Labor Pains and Overdraft Fees
Nate and I recently experienced the frustration of our first overdraft fee as a couple. I had my first overdraft fee when I was 17 years old and that was all I needed to realize that they are incredibly lame and that I would prefer to never experience another one.
Well, now I’ve had two.
I’ve only been in labor once. It was fairly long… and, I would dare say, unpleasant. But, before I ever started that amazing 68 hour process, I had decided that I would do my best to not let out negative words. In Proverbs 18:21 it says that “the tongue has the power of life and death.” That’s a lot of power! So, I only wanted to speak life while I was helping to bring out this new, precious life. It was CRAZY, difficult at times, but it did two obvious things for me.
One, it allowed me to focus on what was positive before I said anything, which, in turn helped those around me to focus on the positive.
Two, it pushed me into some vulnerable and heartfelt prayers. I remember thinking things like “I must be dying. This isn’t right,” and “I wish I were at the hospital so they could rip me open and get this baby out!” It was terrifying, so yeah, vulnerable and heartfelt prayers. In the end, things went beautifully and I feel a sense of pride in how well that labor went.
My main realization with this overdraft fee is that we are no longer living in overabundance, and that was life’s unsubtle sucker punch to my face. In the past, we’ve been able to have all of our bills automatically taken from our checking account because we had always had more than enough in that lovely bank. For a while now, we’ve been walking towards the day of ‘just enough’, but it finally came.
My husband and I sat quietly in the car as we drove away from the bank. These thoughts crept into my mind, and they wanted me to scream, “This isn’t what I wanted! I wanted a comfortable life. I wanted financial independence,” and, of course, the ever popular, “Nate, please get a regular people job so we don’t have to do this anymore!”
Then I shared these thoughts with God, and he reminded me of the power in my tongue and the choices that I made while in labor. “But God (insert whiny voice here) labor has an end in sight, and you get a sweet little baby when you’re done!” Ya know, because sometimes labor sounds easier than a different life trial… but, not while you’re in labor. He asked me to share my memory verse with Nate, which means I had to use the power of my tongue. So I spoke these words-
And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable us to share in his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desire. In view of this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. 2 Peter 1:4,5
It changed our car’s atmosphere… in a good way… unlike a fart…. 2 Peter brought to mind the focus that Nate and I want to have. Speaking that out helped us to change the direction our thoughts were going in.
Perhaps, one day, God will lead us in a different direction… or perhaps he will provide through a different avenue. I never really know exactly what he’s up to! We have our hearts open to our heavenly Father in whichever direction he wants to lead us, but for now, this is the path we’re on. For me, the road is challenging, but I don’t want to turn back because of my fear or because I’m not comfortable.
Anyway, all of this is to encourage you (and me) to be thoughtful about the words that you choose to have come out of your mouth. God has given us great power, so let’s do our best to use it wisely.