I promise that not every single post for the next however many months I’ve got left will be about pregnancy. I promise. Y’all know I write about what’s on my heart and where God puts me, and for right now, that’s smack dab in the middle of pregnancy.
I’d like to think that I was pretty well prepared, or at least well aware of the physical things that can (and do) happen during pregnancy. You know the normal list, morning sickness, sore ta-tas, exhaustion, irritability, frequent urination, mood swings (think PMS on steroids). Of course there have been a few symptoms I didn’t expect such as excessive saliva (that’s a thing? A pregnancy thing? Yes. And it is weird.). Women often talk about the physical side, even the emotional side of pregnancy. Some women are over the moon about being pregnant and others hate it. Some love it after the first trimester, others would sooner have the baby arrive via stork. What almost no one talks about is the spiritual side of pregnancy.
Granted every pregnancy and every woman is different – each experience different symptoms at different times. We are all different and God created us that way. Good job, God! So too, then, every woman’s spiritual experience of pregnancy is different. I’m not talking about the warm fuzzy “Oh, there’s a baby in my womb, let’s all go hug a tree” type of spiritual experience of pregnancy. I’m talking about the spiritual attack of being pregnant.
Let’s be honest here for a second: Satan hates pregnancy. He hates people being open to life, he hates that God wills for the human race to continue and pregnancy and is an annoying reminder of the fact that God still loves His children and still wants to co-create with them. Satan hates that. A lot.
Satan attacks what he hates. Pregnancy, motherhood, being open to life, it is all good and true and beautiful and God-like. Basically pregnancy is reason enough for Satan to get really, really annoyed. I can only speak for myself here, but I wish women talked a lot more about the spiritual side of pregnancy. The weird cravings, even the excess saliva I can handle. The spiritual stuff? Way harder to deal with.
You’re tired all the time because your body is busy growing another human being with an irreplaceable soul? Nah, you’re just lazy and unproductive. And you don’t have enough time for your husband at the end of a long work day, so you’re a bad wife too.
Hormones running amok (to support that child in your womb) and you’re crying and/or blowing up at customers or co-workers? You’re just witchy (at best) and impossible to deal with. Go lock yourself in a room. Don’t come out until the baby is born and you are ‘normal’ again.
Can’t work out like normal so you start looking/feeling pudgy? Pants don’t fit anymore? Clothes feel off? Well, that’s because you are ugly. And the hormones increase your acne, so not only does nothing fit right, but you are breaking out like a pre-teen. You eat like a cow and you look like one too.
Test results come back as anything less than perfect (because who really is perfect?)? That’s because you are a failure as a mother and your child is already doomed.
It comes in all forms, some recognizable, some not. No matter what way the assault comes in, it is exhausting. Even on the off chance you do recognize Satan’s crap for what it is, half the time you are so exhausted from just being pregnant that fighting off said spiritual attack seems like an insurmountable task.
Here’s the beautiful thing about it all: you aren’t alone. When Olivia wrote this piece over at Ignitum Today I just about fell out of my chair. I had just found out we were pregnant and thought it was crazy that there could or would be so much spiritual attack during pregnancy. Then it hit. I’ve read her piece dozens of times. I had my husband read it. And re-read it. And read it out loud to me.
Like most things lately, I find comfort in Mary. I imagine myself crawling into her arms and crying when I need to. I have no doubt – none whatsoever – that she felt spiritually attacked, you know, when she was carrying the Son of God in her womb, the One who was conceived like no other human being on the planet, ever. She’s there. She’s our Mother. She cares for us. She helps us fight. She gives us the strength, feeble though it may seem, to call on her Son when all our strength and energy seems lost. She loves us and helps us see that we are beautiful. We are creating life. We are useful, lovable, and most of all worthy. Worthy of being a mother. Worthy of being a co-creator with God. Worthy of this child He has gifted to us, even and perhaps most especially when we feel completely worthless. You aren’t alone.