Tears in a Bottle (poem by me)

When I cried,
When we broke up,
When I saw her bedsores,
When my father died.
When I binge watched that show,
When you married,
And then at the funeral,
When the Holy Spirit squeezed my heart,
and tears flowed like a torrential downpour.

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.” —Psalm 56:8

Curse of Childbirth

“To the woman he said, ‘I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children….'” — Genesis 3:16

I became a Christian before I became a mother, which afforded me the opportunity to naively consider the above verse before I actually experienced it. One such unenlightened thought is this: Is it still a curse with the development of modern medicine?

My unlearned mind continued to question and explore the weight of this curse. Every mother had endured this pain. How painful could it really be? Many eager mothers continue to have multiple children even though birth control is readily available and effective. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and have endured various types of pain in my lifetime. I consider myself “tough.”

In the delivery room, my thoughts abruptly changed. Yes, pain in childbirth is still a severe curse. After all, you experience hours of painful contractions before an epidural can be administered (if you choose to get one). Yes, indeed! It is still a curse. For such a natural process, nothing quite seems to happen too naturally. How do all mothers make it thought that pain? I salute them all and confess it was my prideful thoughts.

As the Bible says in John 16:21, a woman does forget the pains of birth because of the joy that a child is born into the world. Sometimes the forgetfulness may not be immediate. It may happen after a mother has overcome the fears, surrenders to the sacrifices that must be made, and develops a relationship with her baby. Yet the joy is real and just as sure as the pain!

I reflect on the birth of my first child as such a miracle and blessing even though the process was cursed with pain. It was such a blessing, in fact, that I also chose to have a second child. We are now blessed with a family of four.

Over all of these thousands of years, the curse on Eve has not been lifted while the miracle of birth still triumphs over pain. I am equally convinced the curse of sin is death while the miracle of Christ’s sacrifice triumphs over the penalty of eternal punishment. God’s Word stands and—just as it says—not one stroke of it will disappear until everything is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

I wrote this article to share my heart about God’s Word and my personal experiences. After reading it, I am realizing it could be intimidating to a mother who is pregnant for the first time especially if the mother is not in the perfect situation. For that reason, I want to encourage pregnant women that giving birth is the best decision and give you a link to a local group of special people who can help you in your circumstance. Contact Hand N Hand Pregnancy Help Center (Missouri) or a pregnancy help center in your area. There is no need to go through it alone. Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Thanks for reading and  God bless!

Burdens & Forgiveness

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So you have been carrying around those burdens for a long time. By now, you are emotionally exhausted and ready to lay them down, right? Let’s do it together. Today we will forgive someone, let go of negative feelings, and ask forgiveness from another.

Ephesians 4:32 states: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Since we have a perfect Father in heaven and a Friend that sticks closer than a brother, we can let go of the idealistic expectations we have placed on our parents, friends, and spouse. We can forgive all the ways they have let us down, rejected us, and failed to meet our needs since their mistakes only pointed us to the cross. Sit back in your chair, relax, and ask God: Lord, who do I need to forgive? 

When you have the person in mind you need to forgive, pray this prayer of forgiveness with us: Lord, thank You for forgiving our sin debt in full. We know we would never have been able to repay our sin debt without Your Son’s death on the cross. Since Your Son did this for us, we forgive every person that has wronged us. We give up the right to collect from those who wronged us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

That felt great, didn’t it? Ready to let go of some negative feelings? Hold your hand up to your Father in heaven as if you were giving Him your heart and say: Lord, I give You my anger, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, pain, doubt, spiritual pride… Thank You that You love us and guide us to let go of these emotions so we can live in freedom and joy. In Christ’s Name, Amen. (By holding your hand up to heaven, you are doing in the physical what you are doing in the soul. Alternately, you can envision yourself handing your heart to the Lord and think the words.) This practical advice can be used any time a thought or feeling rises up in you that you do not want.

Starting to feel lighter and more joyful, aren’t you? Let’s keep at this pace as we turn around and ask for forgiveness from someone we have wronged. Sit back in your chair again, relax and ask God: Lord, who do I need to ask for forgiveness from? It might be your spouse for an argument you had yesterday. It might be someone from high school that you track down on Facebook or Twitter. It could be something simple like a text or message stating: I am sorry. Please forgive me.

Doing this simple task could bring healing to their life and open up a door for Christ in their lives as well. After all, you welcomed the light of Christ inside of you the day you first believed. Put your light on a stand for all to see (Matt. 5:15). I am asking the Lord to give you courage to ask forgiveness to the person the Lord brings to your mind. Do not delay in communicating your regret about your past actions.

You may actually feel physically lighter after you have forgiven others, let go of negative feelings, and ask forgiveness from those you have wronged. All of those negative feelings and unforgiveness were coming in between you and the Lord. You have now drawn nearer to the Lord. As He promises in the Holy Bible, when you draw near to the Lord then He will draw nearer to you (James 4:8).

Needtobreathe’s song called “Lay ‘Em Down” invites us to lay down our burdens and troubles. Begin your journey to a clean heart by clicking here to listen to this inspirational song.

© 2015 Kim Bond

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