letting go and holding tight: a fight for control

Humility

Last week, our beautiful little girl, Jayla Jo entered the world via planned c-section. Anyone who has had a c-section will understand me when I say it’s a humbling experience. Most people would probably say that I’m a pretty humble person, but in reality I struggle with the pride of self-sufficiency as much as anyone.

I thrive on being an independent person. I am a helper, not so much one who accepts help well. I take pride in doing things myself like a big girl. For example, on the first day on my own with Jayla and Kemper (daddy stayed with us the first two days after getting out of the hospital) my husband had an early meeting, so I got all four kids out the door (on time) and took the older two to school. That accomplishment was followed by a trip to the hospital for follow up labs and a stop at the library. By the time I got home, I was pretty proud of myself and a little tired. Hard to believe that just a week earlier I had been lying in my hospital bed being waited on hand-and-foot by the wonderful nurses. Yes, a c-section has a way of humbling you and keeping that self pride in check.

The humility began in the operating room. With a c-section, you are numb from about the ribs down and your arms are strapped out to the side of your body. I looked like a lowercase t on the operating table. As I lay there, incapable of moving anything but my head, I became nauseous. This baby caused me to throw up many times during the pregnancy but never while lying flat on my back. I had to rely on my anesthesiologist to catch my vomit and suction it from my mouth as I gagged uncontrollably. Twice. No helping myself in that situation. After the surgery, I had to rely on the nurses for pretty much everything. They lifted me from the operating table to the bed. They helped situate my new baby on my lap because I couldn’t move my lower half and was lying pretty much flat for an hour or so after surgery. They brought my baby to me, took her from me when she was done nursing, changed her, bathed her, and loved on her. They helped me out of bed, walked with me those first painful steps, and celebrated with me when I felt up to showering. (Have I mentioned how wonderful those nurses were?) Self-sufficiency was far from possible those first couple of days.

On the last day of my hospital stay, I got out my Bible and read chapter two of Isaiah. Verse 11 hit my heart. “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” There was no doubt that my haughty self-sufficiency was brought low in the hospital. I praised the Lord for the nurses who cared for me and thanked him for my lesson in humility. On that first day on my own, too, I realize now that God deserves the praise for a successful morning, not me. My kids woke in good moods, Jayla nursed at just the right time to allow us to leave on time, and she didn’t even cry as they poked her and took her blood. I did none of that; I didn’t control those things, but God did. He deserves the praise. Like I said, a c-section has a way of humbling you, and God has a way of speaking to you when you’re willing to listen.

 

Prayer:

Father thank you for speaking to us and teaching us through your word and our lives. Help me to listen for you every day. Help me to remain humble and to offer you the praise for any success that I experience. Help me to remember that you are sufficient and help me to fight off the pride of self-sufficiency.

Amen.

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