Unfortunately, I often need a reminder from God that He is in control and not me. And let me tell you…these reminders aren’t fun! The most recent of these instances was a few weeks ago on the day our daughter was born. But before we go there, let’s go back 2 years to the birth of our son.

My wife and I were so excited to bring our son into the world and meet him. We were as prepared and ready as anyone could be. We took all the classes and read all the books there were to read. We talked to those who were experienced and took the advice they had to give. We knew what to expect. We even did “walk-throughs” together in the days leading up to the event. We were in control of the situation and felt so confident in that control that we were sticking to the decision we made from the outset…we were going all natural, baby! I was so confident and in control that I even convinced my wife that she wouldn’t even need an epidural! Yep, this was going to be a piece of cake.

My wife woke me up from a dead sleep at 1am. It was time. We grabbed our bags, jumped in the car and headed for the hospital. We got all set in a room and settled in for the exciting final moments of this journey. Seven hours later, not much had happened. In fact, it was going too slow. The nurse and doctor convinced us to jump-start this puppy with some Pitocin and get this show on the road. This was the first step in our loss of control, but not a major hit to the plan. However, over the course of the next few hours the control we thought we had was slipping from our grasps.

Around 11am nurses, interns and doctors poured into the room. Our son’s heart rate was plummeting for extended periods of time and we needed to have an emergency C-section. Any ounce of control we thought we still had was completely gone. We were scared, confused and shaken.

As I waited outside the operating room, dressed in blue scrubs from head to toe, all I could do was cry out to God. As I prayed, the words from Psalm 139 came to mind: O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.

 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. (Psalm 139:1-18)

I confessed to God my lack of dependence and submission to Him in the entire situation. From the moment we found out that we were expecting a child, I subconsciously was wanting to be in control and wanting for us to do it on our own. I confessed my belief in the lie that for our pregnancy, we didn’t need God. I confessed my stubbornness, pride and selfishness to Him in that moment. Why in the world would I want to leave Him out and not depend on Him for the birth of our child?

To His praise and glory, our son was delivered fully healthy. The reason for the drop in his heart-rate during labor was that he was wrapped up in his cord. Had we tried to go it “according to plan”, he probably wouldn’t have made it. Yeah, God is good!

Fast forward to 3 weeks ago…

We head to the hospital for our scheduled C-section. Everything was going according to plan and we were ready! Once again, we were prepared and “in control”. We were going to get in and get this baby out without a hitch!

It’s 11am…1 hour before we are supposed to head to the operating room to meet our little girl. We are calmly chilling in the pre-op room. As a nurse is talking through the standard procedure and what to expect, for some reason I look over at the monitor that is keeping track of baby’s heart rate. All of a sudden her heart rate begins to plummet. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” kept running through my mind. The next 30-45 minutes are almost identical to what we experienced with our son. So much so that I once again found myself having the same exact conversation with God as I waited outside the operating room. And wouldn’t you know it, those same verses from Psalm 139 came to my mind.

Why do I have to keep learning things the hard way?

God once again proved that He was in control…and I wasn’t…at all! Again to His praise and glory, our baby girl was born fully healthy. As the 3 of us were in the recovery room, the doctor came in and told us that the reason for the drop in her heart-rate was because the cord was wrapped around her neck. Yeah, God is good!

As I’ve thought about these 2 major experiences in my life over these past few weeks, I keep coming back to this thought: We have the God of the universe working for us…the One who created us, the One who knows us…the One who saved us. Why in the world do we ever try to go it on our own?

– PB