On November 20, at 8:28 AM, we welcomed Henry Dean Pritchard into the world. After 16 hours of unmedicated labor (only about 5 hours were bad!), I delivered an 8 lb, 12 oz, healthy and beautiful baby boy with a head full of dark hair.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth, and I did it! I learned something about myself – I can do hard things! Giving birth was physically the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and pretty high on my list of mentally challenging things. I asked for an epidural, which I didn’t really want; I just wanted out of the pain. My wonderful nurse and husband both said no to that request and gave me words of encouragement instead. I said all kinds of crazy things like, “I don’t want this!” and “two kids are enough,” and “I am never doing this again!” (You really DO forget the pain, because the day he was born, I was telling Brian that I’d do it again… just not next week.)
Don’t ever doubt your ability to do hard things. You can do hard things, too! Your hard thing may not be natural childbirth – it may be something like making it through a difficult time in your marriage, a particularly challenging situation at work, a family situation, raising kids, running a marathon, etc. You know what your hard things are. You can do hard things.
This is the time of year for New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps you are making a resolution to lose weight or spend more time with God. Maybe you are making a resolution to bea better friend or better wife. Whatever it is, those New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep! If you are making a resolution, I want to encourage you! You can do hard things!
The week leading up to having Henry, Rachael’s memory verse was Matthew 19:26 – “With men, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Throughout my labor, God brought Rachael’s memory verse to my mind. You can do hard things, because with God, all things are possible. The more I read about how nothing is impossible with God, the more I notice that the word repeatedly used is with, not for. We all know that nothing is impossible for God, but the Bible tells us that with God, all things are possible.
For nothing will be impossible with God. ~ Luke 1:37 (NASB)
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”~ Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Is there a hard thing that you need to do? Be encouraged! Team up with God, and you can do hard things – even keep those New Year’s resolutions!