The Time I Prayed for Peace
That time I prayed for peace was not a normal day. The room was pink. I remember the pink and blue curtains, but the white sheets were also there. Inside my belly a little boy had been growing for nine months. It was time. A decision had to be made. A hard, and difficult decision I had put off until now came to a head. Next to me, I vaguely remember Jason, but more than that is the face of the doctor who held my hand. She smiled as she pulled off her blue gloves, but inside I felt at war with my emotions.
The day before I had woken up with a feeling. Today was the day. June 22, I went into labor with my second-born. Jack, my little two-year-old, was playing and running around. I sat on the piano bench and called my dad.
“Can you come pick up Jack? I think I need to go to the hospital. Jason can’t leave work until noon.”
It was 9 AM in the morning. I packed my hospital bag, Jack’s overnight bag, cleaned up the house. I stopped every fifteen minutes to breathe through the contraction. I made it to the hospital, convinced I would have this baby on June 22, but by that evening I was still only 3cm and not progressing. I prayed through each contraction, wishing my water would break. It did, finally, at 2AM in the morning. After that I don’t remember much of anything about contractions and pain.
The next morning, June 23, the doctors came in and told me I had to make a decision. I laid on that delivery bed, thinking about it. Do I linger and labor longer or just give in to a c-section? My first born had been an emergency c-section as I didn’t progress and his heart rate began to drop. The guilt, emotions, and feelings of inadueccy plagued my heart after that first c-section. I didn’t want another one.
This time I had prayed and prayed for a successful VBAC. Only. I realized in that moment, I might not get what I wanted and what I prayed for. Instead, as the pain increased, it became clear I would need to probably have a c-section. Again. I asked God for peace.
“Let’s do the c-section.” I told the doctor. Instantly, a super-natural peace washed over me. It wasn’t the epidural because I hadn’t gotten one. It was God’s amazing Spirit covering me with the peace that passeth all understanding. It passed over me and settled deep in my heart.
“Are you disappointed?” Jason asked, holding my hand.
“No,” I replied. And I wasn’t. The peace I was feeling during those moments of being prepped for surgery were unmistakably from God. I’ve never quite had the same experience in my life. Sure, I’ve been in stressful situations, but the peace that came over me during Titus’ birth is unexplainable. I stopped shaking from nervousness. The anxiety of the coming survey fled my heart and my mind. I could feel my body relax, even though I was still laboring.
Titus’ name means “defender.” Peace is something used to DEFEND us, according to Paul in Philippians. It is appropriate that God brought me peace during Titus’ delivery. Titus, at the age of nine, is my most peaceful child. He has always smiled, laughed, and been so goofy. He enjoys the quiet, staying at home, and even as a baby hardly ever cried. He was so peaceful.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Phil. 4:4-8
Today, ask God to let you come to the end of yourself. For at the end of the rope is God’s hand. He will hold you, and He is asking you to take this journey to cultivate peace in your life. Begin with this simple step of surrender. Surrender your ideas of peace, your ideas of prayer, and God’s presence.
O Father of peace, Jesus the Son of Peace, I surrender my own thoughts to you today. Instead of fear, I want to choose peace. Instead of wrapping myself around my heartache, I will wrap my arms around someone else. Instead of seeking fulfillment in things, I will open the One Thing, Your word, to satisfy. Amen.
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven’t yet come to the end of themselves. We’re still trying to give orders, and interfering with God’s work within us. ” A.W. Tozer