I intended to find one specific photo I was looking for, but I got snagged by a video. Landon's birth video.

I paused the video and looked around the room. Kids were playing, and no one was aware of what was frozen on my phone screen. I hit play and watched to the end.

My heart was racing.

Tears were stinging my eyes.

For those that don't know, 3 out of 5 of my births have been quite difficult. A very narrow pelvis coupled with babies built with wide shoulders has made for some intense deliveries.

Obviously, I sympathized royally with the woman pushing with all her physical might. But my eyes kept going to the people by my side, hands supporting and providing the assistance I could not give myself. In my most vulnerable, raw, and exposed moment in life.

It was a brutal birth, one I slammed my fist into the floor and wrestled with God over.

I had prayed over this very thing. Begged not to face it again. And yet.

And yet, my body stayed pregnant far beyond the date I'd hoped it would observe.

And yet, my baby boy grew wider and bigger inside of me.

And yet, God prepared my husband and midwife and me, each individually, that we should be prepared for a dystocia,

just in case.

And yet.

I re-watched the hardness of those moments,

I remembered the extreme effort,

I tasted the agony in my heart,

and yet

I saw God there.

In my husband's calm, capable hands, even though I know his mind was racing.

In my midwife's specific encouragement and guidance.

In Landon's immediate grimace, cry, and then pouty lip that told me he was not only fine but royally ticked off at the unceremonious delivery.

I saw a million details in that video that took me back to the sensations and emotions of that traumatic moment. Yes, it was traumatic, but instead of carrying fear from it, I carry a keen awareness of God's nearness — of His provision for the moment.

This is how God invites us to live. Not as victims of trauma, constantly stuck in the horror we've walked, but as witnesses to His hand, His goodness in our darkest moments.

This birth could have been like the previous one, where the tiny girl slipped out so smoothly that she beat the entire midwife team. That birth was beautiful and special in its own way.

But the two births where I met my limit, and God held my hand as we crossed into His ability alone — those are the moments where I tasted motherhood most powerfully.

It's not in my most mountain top moments, but in the desolate, agonizing ones of inability where I've found that infilling.

The breath when I was drowning.

The relief when the baby finally emerged fully into our world, where God held my hand through the darkest, most agonizing moments, made the light that followed so brilliant.

I'm deeply grateful for the people around me who have helped form me into the woman I am today.

I'm deeply grateful for the people around me who have helped form me into the woman I am today.
For my mother, who has been that steady, faithful, prayer-filled influence, always pointing me to Jesus.

For my mother-in-law, whose heart is committed to honesty and always learning and who is an incredibly rich resource of hard-earned wisdom.

For my sisters and deep-hearted friends, who have offered me hours of wise counsel and years of friendship, allowed me to debrief hard moments with grace and truth, sifted the wheat from the chaff, and loved me still.

For my husband, who has illustrated the closest thing to a heavenly relationship on earth- deep commitment, endless forgiveness, and more love and delight than I could ever deserve.

And for the relationships that have pruned and sanded me in the most painful ways, yes, even these have brought such needed growth.

I am deeply grateful for each of you.

In birth, like in so many seasons, my heart and body needed people around me.

Part of the surrender was accepting help and hands to support me when I could not.

So many times in life, we were created to be surrounded by wise, trustworthy mortals, where we experience God through the hands and touch of humans around us.

Motherhood, where I met the end of myself and the beginning of God in the flesh.

This is holy, humble, life-changing ground.

Both images are used under license from Adobe Stock Photos, all rights reserved and used by permission.