Well, the day is beginning to wrap up as I send this out or maybe it already has where you live. Whether the sun is beginning to peak out or hide-away, here’s a story for you.
But first, if you don’t have a lot of reading time tonight—I want you to have this free gift from me—my book is free on Amazon Kindle! Click here to go get it.
Once upon a time
I woke up in the middle of the night (again) with some of the most severe anxiety I had ever experienced. “Could I die from stress?”, I wondered. I was overwhelmed and I was afraid. There were a lot of unknowns.
Then there was an ah-ha (woah-my-whole-world-just-changed) moment where I realized that the same paradoxical design I had learned through bearing six children was exactly what I could do here too. Instead of tensing—freezing in fear, I could relax.
It was a moment of wonder, where all of a sudden, it wasn’t anxiety or fear that was my focus…I was in labor! And life was on the other side, miracle and birth were waiting for me. I could trust and reach through.
The painful feelings were there to alert me, signal even, it was my time. I didn’t have to be afraid. I was found in a design, not lost in chaos. I was free to cross over from pain to life and the way was through letting my spirit soar in prayer to God.
It felt like my heart was burning in a way that would consume me, I didn’t know then that was because I kept trying to push it down and away, shush it, shush me. But, when we are born in the image of God (and all of us have been) a flame has been lit inside. It is flame born of Flame and to that original Flame we must return again and again.
This night, I am writing to you about, I finally realized this deep inside of me was need and it was holy. It was invitation. Deep calling out to deep. Flame seeking to return to Flame, to be fed again.
This was a corner turned in my life journey that I needed desperately and it has changed me from the inside out, with much more transformation to come. As it changes me I am sharing this freedom and paradoxical—but stunning—design our Creator has placed within us and within this world. I’m not the only one, the apostle Paul spoke of himself and the bride of Messiah being in labor too…
My children, with whom I am again in labor until Messiah is formed in you— Galatians 4:19
So this all sounds painful and hard right?
That’s what I mean by paradox. Here’s what I have learned about the woman’s part in labor during my six experiences of bearing children: the biggest need is to relax. The natural thing to do is move inward, tense, and tighten. Yet the pain comes for a different reason, to teach us, lead us, and show us the way forward. Seemingly contradictory, but life changing to grasp. The truth is it’s much less about us and much more about experiencing a miracle.
In labor we can say yes and relax. If we will release our tension, and release our fears, and relax our body—the contractions will do a miraculous work with ease and wonder. If we don’t, often birth still comes, but usually a lot of damage too—if not life threatening complications. Spiritually, this still applies. The least of the life-threatening complications not being…a loss of wonder, a loss of vision of what is sacred, of what is other-than us and all at the same time, makes us whole. This is everything.
“Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel
The contractions bring the baby. The contractions bring life. We can let them wash over us. We can say yes and thank you…in birthing babies and living life fully, with wholeness, even through hardship.
Why would I ever try to do that without communion with my Creator, the artist behind this paradoxical design? Well, because I too am forming, growing, becoming, learning. But here’s what I am learning: prayer is not only a place we bow our knees, it is a place we sing, we groan, we prostrate, we lay back, we release, we receive life renewed.
“The primary purpose of prayer is not to make requests. The primary purpose is to praise, to sing, to chant. Because the essence of prayer is a song, and man cannot live without a song.”
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (emphasis added mine)
Prayer is the place of birth.
By prayer, I mean communion, uniting, connection with our Father in heaven. Think life-line here.
In my pouring out, I found I was found. In my crying out, I realized I was responding to my true name being sung over me before I ever knew it myself. In falling, I was caught, and safe. Jesus (Yeshua) said,
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.—Matthew 11:29-30
A woman dies to herself in labor. I mean it. We lay it all down for the sake of another. This is the seemingly illogical design—as Yeshua also said,
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Do not be afraid. A life of communion with God does require a death to ourselves, but there is so much life on the other side.
Literally FREE…on Amazon.
I’ve got a free book for you! A couple of years ago I sought to capture this journey through praying through the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. And I did—I wrote a book called Pray, Like a Woman in Labor. And now you understand the title :).
Today a really big dream-come-true is beginning to unfold—I get to give it away for free as a Kindle edition on Amazon!
My personal story begins the book for several pages and then a collection of 14 days of prayers follow, with several Scripture quotations for each day, prompts for chewing on the ideas prayed about that day, and then some personal journaling space for writing your own prayers and thoughts. I want this to be your book, your tool.
Today through Sunday, August 13, it is free as an Amazon Kindle edition. This edition does not include the personal journaling pages which is really a favorite part of the book to me (but you can’t write in a Kindle!) so, if desired, you can still get the paperback edition (with the journaling pages) on Amazon now too—not for free though.
I’ve put my heart onto the page and shared this personal collection of prayers seeking wisdom, vision to be faithful, and unafraid in the work of serving, and living an awake, set-apart life. It is a written and photographic journey. As a mom to six I have written this from the trenches with mothers in mind, but I hope it will be a source of strength and tool for many who nurture and lead in many positions in life.
In the quiet (and not so quiet), deep places in us call out to the deep of God. We often call it anxiety or fear, but it is miracle too.
A miracle of labor and birth, of spirit and truth. He invites us into this work with Him. Like a woman in labor whose pain is not pointless, our pain is an invitation that beckons us to experience the very presence of God. We were created for this communion.—From back cover, Pray, Like a Woman in Labor, by Raynna Myers
I hope you will grab your free copy before this opportunity is gone on Sunday! I’m so excited to get it into the hands of as many who want it. Get yours here and please share the news!
Seeking to walk through the door of fear to freedom—always more—with you,
P.S. Remember FREE on Amazon Kindle this week ONLY.
Thanks for being here. Subscribe to stay connected. I’d love that.