her, and it’s worth sharing.

She and her boyfriend are taking premarital classes with a pastor and are in the Love and Respect phase. Sir Jonathan and I likewise read Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ book (Love and Respect) together during our premarital days. It really opens your eyes to how women need love and men need respect and how to give and communicate those essential actions.

So her boyfriend ends up telling her one day: “The way you’re speaking to me is disrespectful.” She goes to the Lord about it, and He tells her: “Imagine he was Jesus. Would you speak to him the same way?”

This poignant question definitely convicted her. I thought it was such a fine lesson from the Holy Spirit that all women of God should contemplate when speaking to others, especially the opposite sex.

“Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”-Romans 12:2

In America, there is an ever-increasing feminist agenda that is ironically becoming more and more hostile to the essence of womanhood and especially hostile toward men.

To think this pervasive mindset that saturates the media has no affect on us Christian women whatsoever is to be naive at best, and prideful at worst. But there’s another message that on the surface seems innocent, but is a worldly concept—not a Christ-like one—and that is this whole, “Chase your dreams,” notion. When this notion is not submitted to Christ, it can also tie into that hostile feminist attitude and manifest itself in disrespect.

I’ve seen this time and again with my precious sisters in Christ, and I’ve experienced it too. They desire marriage and children, a godly desire that is engrained in every woman’s DNA no matter how much they try to suppress it, but there’s a competing desire, one that can very well be ungodly.

A lot of Christian women think they need their own ministry or career. They have dreams of using this ministry to make disciples. But when that dream becomes “threatened” by marriage and children, they can get defensive and disrespectful to their male counterpart.

I’m not saying every dream we christian women have is a worldly desire. The dream can very well be from God, but we must be open to His timing. I RARELY see women under forty running a ministry. Most of the time, they’re wives who have already raised their children, and are now freed up to team with their husbands to start a ministry.

God can give you a dream like He gave Joseph, but not fulfill that dream until years and years of preparation and dying to yourself. And if we are not willing to lay that dream down for the sake of serving others, namely, our husband and children, that’s pride and it is dishonoring to God. His Word teaches us in Philippians 2:4 to not only look out for our own interests, but that of others as well, and Christ said in order to be great we must become least of all and servant of all.

The proverbs 31 woman sold clothes and fields, earning a profit, but her first obligation was to her husband and children and that’s really what she was highly praised for—caring for her family and household. But the feminist movement devalues stay-at-home mothers and exalts busy, unmarried, career women. There’s an exaltation of self, and a message that putting your dreams on hold to serve your husband and children is degrading when in reality, it’s extremely Christ-like and fruitful.

There’s no higher calling than making disciples for Jesus. A mother’s role is so critical to building God’s kingdom He makes sure the Word emphasizes her role over and over; Malachi 2:15, Titus 2:4-5, Proverbs 31:27-29, Psalm 127:3.

My prayer is that you would see with God’s eyes, not our society’s; that your mind would be transformed, not conformed to the pattern of the world. Feminism is an exaltation of self, it is not a Christ-like movement of serving others. It’s all about self—my wants, my dreams, me, me, me, and it has become so demonic it is now the biggest vehicle for promoting the murder of innocent babies in their mothers’ womb.

Please keep reading God’s Word. Let Him teach you and give you discernment. Be willing to put your dreams on hold for the greater good of your husband and children. Putting others before yourself is very pleasing to the Lord, submitting to your husband, raising your children to be godly, that is what He desires most because that—marriage—is what exemplifies His relationship with us most. And it is also a great tool God uses to equip us for ministry. If we as Christian women can die to ourselves and serve our husband and children, we can die to ourselves and better serve other women we desire to minister to in the future.

Lastly, let us not forget marriage and child-rearing ARE ministries—extremely important ones. When you study God’s Word, you see just how much He values this ministry. As women, we have incredible worth and purpose, and it’s not for the reasons the world perpetuates.

May you discover the beauty and honor in being a woman who walks in her Heavenly Father’s will.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

I’m A Parent Who Encourages My 13-Year-Old To Have Sex

Parents are naive, or in denial.

To allow your thirteen-year-old to listen to sexually promiscuous music, have a boyfriend or girlfriend, permit them to go to their house, video chat with he or she in the bedroom with the door closed, and have a lock on their iPhone is in my opinion, highly encouraging sexual activity.

How can you expect your child to abstain from sex if you don’t do your job as a parent by teaching and protecting them?

Is responding to the issue with, “They’re going to do whatever they want,” really good parenting? Are not children to obey? And if they don’t, could it be possible that you have trained them to get what they want by not disciplining them thoroughly and setting boundaries?

I’m not a parent, but I have taught, taken care of, babysat, and mentored young people for a total of eight years. Though I have yet to have children, I listen to father and doctor, Bob Barnes of Sheridan House ministries on Parenting Today weekdays at 2:45pm to 3pm via ReachFm, and more parenting talks on Family Life Today and other Christian programs, and have observed the parenting of those with highly obedient and well-behaved children. I only share with you what I’ve learned from them and what I know to be true about many teens since I was there and still mentor them today.

I get emails from tempted fourteen-year-old girls. When they’re that young and in a relationship, I always encourage them to stay single and focus on their relationship with Jesus. I tell them not to consider dating (I actually teach on courting), until they’re of age or maturity to begin considering marriage. To be in a relationship before this time is to tempt oneself into sexual immorality. Hormones are blazing and it only takes some affection from your child’s crush to release the flood waters.

So I write this out of love and concern. I hear the tragedies of teen pregnancy and abortion. I know of the STD epidemic. I’m sure you parents do as well.

Please set up boundaries and restrictions for your child until they’re out of your house and on their own. The culture we live in is saturated with sex. Practically every song on secular radio is about dating and having sex. Nearly every PG-13 and R-rated movie have sexually suggestive material, and the magazines your child is confronted with in the grocery checkout isle shout for your daughter to be a sex-guru. Have you read some of the titles? I flip over those magazines and others that have half-naked women on them. But this is the day your child lives in. Sex-messages are everywhere, and that is why you have to be all the more diligent in protecting them.

Do you really want media teaching your children what sex is and when it should be experienced? Public schools are actually having a field-day teaching your children about all the ways they can be sexually active and then passing out condoms like candies.

Please guard over your precious children. They just want someone to look up to, but if you’re too busy or too tired from work to invest time in teaching your children, they will reap what you’ve sown.