Selah and Philip Sapp - August 2007
Selah: It is not at all like me to proactively talk about child birth, let alone publish my experience on a website! I am just so excited about the Lord and what He did for us in our daughter, Miriam's, birth that I want to write it out as a record always pointing to God's goodness and mercy. Please don't think I am boasting of myself. I do not want to tell or even imply that people should have their children in any certain way, nor do I want to teach or promote any doctrine. But to testify of the grace of the Lord Jesus, to give Him His glory is my only motivation for writing this. I pray also that others may be encouraged and strengthened.
My life in Christ took a tremendous leap when my husband Philip and I got married. My husband brought a series of CD Bible studies called Hidden Manna with him on his trip from Alabama to Utah, and we listened to those and had Bible studies every day of our honeymoon and onward. Because our first home was a tent in the woods away from a lot of distractions, we were able to spend many hours studying with only a CD player and our Bibles. That is where I newly began to truly understand what God required of me as a believer, and what He has given to me to accomplish what He asks. Since then, through the leading and gentle direction of my husband, I've blossomed in my faith and am growing daily. To me, Miriam's birth is like the first full bloom in my faith, resulting from the Word that was sewn into me from that time on until today.
We had our first daughter Selahki with assistance and with plenty of birth aids. I believe it happened that way so we could look at the two birth experiences and see how the latter of deepening our trust in the Lord and confessing His salvation in our need had better results for me and our child. Selahki was born at a midwife's house and the midwife had two other women and Philip to aid her in the birth. Even with natural herbal pain relievers, birth accelerators, a warm water bath, pressure-point massage, energy fizzy drinks, focus charts and special breathing, I couldn't ease the pain. I went from one thing to the next of the above birth-aiding measures but got little relief. I pushed for two hours before the midwife saw I was too tired to push effectively and gave me oxygen before Selahki was born crying with obvious molding of her head. Selahki didn't calm down until Philip got out the guitar and began to sing to the Lord about five minutes after she was born. We didn't see anything wrong with Selahki's birth, these were all normal things in child birth that you get ready for, or better yet... brace yourself for. At that time, we thought it was an awesome, God-given experience (and indeed it was).
But since that time, we felt the Lord wanting us to walk in the faith we claimed we had in the salvation He provided for us at the cross. We saw how salvation as it simply means in Greek: sodezo... including health, forgiveness, protection, healing, and total deliverance from the curse were perfectly applicable to childbirth! Miriam's birth was the greatest physical trial I'd ever faced without any external aids, so we found more of God's Word could be applied. My husband and I prayed and believed for a painless labor and birth and I headed right into labor relying upon God's Word as my only pain reliever, mental focus and encouragement (besides my dear husband and sweet bubbly daughter Selahki). With the knowledge of what God had given to me to overcome the trial and pain, at the beginning of each contraction I would say words like, "Thank you Jesus, for taking this pain at the cross", or "I'm not taking this, Jesus already did"; and sometimes I would just say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus, for delivering ME!" (Galatians 3:13, "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree"1 Peter 2:24, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed") The more joyfully it came out of my heart, the less pain I would feel, and sometimes there was no pain at all!
I kept in mind all the Word I could and was soaring. I was truly rejoicing all the while and the atmosphere in our home was joyous. I could tell my body was working very hard and getting tired, but I only became more and more excited that the Word was doing all the work! A few times I gave into the pain at the beginning of a contraction and didn't overcome it by praising God and speaking His Word and the pain was overwhelming! At those times, Philip noticed me getting tense and nervy and asked me if I had been thanking the Lord. I told him I was just letting the contractions happen, and he encouraged me to vocally thank the Lord again. Reminding me that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21; James 3:2-12) and that I should continue to speak the good report (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 10:10-11, "for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.). I began again, and immediately the contraction intensity dropped and my energy went up. There was a DEFINITE difference between God's strength and going solo!
Selahki popped over to our neighbors the Rea's house just minutes before Miriam was born, but stayed with us all through what is usually (to me) the hardest part of labor (dilation). I was able to keep up with her and enjoy our time together, and Philip was able to run some errands while Selahki and I snacked and played together.
The Lord is faithful to His Word. Glory to God, this last birth experience was truly amazing! A nearly painless labor and delivery! Not to mention Miriam was born in 12 hours total, 10 minutes pushing, born alert but calm, no molding to her head whatsoever, and I was perfectly able to get up just minutes after she was delivered into Philip's hands. I could walk about freely and then four hours later welcome our neighbors the Reas at the door to meet Miriam! I also recovered completely in just four weeks' time. I know it is normal for successive children to be born more easily, but I have never heard with less pain. Each contraction was very intense as it began... but God's Word quickly dissolved that pain.
Through this experience I'm finding God does exactly what He says in His Word, and it is truly easier on us AND our children to believe Him. I know there is yet more relief available to me through God's Word. I also praise God for my husband and his desire to trust God with our lives. I now look forward to the birth of our future children as a time to experience God's tremendous grace. Knowing God does not leave me without His power to overcome gives me incredible rest. Miriam's birth was a sweet expression of how His Word is powerful and never fails. Thank you, Father.
We also wanted to thank all those who were praying for us and supporting us through this time. Thank you and God bless you.