The other night I saw a friend who is due with her third child soon. I wished her well and shared with her a piece of advice my Aunt shared with me before labor that was helpful to me. (I am rather selective sharing any advice because every experience is different but what my Aunt shared with me is something that is helpful to any birth experience.)
She told me to ride the waves of the contractions.
A contraction begins. It increases in intensity. It peaks. Then it decreases. And eventually the contraction ends. Then there is space (sometimes a very little space) before the next contraction begins. In that space use it to rest, gathering energy (physically, mentally, etc.) for the next contraction.
I loved this advice and carried it with me each time as I gave birth to our three children. As I was resting today "riding the waves" popped into my head again, but not about labor; riding the waves of life.
We all experience "contractions" in life. Whether it's tension in a relationship, parenting moments, the loss of a job, struggles in health, a move, etc. I am in the middle of a contraction with cancer. Over the past handful of days I have had physical pain that was creeping its way into my mind. Then I remembered this truth...
This is temporary. I need to...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And persevere, riding the wave until this "contraction" passes - because it will pass.
I realize some of us are experiencing "contractions" that will take a few moments and others are years into their "contraction." I pray for all of us that we may "run with perseverance the race marked out before us" (Hebrews 12:1) and ride the wave fixing our eyes on Truth to get us through it.
No matter our wave, may we remember it's pattern - it starts, it rises, it peaks, it decreases, it ends. While we are in the contraction, let us Pause. Breathe. Pray. our way through it. And may we use our time between contractions to not stress, complain or fear the next one coming, but to enjoy the rest, and prepare our hearts, minds and Spirit for the next wave that will inevitably come.
With love and hope,