She was on the other side of the wall in the next room. I couldn't hear what the nurses were saying or her husband or friends. I couldn't hear what words her family might have spoken to assure her. I couldn't hear the calm words of the doctor or the likely beeping of the baby heartrate monitor. But as if she was directly next to me, I heard her scream...
I don't think I can do this!
I lay my head back against my own cool hospital pillow trying to remain calm as I waited for the medicine to quiet my own steady contractions. At just 30 weeks, my youngest was just not quite ready to arrive - even though my body was convinced otherwise.
Alone in my own room, I prayed for her - the woman on the other side of the hospital wall.
Lord, help her.
But even as I spoke, I knew that He had already answered me. I knew that He was with the woman in the next room, because He knows ...
We can't do motherhood without Him. None of it.
We can try. Lord knows sometimes we try. We can give our best, and we love our best, and we can be our best, and sometimes there are moments where we still feel like we come up short.
There are still really hard moments where we are faced with impossible circumstances - circumstances that cause us to cry out again and again, "I don't think I can do this!!"
I don't think I can do this - says the pregnant woman in labor.
I don't think I can do this - says the woman giving her child up for adoption.
I don't think I can do this - says the woman leaving her baby as she goes back to work.
I don't think I can do this - says the mom of the defiant toddler, or preschooler, or teenager.
I don't think I can do this - says the mom who watches her baby drive off for the first time without her.
I don't think I can do this - says the mom who helps her baby send off college applications.
I don't think I can do this - says the mom who moves her daughter into her first apartment.
I don't think I can do this - says the momma who gives her son to his new bride. And yet through each of these moments, the Lord walks beside us and whispers a steady, "But I can." It is when we let His can help our can't that we realize it was never up to us to do it on our own.
It wasn't even an hour later that I heard the baby cry. A nurse or relative or someone had opened the door letting that precious sound escape and echo down the hallway.
And I thought of the momma.
She did it.
And I suppose that's the hope that is available for all of us.
Just when we thought we couldn't, just when we were sure that there was no way we ever could, we discover that we had it in us all along. Because we have Him.
I don't know what can't you're facing, but whatever it is, remember this with me. Each time you overcome becomes a sentence in your heart that tells the story, "She did." And just when you are sure that you can't handle it ... that it's too big for you ... that it's too impossible or you're not strong enough or equipped to face it ... Remember that you were never designed to do it alone.
Deep breath, sister. Now push. You can do this.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Becky Thompson's website. It has been republished here with permission.
Becky Thompson is the author of "Hope Unfolding: Grace-Filled Truth for the Momma's Heart." She began blogging under the name Scissortail SILK, quickly drawing a global audience of millions. A self-professed city girl, Becky is a recent transplant to northwest Oklahoma, where she lives with her husband, Jared, their three young children, and whatever critters wander in from the wheat field behind their house.