As I prepared for my third child to be born via c-section, I often found myself awake In then middle of the night, spiraling into worry and anxiety. I had no good reason to worry, since I had two previous healthy children and no health complications with my pregnancy. But as anxiety often happens, it didn’t need a reason to rear it’s ugly head.
As a believer, I know that God does not want us to waste precious time and energy on worry. In those times of fear leading up to my due date, I asked God to give me scriptures to lean on.
He was faithful in bringing verses of encouragement and peace to my mind. I recorded them on my phone and would read and reread them, even in the last moments before my surgery and meeting my baby. They became very precious to me, so I share them here to hopefully pass on some encouragement and promises from the Lord to soon-to-be moms. Keep this list handy, because God can speak to you through these words in your moments of anxiety and fear!
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 NIV
You can do this. God created your body to hold and grow this baby, and he’s not going to abandon you at the time of delivery. He will be your strength, in a very real sense. You do not have to do this alone.
In my weakness he is strong.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherʼs womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
God is the creator of life. He knitted your child together, and trusted you to be that child’s mother. He is doing the work, you do not need to worry about his competence. God knows exactly what he wants your child to be like- physical features, personality, every detail. So you can relax that God himself is working inside of you, and he will bring this baby into being.
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
If you are full of fear, it is not from God. He wants us to live lives of freedom and confidence, unhindered from fear. Labor and delivery- whether natural or c-section- can be a process that carries a lot of fear. But God wants us to have a spirit of power, love, and self-control. Other versions says a “sound mind.” We are not controlled by our fears. Give them to the Lord. Which leads me to the next scripture…
“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 ESV
I picture all my worries- what if my baby isn’t healthy, what if I have complications in delivery, what if my baby needs to be in the NICU, and so on. I imagine bundling them up and putting them in a box. Then I picture myself literally “casting” or throwing this box to God. It is a weight off my shoulders. Sometimes I try to take the box back and open it up and worry again. But God says, “No, you gave me your fears, why are you trying to take them back?!”
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Isaiah 26:3 NIV
That phrase “perfect peace” kept spinning in my head throughout my pregnancy. What would perfect peace look like? The image that came to mind was (ironically) that of a newborn. Babies have no worries. They sleep in perfect peace. God wants us to live in a state of such deep trust in Him that peace naturally flows out of us. Why would we fear? God will take care of us!
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73:26 NIV
This verse is the foundation of the popular worship lyric that goes “I may be weak, but your spirits strong in me. My flesh may fail, but my God, you never will” (Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship). What a powerful promise. We are imperfect, fallible, weak. But we are not alone, and we don’t need to approach pregnancy and delivery, or motherhood for that matter, in our own strength! God is our strength!
These verse literally changed my life. They switched my focus from my weaknesses to God’s strength. I encourage you to read and perhaps even memorize some of these verses and add to my list with your own verses of encouragement. God’s words are not meant to stay on the page, they are meant to bring life to our circumstances. They are living and active. Let God’s word come into your pregnancy and motherhood, and he will not let you down!