My first child’s birth was a blur. Roughly 12 hours from the first contractions till I held her.
My second’s birth was 3 hours, start-to-finish, with approximately 4-times the intensity of the first one.
Facing my next delivery less than two years after that unpleasant surprise (the labor, not the baby) I felt an understandable measure of anxiety about the impending birth.
Like many Christians I quoted Philippians 4:13 to myself, and focused on the certainty that I could trust God’s provision for every need I may have. This took care of my rational self, but not my emotional self .
For that part I fell back to the time-tested principles of distraction and deflection when possibilities of fear or discomfort offered their presence.
Then, at some point during this pregnancy I was doing some tale-searching and came across The Princess on the Glass Hill, a story I read years ago but had forgotten the details of. The part that stuck with me was the Cinderlad enduring each increasingly bone-rattling earthquake with a simple observation.
“Well, if it gets no worse than that, I can manage to stand it.”
And in that simple line I “found my peace.”
The line became a mental summary reconciling my emotional state with reality: See, it *hasn’t* been too much; I’m still here.
Therein is the power of story. Truth that couldn’t bang through the frantic defenses of my fears opened the door with a simple key. And who but God could have orchestrated the finding of just the right story at just the right time?
Every good and perfect gift is from above, and I pray that someday more of those gifts will be more accessible to hurting children, without the stigma hanging over them of what some people incorrectly think fairy tales mean.