Redeeming the Division {rejoicing and grieving together} with giveaway

Today I am bringing you a guest post (and giveaway!) from my friend, Angie. She is the author of the book, “Redeeming Childbirth”, and her post today is the perfect ending to our series last week on infertility. One thing that God has taught me over and over is  we are not as different as we think

Redeeming the Division {rejoicing and grieving together}

I am so honored to be here with you all and meet you. Honestly, as I was praying over what the Lord would have me share with those who have faced infertility or miscarriage… I was speechless at first. I had thoughts like, “How can I relate, or even have anything to share with them, since I have not struggled with this.”

Then the Lord again reminded me that this is one way that the enemy divides God’s people. Itʼs what I wrote about in the first and second chapter of my book, Redeeming Childbirth, the division among women on what has become one of the most controversial topics among women today {along with education choices and occupation choices}.

As I was writing my heart burdened for all those who were unable to have children. I have continued praying for all of you, my sisters in the Lord, who have closed wombs and have suffered loss {through all different circumstances}.

I wanted to write to you. To encourage you. But I also felt inadequate and unable.

The Lord impressed upon my heart to lift this specific ministry up in prayer. So I began to ask the Holy Spirit to raise up a sister who had gone through similar pain, to teach, encourage and inspire you– and the Lord answered my prayers in Natasha!

I see Pain Redeemed as the perfect complimentary book to Redeeming Childbirth.  I thank God for Natasha and her obedience to speak out on such a painful intimate experience in her life. I know that for me it took 11 years to get the courage to write. But once I did, it was an amazingly intimate experience with the Lord… in a new way I had never experienced before.

You see, together, as women in the body of Christ we need to learn to rejoice together and grieve together-even when we donʼt have the same life experiences, circumstances, or callings on our lives.

There are too many divisions and camps in the church, especially among women. Our experiences or opinions draw lines and create groups. The reality is that there is something special between kindred spirits who can sympathize with one another, but because we are so divided we have a new problem today:

We are not fluent in the language of empathy and we are not practiced in the ability of grieving or rejoicing together.

In a culture that is completely focused on avoiding pain, many avoid the “needy” or “hurting” because it would be to inconvenient for their own lives or slow them down.

Likewise, one who has experienced pain, grief or loss often struggles to rejoice with their sister or brother in Christ when there is a real opportunity for rejoicing and praising God. Inside we have the temptation for jealousy, competition and instead of truly rejoicing in what God is doing in their lives, we make it about ourselves and what we donʼt have, or what our circumstances are. Ugly isnʼt it? I know.

We are the church, the body of Christ. And as His representatives, His ambassadors. We need to be a light in this dark world– but we canʼt until we learn to grieve with those suffering and learn to rejoice with those who are experiencing the Lordʼs blessing.

You see, I am the mama of six. I have not struggled with long term infertility and I have never had a miscarriage {that I am aware of}. I have never lost a child… but I have experienced loss and I believe everyone has on one level or another. Pain is not a foreigner to any of us. It is part of life. However, for a woman the pain and grief that comes from the loss of a child, or the loss of ability to be with child, can be some of the greatest pains we could ever encounter in life.

As sisters in Christ, we need to unify and encourage one another, building one another up without falling into the temptation for competition. It is amazing the ways the enemy divides the body of Christ. I believe it is such a hot topic among women because our choices and experiences greatly impact how we view ourselves, and likewise so do our circumstances. A womanʼs birth experience is a milestone in her life, whether it is a good experience or not. It is an intimate one that impacts her life forever, as does the pain of infertility and the choices one makes in how to deal with it.

We need to recognize that our battle is not against one another, but against an enemy that seeks to kill and destroy. We need to choose love and acceptance over judgementalism, division and cliques.

I believe that we ALL have perspectives on pregnancy, childbirth and the gift that life is.  My deep desire is to attempt to bring God glory and to let Him walk into the painful broken circumstances of our lives and allow Him to transform us.

The reality is that regardless if you have biological children or not, you are a mentor to someone. If you are striving to be a Titus 2 Woman of God then books like Redeeming Childbirth are beneficial so you can teach and inspire your younger sisters in Christ in a Biblical way.

There are chapters specifically written to mentors because I believe this is critical to us all partnering with Christ to “Redeem Childbirth Together.” We as a church body can all benefit to study what God says about this topic in His Word.

Even if you have not been pregnant before, even if you have had painful experiences like losing a baby… God is sovereign. You have the power, the choice to partner with Christ and redeem that terrible experience and glorify Him through it, as you minister to others.

When I was hospitalized with my sixth baby, the doctors recommended terminating the pregnancy. As I lay there on that cold bed, unable to feel anything from my waste down, uncertain if I would ever walk again, I had a choice to make. My convictions and beliefs made the decision not to terminate easy, but the hard reality of my circumstances impressed upon me a fear and doubt like no other.

The enemy attacked me with thoughts like, “Maybe God has chosen me to birth my babies and created another woman to raise them?” To make matters worse, I tried to lean on Christ and then people dear to me would remark, “Is it really worth this childʼs life?”

I was under attack.

Do not fearRC (1)And I had to view it as a spiritual battle. I made a choice to see that God had an amazing purpose and plan for my son… so much so that satan already wanted him dead. That really motivated and inspired me.

After coming home from the hospital I remained on bed rest for another 3 months, through part of my first and second trimesters. The emotional turmoil I experienced during this season in my life was unlike any other. I felt like a failure as a mom. I couldnʼt even change diapers and put my baby in his crib.

Was it really Godʼs plan that we have so many children? I questioned it all. But an older woman in my church encouraged me. She said, “Sometimes the trials we experience are not just about the lessons we have to learn, but are meant for the edification and growth of others in our life as well.”

She was right!

Though I endured pain, I never once regretted it. I never once wished we werenʼt pregnant. I did however, beg and plead with God to remove this cup of pain from me, to heal me. But that was not His will for my life in that season. He had a different plan.

You have a story, and if you choose to allow God to use you and your circumstances to glorify Him, I believe you will experience healing from your pain. Once you partner with Christ through allowing Him to do the sanctifying work in you… He redeems that experience, that circumstance, that hurt.

You see, I feel inadequate to minister to those who have had miscarriages and infertility… so I often donʼt try. But when I do, when I get real and share the yucky hard realities of what others are dealing with and experiencing both in  circumstances and in their hearts, it is then that God grows me and I become more like Him.

Let us all encourage and edify one another in Christ. And may we be an example to the world of what it should look like to be a part of the body of Christ.

Angie @ RedeemingChildbirth.comAuthor Bio: Angie is married to Isaac Tolpin, Mom of 6, and lives in the Pacific NW on their small hobby vineyard {which they planted to teach work ethic to their children}! You can find Angie writing about Motherhood, Marriage and Faith on her website Leaving a Legacy {angietolpin.com} and manages RedeemingChildbirth.com.

You can find her online here:

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Angie has graciously offered you all a chance to win a free signed copy of Redeeming Childbirth: Experiencing His Presence in Pregnancy, Labor and Birth. 

To enter the giveaway, click through the link below:

Redeeming Childbirth giveaway

The giveaway will close Saturday, May 4th.

 

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25 thoughts on “Redeeming the Division {rejoicing and grieving together} with giveaway

  1. There is such wisdom in this post. You are right, Natasha. This punctuates your series perfectly. Angie’s book sounds great.

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  2. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I often don’t know the right words to say, but I can cry and hug, and pray with grieving sisters. And I love rejoicing and celebrating with them, too! 🙂

    I’d like to win this to read and share with local friends. 🙂

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    • I think you nailed something really valuable there… it is something we have to learn. We need to recognize that it doesn’t come naturally to us in this culture that is so desensitized to hurt and grief. We need to recognize that we need to allow others to really grieve and walk through that mess with them. Amen?!

      So glad you commented… you got my mind going!

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  3. Having lost my daughter to stillbirth, it’s really nice to read that someone who hasn’t had a loss is reaching out. So often it seems like it’s only other baby-loss mummas who reach out. Thank you.

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    • Oh Larissa,
      I am so sorry that you have experienced and noticed that. But unfortunately, you are so right. And you know something… it is not okay. We grow and become more like Christ as we walk through those hard times together. I know I am not perfect at this either, but I am aware of the decline of ability in our culture to empathize and I am sickened by it. I only pray that I can instill a heart of tender compassion into the children God has given me now to raise and be an example to… in hopes that they will inspire the next generation to be more intentional in this.

      Love to you sister,

      Angie

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  4. I just want to say thanks so much, as a young and unmarried woman, for this post. It’s easy to feel excluded by others from “the really-truly-been-a-bride-and-birthed-a-child-womenhood club” and therefore to turn away from real fellowship and continue the “competition” and “estrangement” between sisters in Christ. I was especially blessed by this comment in your post: “As sisters in Christ, we need to unify and encourage one another, building one another up without falling into the temptation for competition.” Thanks again!

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  5. I just stumbled on this blog this morning through A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I have suffered a loss of a daughter shortly after childbirth to which the Lord changed the direction of my life to one of service to childbearing women. I am now a midwife. I will be sharing these resources to my clients and would LOVE this book for my lending library.

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    • Quincy,
      God Bless you sister~ for serving other women during this season. It can truly be one that impacts a woman’s life forever… I pray that you will be blessed by it. And many others as well! Make sure you pop over to the website and look into all the free resources as well. We have a 2.5 hour FREE worship playlist that is easy to download from anywhere called the “ultra-Sound of Worship” named after one of the chapters.

      Love and Blessings

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  6. Thank you! I too am a single unmarried woman and to be brutally honest fear raising children for a host of reasons, and becoming a mom scares me. I know however this is not the Lords plan for me to fear it, so I was encouraged by this. Thanks for guesting posting and Tasha for hosting 😉 ❤ I think I'm equally comfortable with grieving or rejoicing with others at this point in my life – but only because of some rough spots the Lord has led me through in my own life over the last few years – that have included both joy and sorrow.

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    • Hi Katie! I recognized your picture from other comments somewhere. So great to connect with you here! Wow… oldest of 12… and you mentioned you are “scared” of having children and raising them, you have me curious here… I wish I could grab a cup of coffee with you in person honey! I am encouraged by your heart so much! I would love to get a copy in your hands! Love Your Sister, Angie

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  7. I can’t wait to read this because I have friends who have had drastically different childbirthing stories from my own and it would be great to have a lens from which to get them to talking about it with them.

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